50 Best Songs of the Nineties

From Britney Spears and Ace of Base to Beck and Nirvana

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14. R.E.M. "Nightswimming" (1992)

Prediction nobody would have made on New Year's Eve 1989: "R.E.M.'s best album is still ahead of them – in fact, they're about to roll off four stone-cold classics in a row. And Michael Stipe will slow-dance with Natalie Merchant at the inauguration of our next president. Yes, a Democrat. Just one beer with dinner, Officer – why do you ask?" A bittersweet piano reverie about skinny-dipping in the Georgia pines, with Stipe trying to hold on to these memories before they fade away and get replaced by everyday.

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