80. Love Hurts-Nazareth
I vividly remember my first experience with this song. It came on at a BBQ and one of the residential directors at my school said, “Love Hurts. A truer song was never written.” So, this is another example of a very clear, universal message. Also, this is the first example of a hard rock group making the list…another trend.
Favorite Lyric: “Love is like a flame it burns you when it’s hot.”
79. Criminal-Fiona Apple
I’m a huge Amy Winehouse fan and I think this song thematically predates Amy by about a decade. From the dirty piano intro to Apple declaring herself a “bad bad girl,” this song is so wrong, but oh so right.
Favorite Lyric: “So what would an angel say ‘cause the devil wants to know.”
78. All Through the Night-Cyndi Lauper
Yes, this song. I like the dreamlike quality of the verses and the passion of the chorus. There’s a longing here that suits Lauper’s voice really well. Plus she hits a pretty sweet power note towards the end.
Favorite Lyric: “Stray cat is calling so stray cat sings back.”
Almost Picked: Time After Time
77. Never Ever-All Saints
There are no guilty pleasures if you feel no shame. Ergo, this song is definitely a pleasure of mine. The spoken intro adds so much, and the sorrow feels surprisingly genuine for what I would consider a teen pop ballad.
Favorite Lyric: The entire spoken intro
76. I Will Love Again-Lara Fabian
This song demonstrates an important characteristic of this list. Although I think Celine Dion has a much more thoroughly satisfying body of work, I like this song more than anything Dion has done. As a final point, I’m referencing Celine Dion because Fabian was once billed as Dion’s replacement in pop music. Clearly that didn’t happen, but we still have this gem.
Favorite Lyric: “If I’m true to myself nobody else can take the place of you/but I’ve got to move on tell me what else can I do”
75. I Hate Myself for Loving You-Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Haha this group of songs makes it seem like love really sucks…or that I like songs that say how much love sucks. Of course, I am using the word “sucks” as academically as possible. Well, this song is brimming with attitude and, yet again, the message is direct. As this list goes on, the number of unique characteristics gets shorter. I think when I get to the end of this list I’ll just write things like, “Unrequited sad love bacon” as tags and you all will understand which themes I’m discussing.
Favorite Lyric: The chorus
74. Wild Horses-The Rolling Stones
You can thank Buffy for this one (almost). You’ll also note that this is the second hard rock group to appear on this list and both songs I chose are tender ballads. Hard rockers. Tender ballad. Riha theme.
Favorite Lyric: “Faith has been broken/tears must be cried/let’s do some living after we die.”
Almost Picked: The Sundays' version of Wild Horses (it's from a Buffy episode called The Prom. Guess where they play it.)
73. Viva Forever-Spice Girls
This song almost didn’t make the list. I couldn’t decide on a Spice Girls song I liked and then someone called me out for not selecting one of my favorite pop groups. Well, the truth was I did have a song. This one. I was just so in denial I could not bring myself to pick it. But it’s a night of honesty here at Riha Reviews and so I’m going with this one.
Favorite Lyric: “Yes I still remember every whispered word”
Almost Picked: Stop
72. Diggin’ On You-TLC
Sure, Waterfalls is amazing and socially conscious, but this song has a GROOVE. DAMN. You can’t even try to fight it.
Favorite Lyric: “Although for some apparent reason monkey lines are now in season”
Almost Picked: Waterfalls
71. Let’s Stay Together-Al Green
BACK TO BACK GROOVES! I’ll be honest, I’m more into the TLC beat but this song has one distinct advantage: Al Green’s singing voice. UGH. So good.
Favorite Lyric: Pretty much everything.