Knuckle and Chuckle Your Way Through This Question Collection, Then Check Your Answers Below
The gnarly 90s have come and gone, and in the wake of this notorious decade there are many musical nuances that are fun to explore. You can measure just how much you know about rock and roll in the 1990s with this fun quiz, so don’t have a cow. The correct answers and a rating guide are included at the end of the quiz.
1. The concept behind Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video was:
a. To illustrate the aimlessness of youth
b. A pep rally from hell
c. To promote Kurt’s musical versatility
d. Depicting the birth of grunge as a musical genre
2. Barenaked Ladies originated in which country?
a. United States
3. “Amish Paradise,” by Weird Al Yankovick, spoofs “Gangsta’s Paradise,” by Coolio featuring L.V. What was Coolio’s initial reaction to seeing Weird Al’s comedic version of his song?
a. He exclaimed that it was hilarious and he loved it
b. He shrugged it off
c. He was flattered
d. He was angry
4. In which of these 1997 music videos does a woman expose her breast?
a. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
b. “Pink” by Aerosmith
c. “To Love Somebody” by Michael Bolton
d. “Livin’ la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin
5. Which blockbuster hit earned a grammy and was nominated for an Academy Award in the early 1990s?
a. “Purple Rain” – Prince
b. “Rainbow Connection” – Kermit the Frog
c. “Hip to be Square” – Huey Lewis and the News
d. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ – Bryan Adams
6. Which Billboard 100 mega star made her recording debut by singing back-up (and partial lead) vocals for “Life’s a Party” by the Michael Zager Band?
a. Whitney Houston
c. Helen Reddy
d. Wendy O
7. Some radio stations declined to play Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1991 runaway hit “Give it Away” when it was released because:
a. They deemed the lyrics to be offensive
b. They couldn’t clearly identify the tune’s genre, punk, rock, funk, etc.
c. They felt as though there was a lack of melody
d. They thought it was a cover and feared being sued for infringement
8. Which rock group reached an out-of-court settlement in 1995 regarding the band’s unauthorized use of Bob Dylan’s lyrics?
a. Linkin Park
b. Hootie and the Blowfish
d. Bill Haley and His Comets
9. Which 1990s one-hit wonder made it into the top 10 of VH1 and Blenders list of the “50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever?”
a. I Touch Myself
b. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
c. One Fine Morning
d. Hollaback Girl
10. Sheryl Crow’s 1996 release “If It Makes You Happy” was inspired as a result of:
a. Her own feelings after being pressured to create a second album
b. A friend from her childhood who was never satisfied
c. An old boyfriend who was always in a good mood
d. Mick Jagger
11. What critically-acclaimed, grammy award-winning music video from the mid-1990s
shows one of its two stars giving the camera “the finger?”
a. One Week
b. All I Wanna Do
d. Money for Nothing
12. Which 1995 anger-laden song has been covered by both Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears?
a. “Here Comes the Hotstepper” – Ini Kamoze
b. “It Don’t Come Easy” – Ringo Starr
c. “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette
d. “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks
13. In the original release of “Macarena,” she is displeased because Vitorino, her boyfriend:
a. Won’t dance with her
b. Is cheating on her
c. Won’t marry her
d. Joined the army
14. On which TV show did the highly successful group No Doubt debut?
a. American Bandstand
b. Late Night With Conan O’Brien
c. Family Guy
15. When Third Eye Blind was just starting out in the late ’90s, what did the band do during live shows to “sweeten” up the performance?
a. door prizes based on ticket number
b. free smoothies for the first 1,000 fans
c. they sprayed honey into the audience
d. they broke a pinata
16. The huge hit “Smooth,” which owned the charts for a chunk of 1999, was originally supposed to be titled:
a. Room 17
b. Ocean Under the Moon
c. Rhythmic Rhapsody
d. Sweet Sweet Sweat
17. What was the band name of the B-52s altered to for their appearance in a cartoon-inspired movie?
d. B-5 + 2 = 7s
18. What shamefully crude 1999 video suggests becoming intimate in the style shown on the Discovery Channel?
a. “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher
b. “Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang
c. “Daytime in the Jungle” by Generic Beat
d. “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran
19. The Backstreet Boys were not keen on the notion of releasing “I Want It That Way” as the first single off of their third album, “Millennium.” Why?
a. They thought it sounded too similar to some of the songs on their previous albums
b. They heard rumors it had been spoofed by Weird Al
c. They thought it was too slow and not perky enough
d. They thought it made them sound confused and directionless
20. Which of the following is something that is NOT mentioned in “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred, in the line “I’m too sexy for my _______?
1. b – Pep rally from hell. This 1991 alternative video includes “cheerleaders” who were solicited from a local strip club.
2. c – Canada. The group’s biggest hit was “One Week,” which lived for a week at the very top of the Billboard Hot 100.
3. d – He was angry. The two artists have since smoothed things over.
4. b – “Pink” by Aerosmith. One of the characters in the video, a woman in a jumpsuit, pulls her top open toward the end of the video and her breast is exposed for 1-2 seconds. In the censored version, those revealing seconds are omitted.
5. d – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” – Bryan Adams. This powerful ballad won a Grammy for its part in “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves,” and was nominated for the “best song” Oscar for the same movie.
6. a – Whitney Houston. She released over 20 singles in the 1990s alone, and dominated the charts.
7. c – They felt as though there was a lack of melody, however, after “Give It Away” achieved international fame, they reconsidered.
8. b – Hootie and the Blowfish. The settlement was reached for using Dylan’s words in “Only Wanna Be with You.” The song includes lyric from various Dylan tunes, and is supposedly a tribute to him.
9. b – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something. Even though it was shredded by critics, enough people “kinda liked it” to send it to #3 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs list in 1995-96.
10. a – Her own feelings after being pressured. Due to the tremendous success of her debut album, her record company and mass media were leaning on her for a follow up effort.
11. c – “Scream,” by Michael Jackson featuring Janet Jackson is a $7 million
black-and-white semi-aggressive expression of his frustration at facing various accusations in court. The line, “Stop pressuring me,” is predominant throughout this imaginative, futuristic 1995 release.
12. c – “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette. There has been much controversy over the years regarding the identity of the man she is complaining about in this gritty post-grunge hit.
13. d – Joined the army. She retaliates by stepping out and partying with other men.
14. b – “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” was where No Doubt debuted in January 1996 singing “Just a Girl.”
15. d – The group was known to raise a pinata above the audience and break it open so that fans could grab the candy inside.
16. a – Room 17. “Smooth,” which won three grammy awards, was a collaborative effort between Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.
17. c – BC-52s for singing the title song of “The Flintstones” live-action movie in 1994.
18. b – “Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang. This ridiculous, foul video shows the band members dressed in monkey suits, capturing random people and putting them in a cage in Paris. The lyrics go something like, “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” The video wins first place in the category of worst ending ever, in the humble opinion of this writer.
19. a – They thought it sounded too similar to some of the songs on their previous albums. However, their record company convinced them otherwise, and it turned out to be a dynamic chart-climbing success.
20. c – myself. Some of the other things that he’s too sexy for include his shirt, Milan, your party, his car, his cat and “this song.”
Score Rating Guide
15 – 20 correct: “All Star”– Your ’90s musical knowledge is so far over the top that it’s downright next door to Nirvana. Chances are you are a Gen X’er, and the music you loved so dearly in the last millennium helped you survive your youth. You watched MTV when it actually played music videos, and knew all the words to “Wild Thing” by Ton Loc even though you were probably forbidden to listen to it.
You are a nineties nut with all the trimmings, and that’s a good thing when it comes to spinning tunes at parties or playing music trivia games.
9 – 14 correct: “Livin’ La Vida Loca” – Well done, you gnarly nineties gnome of knowledge. You are a rock and roll connoisseur for sure, and when you plug in your musical spectrum, you “Truly Madly Deeply” know just what CD to grab for whatever tubthumping occasion might arise.
Consider investing in a karaoke kit and belting out your favorite ’90s ballads in your basement of benevolence.
4 – 8 correct: “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” – You enjoy the spectrum of 1990s rock but it may not be your musical decade of choice. You lead a “Semi-Charmed Life” and you’re not afraid to “Go The Distance” when it comes to broadening your CD collection. Although your heart may not be totally in the ’90s, you stuck at least one of your toes in the ’90s pool and got a good sample.
If you find yourself suddenly wanting to dance to “Macarena,” or needing an Alanis fix, don’t have a cow. Just do it.
0 – 3 correct: “Get It Together” – When it comes to ’90s tunes, you just want to “Fly Away.” Your initial gut instinct is avoidance because it’s almost “Ironic” how little you know about this rockigrungified 10-year period.
To rectify this, you’ll need to wear one of those headbands with stars attached to wires for a day or two while rollerblading and listening to Backstreet Boys on a Walkman. “No Diggity.”