1. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Nevermind was arguably the most important and defining album of the '90s, and the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" summed up Nirvana's influence perfectly. Kurt Cobain offerred many contradictory explanations about the song, and Dave Grohl explained, "Just seeing Kurt write the lyrics to a song five minutes before he first sings them, you just kind of find it a little bit hard to believe that the song has a lot to say about something. You need syllables to fill up this space or you need something that rhymes."
Even if the song didn't mean anything to Kurt when he wrote it, it ended up representing so much for the disillusioned and angst-ridden teens of the '90s, and the video symbolized that through a pep rally turned mosh pit. Much of Nirvana's music is filled with apathy, but underneath that there was a stirring call for rebellion that connected deeply with an entire generation. The '90s may not be remembered for a great cultural revolution, but there was a strong unity among those who were sick of the same old shit, and the uniform was plaid shirts and ripped jeans. And the soundtrack was "Smells Like Teen Spirit."