These songs turn 30 years old in 2020

18 January 2020, 18:00 | Updated: 18 January 2020, 18:01

Depeche Mode in 1987
Depeche Mode in 1987. Picture: Eugene Adebari/Shutterstock

1990 was a landmark year in music... the start of a decade that saw grunge and Britpop rule the charts. Here are ten tunes that turn 30 this year.

  1. Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence

    Released in February 1990, a month before the acclaimed Violator album, this saw Basildon's finest at the height of their success. It was originally written by Martin Gore as a ballad, until the rest of the band rocked it up - the plan worked, as it made Number 6 in the UK charts.

  2. The Stone Roses - One Love

    Following the critical acclaim of their debut album and the chart success of their Fools Gold/What The World Is Waiting For single in 1989, the new decade promised to have the world at the Stone Roses' feet. However, legal troubles and prolonged recording sessions for the follow-up meant that we didn't hear a peep out of the band for four years after this one-off single appeared in the summer of 1990.

  3. James - How Was It For You?

    After several false starts, James finally attracted wider attention as the 90s broke, with this single leading the way. Lose Control and re-releases of Come Home and the evergreen Sit Down were to follow, making them one of Manchester's most popular bands.

  4. The Charlatans - The Only One I Know

    After the indie success of their debut Indian Rope, Tim Burgess and co's second single hit the UK Top 10 in May 1990 and established them as one of Britain's best new bands. This Hammond organ-powered classic can still fill a dancefloor three decades on.

  5. Happy Mondays - Step On

    Salford's Mondays put their heads above the indie parapet when they covered John Kongos' 1971 hit He's Gonna Step On You Again. The dance shuffle saw "Madchester" become a genre and gave the band's label Factory a much-needed boost when it made Number 5, setting the stage for their album Pills 'N' Thrills & Bellyaches later that year.

  6. EnglandNewOrder - World In Motion

    1990 was a World Cup year, and Factory's finest found themselves in the position of recording the England team's official campaign song... with a little help from actor Keith Allen and footballer John Barnes, who delivered an unforgettable rap. The Joy Division years never seemed so far away.

  7. Primal Scream - Loaded

    The Scream had toiled away in the backwaters of the indie-garage-rock scene for years, until Bobby Gillespie had the bright idea of handing over their country rock track I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have to DJ Andrew Weatherall. The result was a smooth mix of rock guitars and a loping drum beat that kicked off the 90s as we know it.

  8. Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart

    Super-slick New York dancefloor track that made Number 2 in the UK charts in the summer of 1990. The track samples Herbie Hancock, features Bootsy Collins on vocals and had a rap from Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest - it literally has everything.

  9. EMF - Unbelievable

    The Epsom Mad Funkers (for that is what EMF stood for) had their biggest hit with their debut single in December 1990 - while the follow-up, I Believe, was also Top 10, their same began to fade. However, in 1995, they had a Number 3 with a cover of The Monkees' I'm A Believer - although this was playing back up band to Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

  10. Inspiral Carpets - This Is How It Feels

    Oldham's Inspiral Carpets had been creating quirky garage rock since 1983, but the arrival of The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays have the band's style more of a focus as the 90s dawned. This is their most famous song - a bleak tale of everyday life based on organist Clint Boon's own experiences. At this point, Noel Gallagher was guitar tech for the band.


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