Women of the 90s | Countdown | Winner Revealed ["It should win the Best Video Award"]

If this artist hadn't gotten both of her nomination songs into the rate, I would used my one 'Hazey Pardon' for it, but alas I didn't need to and Mandy's "Candy" got it instead. Happy to see that's still surviving. One of the first songs I think of when I remember all singer-songwriter women of alternative pop on the radio back in the 90s. It's such a cornerstone anthem for the period in time.


17/21 Songs Remaining

#110 (tie)


Paula Cole | Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? | 49 Points

10 | @funkyg
7 | @DJHazey
6 | @Hazey's Mom
5 | @idratherjack, @WowWowWowWow
4 | @Cotton Park
3 | @marie_05, @pop3blow2, @unnameable
2 | @Auntie Beryl
1 | @No hay banda

Released | 1997

Genres | Alternative Rock, Pop Rock

Writer/Producer | Paula Cole (1st song we've eliminated with this characteristic.)

Peak Chart Performance | #8 in US, #15 in UK, #7 in CAN

Year End Charts | #38 in US, #172 in UK

Favorite Discovery/Re-Discovery | @No hay banda

Background and Facts | "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" was the breakout hit from Cole's second album, which she wrote and produced herself after working with Kevin Killen on her 1994 debut, Harbinger. She wrote the song and demoed it with a rumba feel, but that didn't fly. "Nobody paid any attention to it with a rumba feel, and that bothered me," Cole said. "For some reason the song was speaking to my unconscious and was saying, 'Believe in me. Hey, I'm down here, I'm good.' It bothered me enough that I re-demoed it with like a Ringo Starr reprise of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.' On that album, Paul McCartney counts off at the last song, 'One, two, three, four... [drum beat].' That's Ringo. So, I sampled Ringo and looped it for just home demo purposes, not for the recording, and then I put on the catchy BVs [backing vocals] and added a bridge and suddenly everyone was really over the top about the song. And I knew going into This Fire that it was an important song and it was probably going to be my first single." I loved the way "When Doves Cry" sounded, from Prince, and the lack of bass and how it sounded coming through a piece of s--t car stereo system all high end. It translated beautifully. I wanted it to translate to radio without bass muddying this particular song. I wanted crowd noise throughout the track to give it feel and ambience. I wanted the catchiness of the background vocals, and most of all I wanted humor and wit, like XTC of England, that wonderful British rock group. I was really in admiration of their wit and their humor and I thought, 'What do I need to write with some wit and humor and irony.'

Cole earned seven Grammy nominations in 1998, three specifically for this song: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This Fire was up for Album of the Year and Best Pop Album, and Cole was also nominated for Best New Artist and Producer of the Year. "Sunny Came Home" by Shawn Colvin won the Song and Record of the Year awards, and Bob Dylan got Album of the Year for Time Out Of Mind, but Cole won for Best New Artist, beating out Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple, Hanson and Puff Daddy. At the ceremony, Cole performed part of the song (ending with some impressive beatboxing) in a whiparound segment where Colvin and Sarah McLachlan also sang their hits. Cole had never watched the Grammys before she was on it, and she didn't bother to shave her armpits, which was noticeable in her acceptance speech. This became a talking point, which irked Cole as it shifted the story from her accomplishment to her appearance. "I hated the fashion statement element of pop," she said. "I had hairy armpits and they made such a big fuss about it. I was touring in Europe where they don't even give a f--k about that. I came back and it was just weird."

With her Producer of the Year nomination, Cole became the first woman nominated for the award on her own. The following year, Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill were up for the award. This song and the Grammy acclaim that came with it earned Cole a main stage spot on the Lilith Fair, a popular festival organized by Sarah McLachlan to showcase female artists. Cole toured as McLachlan's opening act in 1995, which is when the Lilith Fair concept started to form. It ran for three years, with Cole on board the first two.

Cole's next single was "I Don't Want to Wait", a substantial hit that was chosen as the theme song for the TV series Dawson's Creek in 1998 while it was still on the charts. Which leads us to:

Songs We Could've Rated | @boombazookajoe | I Don't Want to Wait | I would have put Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait" over "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone"

A radio station we haven't heard from since @iheartpoptarts unceremoniously lost her first 12 with "Saturday Night" at #121.


19/21 Songs Remaining

#110 (tie)


GALA | Freed From Desire | 49 Points

8 | @Ana Raquel, @Baby Clyde, @daninternational
7 | @Auntie Beryl, @Ezz
4 | @Sprockrooster
3 | @Cotton Park
1 | @DominoDancing, @Markus1981, @saviodxl, @sfmartin

Released | 1996

Genres | Eurodance

Writers | Gala Rizzatto, Maurizio Molella, Filippo Andrea, Carmeni

Producers | Maurizio Molella, Phil Jay

Peak Chart Performance | #2 in UK, #1 in BEL and FRA

Year End Charts | #3 in BEL and FRA, #6 in ITA (1996), #17 in UK, #19 in BEL (1997)

Top Certifications | Diamond in FRA, Platinum in UK, 2x Platinum in BEL

Wanted 10 Songs From | GALA | @daninternational

Prominent Covers | Drenchill and Indiiana (2018) | #1 and 2x Platinum in Poland

Song Facts | In 2016, Gala recorded an acoustic version of "Freed from Desire" at Les Studios Saint Germain in Paris, for the movie Un homme à la hauteur directed by Laurent Tirard with Jean Dujardin.

The chorus was adapted in 2012 by Stevenage F.C. fans for winger Luke Freeman as: "Freeman's on fire, your right back is terrified!" Following that, in early 2016, Newcastle United supporters adapted the song for their striker Aleksandar Mitrović, the refrain being: "Mitro's on fire, your defence is terrified", which has also been used by fans of Fulham FC. However, Mitrović suffered poor form; the chant came into greater prominence in May of that year, as Wigan Athletic supporter Sean Kennedy uploaded on YouTube his version of "Freed from Desire" titled "Will Grigg's on Fire", in recognition of the recent goal-scoring feats of Will Grigg, a Wigan player. Since it was uploaded, the song has become a viral football chant. This version was recorded by dance producers Blonde under the alias DJ Kenno, and it reached No. 76 on the UK single chart. Fans from Northern Ireland also sang "Will Grigg's on Fire", notably during UEFA Euro 2016, as he played for Northern Ireland. Fans of Ireland, Wales, England, and France made their own versions of the song for their players, such as "Vardy's on Fire" and "Grizi's on Fire". It was later seen as the unofficial song of UEFA Euro 2016. "Freed from Desire" itself was used as the unofficial anthem for the Belgian team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Here It Is:

So much football early on this rate, Hazey is loving while everyone else in this thread is malding!
One thing I noticed when we had the final songlist was just how much Ireland @Verandi had scammed into the rate. Unfortunately for him and the fans of those songs, they're dropping like flies. This one almost got points from me. Too bad "Breathless" was a 2000 release huh? Maybe we'd be talking Top 20 smash.


18/21 Songs Remaining



The Corrs | Runaway | 50 Points

12 | @Verandi (I contemplated having this on WKEY 93.2 The Code, but figured The Corrs are his band, so let him have this.)
10 | @Epic Chocolat
8 | @londonrain
7 | @livefrommelbs
4 | @soratami
3 | @girlsaloudjunkie, @marie_05
1 | @Ezz, @Holly Something, @pop3blow2

Released | September 1995

Genres | Pop Rock, Folk Rock

Writers | The Corrs

Producers | David Foster, Jim Corr

Peak Chart Performance | #49 in UK, #68 in US, #10 in AUS and IRE (Original), #2 in UK (Tin Tin Out remix)

Year End Charts | #27 in AUS

Top Certifications | Gold in AUS (Original), Gold in UK (Tin Tin Out Remix)

Background and Facts | The song was written by Andrea Corr, Sharon Corr, and Caroline Corr. Andrea has said the first time she sang it in front of her parents, she was embarrassed because of the line "make love to me through the night". She noted that she knew her mother would be thinking "where did she learn that?!"

The song was re-released in 1999, remixed by Tin Tin Out, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart, held from the top by Britney's "...Baby One More Time". Atypical of Tin Tin Out's usual output and their previous remix of the Corrs' song "What Can I Do", the remix for "Runaway" is a lighter, more folk-oriented recording which utilizes a stripped back live band arrangement with a simple drum kit, a rhythmic bass guitar and a strummed acoustic guitar, retains Sharon Corr's fiddle from the original recording (Hazey - the best part of the song), features orchestral strings in the latter half of the song performed by the Duke Quartet and removes the rhythm change present in the original version.

@Verandi sent me a songlist of his favorite songs on Spotify a while back and this has become my favorite from that group:

(bet you didn't have that one pegged)

Time for one of the 'big time' artists to take their first hit. We all know the story by now, but hey I literally just went by the votes in the Google Forms for this rate and had to honor those. She certainly had other songs I figured would get the nod before this one, but at least you can know you all made my Mom's day by including it. Her first 12 to go!


16/21 Songs Remaining



Mariah Carey | Hero | 55 Points

12 | @Hazey's Mom
8 | @Dangerous Maknae
7 | @phoenix123, @Sprockrooster
6 | @MollieSwift21
5 | @GimmeWork
3 | @funkyg, @TéléDex
2 | @livefrommelbs
1 | @Filippa, @WhatKindOfKylie?

Released | October 19, 1993

Genres | Pop, R&B

Writers and Producers | Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff

Peak Chart Performance | #1 in US, #7 in UK, #2 in NOR and NZ

Year End Charts | #58 in UK (1993), #5 in US, #19 in FRA (1994)

Decade Charts | #53 on Billboard 1990s

All-Time Charts | #435 on Billboard All-Time

Top Certifications | 2x Platinum in US, Silver in UK, 2x Platinum in AUS

Prominent Covers | 2008 British X-Factor Finalists | #1 in UK, SCO, IRE and 2x Platinum in UK

12s Given | @Hazey's Mom | This is a powerful song that provides the true definition of a hero. Anyone can be a hero though, even a person who feels discouraged, fearful, hopeless, or lonely. All you have to do is find your inner strength and you will find a “hero lies in you”


Background and Facts | Mariah isn't waiting for a "Dreamlover" to come rescue her on this song because she's her own hero. She explained in a promo video for the album: "'Hero' is a song that's basically about looking inside yourself and being your own hero, like not always having to look for some kind of hero to come along and save you, but you can save yourself by looking inside yourself and trying to making it through any situation by really just having yourself to depend on first and look up to, like being your own role model."

Mariah performed this live for the first time during a small concert at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, New York, as part of her 1993 Thanksgiving special for NBC. In her 2020 memoir, The Meaning Of Mariah Carey, the singer said it was the first time she realized her popularity. Upon arriving at the venue, she was surprised to see police officers and barricades and wondered if there was something wrong. She was shocked to learn they were preparations for her throng of fans. Despite releasing two hugely successful albums, Mariah hadn't understood the magnitude of her work. Her movements were tightly controlled by her husband, Tommy Mottola, and she spent most of her time in the studio or in seclusion at their mansion in upstate New York. She wrote: "He had my life, but I had my music. It wasn't until that moment in Schenectady that I began to realize the degree of my popularity. I had fans! And soon they would become another source of my strength."

Carey claims this was intended for the 1992 Dustin Hoffman movie, also called Hero. The producers of the movie used Luther Vandross' "Heart Of A Hero" instead. Walter Afanasieff explained in Fred Bronson's Billboard Book Of #1 Hits that the original intention was that Gloria Estefan would be asked to sing the title theme. He was recording the Music Box album with Carey at the time, and during a break he "was sitting at the piano and told Mariah about this movie. Within two hours, we had this incredible seed for this song, 'Hero.'" Afanasieff added: "It was never meant for Mariah to sing. In her mind, we were writing a song for Gloria Estefan for this movie. And we went into an area that Mariah didn't really go into - in her words, it was a little bit too schmaltzy or too pop ballady or too old-fashioned as far as melody and lyrics."

When it was nearly finished, they played the song to the president and COO of Sony Music Entertainment and Carey's fiancé Tommy Mottola (later her husband), explaining that it was a song for the film Hero. Afanasieff recalled that Mottola responded, "Are you kidding me? You can't give this song to this movie. This is too good. Mariah, you have to take this song. You have to do it."

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Carey re-recorded this as a medley with her Glitter track "Never Too Far" and released it as a charity single. She told MTV of the project: "We made it into a medley and kinda put them both in the same key and just made it work, and people responded really well to it. It's been interesting for me, since the events of September 11, the way people have been playing 'Hero' and talking to me about 'Never Too Far', 'cause that song is also about loss. I figured that it would be a nice thing to do, to put them both out for Christmas. ... I feel like it's our responsibility to do what we can right now in terms of music, just being artists and being human beings."

A limo driver named Chris Selletti sued Carey, claiming he wrote the lyrics and has them in an envelope he mailed to himself in 1990. His suit was dismissed in court, proving that the "mail it to yourself" technique of copywriting a song doesn't hold up.

Carey didn't like this song at first, feeling it was too sappy. After receiving letters from fans claiming it touched their lives, she came to realize it was a very powerful song and appreciate it for the feelings it brings out in people. Carey later said it was one of her favorite songs to perform. She explained on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: "It's usually the last song I do if I do it, and everybody's holding up their lighters or their phones and I get a little bit emotional." ... "I'm like, 'How many times have I done this song?'" Carey continued. "But there's always a specific person out there that has a specific memory associated with the song and I wrote it, so it makes me proud."

This was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1995 Grammy Awards, but lost to the #125 Women of the 90's song - Sheryl Crow's " All I Wanna Do".​
I dance to Freed From Desire like mad, but it is repetitive, although lots of great dance songs are, so couldn't give it any points.

I really like Runaway but the chorus lyrics could be better. My favourite 90's Corrs single is 'Radio,' which was released in October 1999.

Hero has been tarnished by so many bad covers over the years, and when I think about it I often go 'meh!', but when I listen to it I enjoy it and sing along. Maybe I should cover it!
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Freed From Desire robbed!

And come on it's not "soccer"-related, it just got occasionally co-opted, as have many songs over the years.

The other three are definitely among the chaff of the list, though I have soft spot for Cowboys as it was on a VHS recording of TOTP I watched a lot (I can't remember who it was I was watching so much)