For every great band the 1990s gave us, there are dozens more we're embarrassed to admit we once loved.

While the '90s will no doubt be remembered -- at least in music terms -- for the emergence of Nirvana and its no-frills grunge rock that spawned a million imitators, the decade wasn't only about the Seattle scene and Kurt Cobain's tragic life and death.

We witnessed the further emergence of carefully manufactured bland pop acts, the success of which drove pop culture toward the music talent(less) shows that now infect our TV sets and made stars of people who would otherwise have been nobodies.

But enough about Simon Cowell.

Instead, let's look back at some of the rock and pop bands that we all were listening to in the '90s, thought were quite good at the time, but now consider to be quite cringe worthy ... even if we do jam to Ace of Base when nobody's looking.

Backstreet Boys performing

No. 5: Backstreet Boys

And the winner of most annoying boy band is ... the Backstreet Boys.

Back in 1990, boy bands were already BIG. New Kids on the Block blazed a trail of commercial success in the 1980s and record moguls quickly replicated the formula.

One of these dollar-chasing executives was "talent" manager Lou Pearlman. Recognizing that boy bands were a license to print money, he assembled a collection of clean-cut pretty boys. The Backstreet Boys would go on to sell more than 100 million records.

Incidentally, Pearlman's crimes against humanity aren't limited to foisting the Backstreet Boys upon us. More recently, he was convicted for coordinating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors to the tune of $300 million. Not surprisingly, the only music in his life now is of the jailhouse rock variety.

Back to the Backstreet Boys, though. Their record sales show they were incredibly popular with a certain demographic, mostly preteen girls who didn't know any better.

Spice Girls 1995

No. 4: The Spice Girls

The UK gifted the world with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but Brits are understandably more reluctant to boast about having thrust the Spice Girls upon an unsuspecting world.

Who knows what selection criteria Bob and Chris Herbert applied when recruiting, but it's safe to say that it wasn't musical ability alone. Indeed, it has been said that the recruitment policy went like this: Let's have one blonde, one brunette, one black girl, one sporty-looking girl, and, um ... how about a redhead?

The idea is that with such diversity, at least one of these attractive young women was bound to appeal to the raging hormones of the target audience of young boys. Or young girls would be bound to associate with one of their pop heroes.

It worked and we were all singing "zig-a-zig ah" for a while in 1996 even if we didn't know what it meant.

It also launched the celebrity career of Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice), which is an added cause of regret.

Limp Bizkit

No. 3: Limp Bizkit

The '90s wasn't a great decade for metal. The desire for pared-down grunge meant metal and hair rock bands were in decline. There will always be a role, however, for music that makes ears bleed, so it wasn't much of a surprise when metal reinvented itself under the moniker of Nu Metal.

Limp Bizkit may have burst onto the scene only at the tail-end of the 1990s, but during that period, many were rocking along to lead singer Fred Durst's expletive-laden lyrics.

Nu Metal cites as its influences funk, grunge and hip-hop as well as some old-school metal. However, somehow the genre comes out as a bit of a jumbled mess. Many who enjoyed a brief flirtation with bands such as Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach have long since gone back to their classic rock/metal roots.

Limp Bizkit may have initially won us over with a grungy cover of George Michael's "Faith," but it wasn't too long before fans lost faith in the band.