There’s an art to the good bad song. Not just any bad song will do. What makes “Livin’ La Vida Loca” a bad song and not a good bad song? What makes Ginuwine’s “Pony” or Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” songs that some might mistake as good bad because of their datedness — but are actually good? (Interesting production, for one.) What makes Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart” good but La Bouche and Aqua good bad? A lot of it has to do with cheese, of which the 1990s had about as much as Frasier Crane’s fridge. If a song had the right combination of trends, it could reach the top of the charts despite lyrical hokeyness or songwriting shoddiness. Once such a song reached the radio, there was no escaping it, a fact that would later aid astute listeners in recognizing its utter terribleness. But in some cases, we’d be secretly a little happy to hear it again, at least every once in a while. This is what turns a bad song into a good bad song. Here are 25 of them from the 1990s.
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