Aftershock – Slave To The Vibe – 1993
The USA was the only place to be if you want to hear proper house and garage and Slave to the Vibe contemporaneously fits into this modern sub house genre. A beautiful vocal with the original and authentic 4 x 4 garage beat makes this a grass root track for all those new garage sub-genres that we all love today.
Sub Sub ft Melanie Williams – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use) – 1993
A summer hit should always have a summer sounding vibe and the acts most renowned hit certainly has that summer feel! One of the early dance tracks to use funky and modern disco bassline’s to create a “funky house” sound which was different from other tracks during that period. It reached number 3 on the UK charts and is instantly recognisable to the ear and an excellent choice for a dance-based entertainment environment!
Urban Cookie Collective – the key, the secret – 1993
Produced here in the UK and reaching number 3 on the charts and also a big player in Eurodance with rich melodic vocals,. With a fast BPM and a modern blend of trance keys and Old Skool piano riffs, not forgetting a simple vocal whilst carrying a radio friendly structure. Some love it and some hate it!
Corona – Rhythm of the Night – 1993
As studios became more advanced in sound production so did the music, for obvious reasons, and Rhythm of tonight certainly sounded very modern. Cementing the number one spot on the Italian the sound was very positive and upbeat. A powerful and passionate vocal over a Brazilian drumline, euphoric synthesizers and thumping beat. A definite floorfilla which was recently remixed by Bastille and did extremely well on the pop charts.
CAFE DEL MAR – Energy 52 – 1993
The birth of trance as we know it today came from CaféDel Mar with one of the most distinct melodies in the history of dance music. Any age group would have heard this track somewhere or probably on some compilation album, where it has featured hundreds of times. Remixed countless of times its popularity saw it reach out to countries all over the world and maybe regarded as the definition sound of Ibiza. From the first beat, you get a very progressive build up which is very smooth and gradual and then a break down which is different to anything else out there during 1993. When all strings come together the melody is simply perfect and, above all, powerful & emotional! Without a doubt arguably the best dance record ever to be made!
Waterfall – Atlantic Ocean – 1993
Just a few train stops from London and you’re in Holland, one of the ultimate places to hear good Trance and the birthplace of the Dutch duo known as Atlantic. Experimenting with electronic dance music was proving to be very successful with It’s powerful and euphoric meaning. Another classic that pleased clubbers that were helping dance music to evolve.
2 Funky 2 – Brothers & Sisters – 1993
I think a lot of you dance music fans would agree that a woman’s vocal on a dance track gives off a different vibe, whether it’s more euphoric, sexy or just more powerful & beautiful. Summing up euphoria the individual is abnormally enchanted by music. The quick piano melody signifies that this is an Old Skool classic not to be messed with.. If you like a big drop this is the one for you whilst retaining the older style of hardcore love throughout.
The Goodmen – Give It Up – 1993
Samba time! Taken from the classic Sergio Mendes and Magalenha, also including Fanfarra ‘Cabua-Le-Le’ to make a true anthem that you will defiantly move your feet to. Even the great Simply Red took the beat for their number 1 hit ‘Fairground’. It reached number 5 on the UK charts and symbolises Brazilian samba drums, in a nutshell. With European spiced electronic breakdowns ‘Give It Up’ represents the international dance scene very successfully.
2 Unlimited – No Limits – 1993
The line between house music and commercial was definitely passed, however the success of this simple track was overwhelming for the Dutch project.! With ridicules lyrics (that mean nothing) this was their 2nd big hit which took them to glory smashing charts and records all over. A pure party anthem which is certain to get the dance floor rocking in a party atmosphere. Their songs are not just radio hits but sporting event and club themes also.
D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better – 1993
A pop dance but also an anthemic piano house tune that may be more remembered by some (boring political critics) for its political stance as Labour’s victory song when they beat Conservatives back in 1997. From Northern Ireland it reached number 27 on the UK charts when originally released but later that year it was re-released with a different edge and remixed by the legend that is Sahsa and crept up to and enjoyed the number 1 spot. The euphoric lyrics make this tune and gave Sasha the inspiration to reproduce and give the group their first chart success.
Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (original mix) – 1994
All ages from many backgrounds will know this track when dropped into any DJ set. It was originally produced during the heart of the rave scene back in 1992 – but wasn’t released until 1994 into the UK charts where it went straight to number 1. A beautiful synthesized intro, followed by that classic break beat and then into a piano drop that sounds familiar to millions of music lover’s worldwide wide! A very bright dance track turned into pop sensation with a chorus for all to sing-a-long to in harmony and pure happiness.
JX – Son of a Gun – 1994
Big, Soulful and full of Euro dance energy is what anyone would expect from JX. A positive dance floorfilla for a nice commercial Old Skool crowd. The lyrics are nice and easy to shout out with the break down being very anthemic. A very up-front and modern electronic sound for the time.
Jamiroqui – Space Cowboy – (David Morales remix) – 1994
One of my favorite artists who knows how to rock a stage, produce a great song and use super cars in his music videos. The David Morales remix is nothing other than a piece of musical artwork that flows with a soft 4 x 4 beat, a classy piano riff followed by flute sounds later on in the track and of course do not forget Jamioqui on the vocals. A great track to be played early on in the set to get people nodding their heads to the beat. If you research this track it’s quite amazing how many remixes and studio versions there actually are! A fine combination of house and funk/acid jazz.
N Trance – Set you Free – made 1992 – released 1994
This tune is has all elements from pop to dance and from cheese to hardcore that makes a dance floors atmosphere phenomenon. The 12” version has a very long intro with the sound of thunder and lightning! Set You Free is one of the most remixed songs available to purchase with over 25 official remixes. It reached number 2 in the charts when it was officially released and again at number 2 when it entered the charts again as a trance remix. Before N-Trance brought on board a female vocalist they had never even been close to similar success.
Artemisia – Bits And Pieces – 1994
Fitting into the sub genre ‘Hardbag House’ which lasted for a couple of years during early to mid 90’s with hard house embracing the style years later. For some unknown reason this tune always went down particularly well with Scottish people. Without a doubt one of my favorites from Italy – but don’t go dropping this hard style track but sadly the zenith of this style was a year later as the sub genre went too mainstream. It happens for good and bad reasons!
THE PRODIGY – VOODOO PEOPLE – 1994
The main riff is taken from Nirvanas ‘Very Ape’ but still sounds like and original Prodigy track through and through, along with a few Wild West sound samples thrown in. Keeping to their routes a quick hardcore tune which earned major credibility and earned big remixes later.
Nush – U Girls (Look So Sexy) – 1994
With early signs of UK Speed Garage hitting the clubs a new and very popular genre was upon the dance scene. Its popularity in the clubs earned this club classic many a remixes to be realised in years to come. Keeping the strong piano riff, nicely cut up scream samples and simple vocal which appealed to the ladies on the podiums.
Tony Di Bart – The Real Thing (If I Can’t Have You)
It’s nice to take a break from all the hard hitting, quick hardcore piano riffs and loud vocals which puts this chill out in its own league. The vocal is beautifully performed over a progressive melody which drops into pure joy and relaxation. A great choice of track to play to warm, or chill out the crowd. Oh, and for the Old Skool crew!
Duke – So in Love with You – 1994
Undoubtedly the vocal is extremely powerful, harmonizing and maybe the main element making this very special dance track. There is a lot of soul and Motown influence over a progressive production which is a clear message with the high pitch vocal performance. You will always get a positive reaction from the clubbers and why not – it is awesome. Nothing else to say.
The Original – I love you baby – 1994
A dance record is supposed to be built up with simple parts that just repeat themselves and this track does just that. “I love you Baby, I love you Baby. It does include one verse on the vocals though! The beat is nice and modern with synthesizer strings in the background. A cheesy vocal on a great dance production works just fine.
Strike – U Sure Do – 1994
The main chorus was sampled from Donna Allens ‘Serious’ which is the main hook to get the crowd going. Its first time entry into the UK charts was a flop at 35 but a year later it was re-released where it sat nicely at number 4. A great tune for the ladies in the house! The trio British act enjoyed playing to crowds up to 70,000 which isn’t too bad for dance music at that time!
Degrees Of Motion – Do You Want It Right Now – 1994
2 years later after the release and success in popularity, it was time that the precious and humble instrumental received the full vocal treatment. Some don’t like to hear a track ‘spoiled’ with a cheesy vocal but for me, this is catchy and well laid down over the original track. I’m sure most would rather hear the vocal version over the instrumental.
Degrees Of Motion Featuring Biti* – Shine On 1994
Peaking at position 4 in the charts it was another successful track for dance music. If you want soul and passion this is one of the all time happy tunes that goes down with a happy and uplifting crowd. Being blessed with many remixes this is a feel good summer tune to come out from the USA! Happy and original house music always = pure excellence.
Real 2 Real – I Like To Move – 1994
Full of energy, charisma and just dam right awesomeness this is one of Eric Morillo’s finest and most famous productions. A great mix of reggae, big synths and a 4 x 4 beat which is loved by any age group, even the kids! I like to Move it Move it has featured on adverts, films and much more which make this more than just and Old Skool classic. With massive success all over Europe its one of the tunes you end up hating because you hear it everywhere and anywhere.
Livin Joy – Dreamer – 1994
From Italy Livin’ Joy had massive success with Dreamer when its first release reached 18th in the UK but a year later in 1995 it earned remix and topped the chart beating Oasis! To define the phrase ‘Floor Filler’ this tune does just that. I’ve never played this song and lost the dance floor, so it will always be a safe play for any DJ. One of the all time biggest selling vocal dance tunes there will be indefinitely.
Everything but the girl – Missing – made 1994 realised 1995
Another example of dance music boasting its diversity and influence on the pop music scene with Todd Terry’s well known remix. The original was down beat and low tempo and charted unsuccessfully when originally released in 1994, but in 1995 the amazing vocal was treated to a big remix and released back into the world wide music scene where it resulted in major success all over the world.
Outhere Brothers – Boom Boom Boom – 1995
Boom Boom Boom let me here you say ‘……….. ‘! Whoever is on that dance floor will fill in that missing word! The original has explicit lyrics so make sure the radio edit gets played if you do not want to offend anyone! The track experienced high chart positions in Europe but not in the USA where it was unsuccessful. Infact the only song that had huge success in the USA was their production of Summertime which was performed by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.
Faithless – Insomnia – 1995
There are a few arguments as to what is the best mix but overall this could be the biggest dance track on the list in terms record sales, popularity, dance floor filling and longevity. Insomnia was re-released 10 years later where it entered the UK charts and peaked at 17. If you want a big tune to be played after he New Years chimes then this is a definitely contender. The production quality on this really does stand out from the bunch making it a timeless track. Personally, for me, this is the ultimate ‘big room’ dance anthem of all time.
Push The Feeling On (Dance edit) – Nightcrawlers 1995
A true House & Garage phenomenon that can be played during a garage set as well as Old Skool. A great classic hit made in the UK realised in 1992, then a hit during 1993 over in the sates and then eventually was remixed and re-released in 1995 where it became a hit again all over Europe. Some songs don’t need to be hunted down or searched for and this is always at the front of my mind during a set. For the lads and the ladies and guaranteed to get people on the dance floor. Its had more remixes than I’ve consumed hot dinners!
Kadoc – The Nighttrain – 1995
All the way from Spain is Kodac (artist: José David Peñín Montilla) the artist behind an extremely repetitive but effective track for anyone into their mid 90’s trance. The vocal sample is taken from James Brown’s ‘Night Train from 1961 and the rest is a ghostly, throbbing yet catchy beat and synth bassline.
Corona – Baby Baby – 1995
The Italians 2nd big hit which topped the charts in Italy (no surprise there), Canada and had major success everywhere else. Defiantly cheesier than ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and fits well within the dance-pop scene that was growing faster and faster during the 90’s.
Gusto – Disco’s Revenge – 1996
A classic house anthem from the USA that sampled Harvey Mason’s “Groovin’ You produced 1979. Its chart position was high in the UK and Canada, with average positions around Europe and the USA. A definite favorite amongst DJ’s and its popularity earned Disco Revenge getting remixed around 50 times. In 2008 the Freemasons remixed and laid a vocal over the top which saw chart entry again. One of the beauty’s is the song title which dedicates Disco’s Revenge to the Disco genre which was the main influence to house music as we know it today.
Happy Clappers - I Believe – 1995
A big tune heavily influenced by the piano which is always a great recipe for a banging track! It has a very catchy piano riff that sounds instantly magnificent but the ‘Not Loveland’ remix does include a couple of extra verses to make the track slightly more interesting and radio friendly. Roger Sanchez among other DJ’s remixed to make their own piano jam.
Crescendo – Are You Out There – 1996
A stand out tune with charisma, originality and true creativeness that is independent within its own rights. The build up is slow, like a progressive house track should be, followed by a banging bassline, including a remarkable short length vocal. This track isn’t one to be mixed in and should be dropped in from the first key. It is wired and wonderful!
Heller & Farley Project – Ultra Flava – 1996
UK house music producers Pete Heller and Terry Farley collaborating together to make a classic mid 90’s dance track that makes the list! Major success saw this climb to earn rightfully position 3 on the Billboards dance chart and 22 in the UK mainstream charts. With any addictive dance track comes many many opinions as to what remix is the best but the original will work just fine. The key to a very successful dance track is originality and pure simplicity.
Clock – Whoomp! (There It Is) – 1996
One of those 50/50 love or hate tune amongst music fans and critics. Unbelievably the sample was taken from ‘Whoot, There it is’ which was released just 1 month before and charted at 22 in the Billboards. Whoomp, There it is managed a number 2 spot in the US but here in the UK it reached 34. There has been many remixes of this tune including a great mash up with Azido da Bass and ‘Dooms Night’.
STRETCH & VERN PRESENT “MADDOG”* – I’M ALIVE 1996
Taken from the legendary disco classic that is Boogie Wonderland and peaking at number 6 in the UK charts, we can always remember this as one of the better disco remixes. Of course a more beefed up with big and loud horns and thumping beat. The ultra filtered vocal created a modern style track that sounded ahead of its time.
The Prodigy – Breath – 1996
An distinctive sound that is only associated with the Britt dance act and massive tune that any dance music lover will appreciate and given the chance, will have hard head bang to. Reaching out to millions of people internationally a recognised hit that topped the charts in 7 countries. With vocals that scream out, heavy bassline and a viscous whipping sound sample you get another club hit from The Prodigy. For an alternative sound this couldn’t get any more popular!
Kenny “Dope”* Presents Bucketheads, The – The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) – 1996
One of my favorite pieces of house productions and still deserving regular play 18 years after being released. Produced by Kenny Dope who makes up 50% of Masters at Work the original sample is taken from is “Street Player” by Chicago and then turning the disco classic into something new and interesting. A great rhythm with a very funky beat that was upfront and also remembered as a foundation and opened an umbrella full of ideas to future DJ hits.
Underworld – Born Slippy – 1996
Whether this track would have been as popular had it not been for the popular movie ‘Train Spotting’ nobody will know, but you cannot take anything away from the DJ Duo from Cardiff, Wales. A well structured techno track with a super thumping beat, euphoric keyboard synths and a vocal voice that you might associate with someone who has devoured a few pints. A legendary track that was remembered as one of the biggest dance anthems of the decade.
Bobby Brown – Two Can Play That Game – The K Klass Mix – 1996
A pure dance floor anthem from the Welsh duo that’s a big cut above the original production behind Bobby Brown’s lyrics. A simple and beautiful piano riff of 2 chords that repeats and then into a melody that’s far from boring. When that piano drops the crowd reaction is always how you want it! Additionally you could say the perfect balance between R&B and perfect piano house music.
Alex Party – Don’t Give Me Your Life – 1995
Made by 2 Italian brothers also known as Livin’ Joy who also formed with Alex Party later. The 2 Italian brothers obviously knew a good vocalist as this grew into a dance hit and remains one of their most famous tracks. Reaching number 2 in the UK charts dance music could flex is muscles once again within commercial pop music. A Eurodance phenomenon that will be remembered for a long time.
De lacey – Hideaway – 1995
De’Lacy brought out two hits that made UK chart entry and in the US with Hideaway being the main hit. The original has a beautiful chilled out beat that really was unique to other dance records but there but the 187 Lockdown remix is defiantly a little treat for the speed garage crew. The vocals by Rainie Lassiter really are something else. Some may have been sick & tired of this years ago with the amount of playtime received, but listen to it now and it sounds fresh again!
Robert Miles – Children – 1995
His motivation behind this unusual track was the large numbers of car deaths on the Italian roads, due to clubbers driving home intoxicated with drugs and alcohol – not to mention being extremely tired after a rave session. Its popularity saw ‘Children’ reach the number 1 chart position in 12 different countries. With a simple, but very catchy piano melody and a steady four-on-the-floor bass drum to carry this is loved all over the world with very little to criticize about. Robert miles wanted to create the perfect ‘end of the night track’ to calm ravers down and he did just that.
BERRi – The Sunshine After The Rain – 1995
The vocal is taken from the 1960’s track ‘Sunshine after the Rain’ by Ellie Greenwich and many moons later Steve Kirby produced ‘The Sunshine After The Rain’. A thumping yet happy tune for the Euro-pop dance crowd, and no further. Originally released December 94’ its success wasn’t that high and it peaked at 26 in the charts but then August 95’ saw a remixed version reaching number 4.
Josh Wink – Higher State – 1995
The familiar and distorted sounds are a great example of how the TB-303 bassline machine was essential to dance music and its evolution. Some of you may know that he original wasn’t the main mix that entered the charts but both original and main mixes are without doubt the pinnacle of acid dance music. 12 years later saw the popular remix by Dirty South which had a good amount of play around the clubs. A personal favorite of mine 🙂
CJ Bolland – Sugar Is Sweeter – (Armand’s Drum ‘N Bass Mix) – 1996
An absolutely epic and creative composition of house and garage sound samples that form a classic anthem. Most remixes will often sound similar to the original format in someway but Armand certainly used his creativeness and twist to lay part of the original vocal over a garage 4×4 beat. The main hooks are the driving bassline and quick synth that was used a year later on Double 99’s Ripgroove. The bassline is sampled from Krimps ‘In the Spirit’ but given a heavy dosage of substance and beefed up 😉
You’re Not Alone (Olive song) – 1996
Anything else would be categorised into a specific genre but this is in a league of its own with a powerful vocal intro, echo sounding and classical strings. ATB had major success with his remix along with Paul Oakenfold’s electronic and thumping trance remix. Whether you want a chilled out listen on the sofa or a dance floor classic anthem this has it all!
Todd Terry – Keep on Jumpin’ – 1996
A disco classic which was itching and waiting to get remixed by one of the most renowned names in the US House & Garage scene. The Todd Terry’s dance version was blessed with 2 pitch perfect vocalists, Jocelyn Brown and Martha Brown. A great club anthem that will never fail to fill your dance-floor. The beat is almost deep and tribal with the piano riff being almost jazz, but altogether technical and spectacularly classy.
Pulse – Lover that you are – 1996
The New York based dance/house project’s biggest and most decorated track reaching the number 1 spot on the Billboard Dance chart. With a progressive and tribal approach to the beat and the main drop going into the chorus vocal, clap beat and an amazing symphony! A big tune for the main part of any Old Skool set. The vocal is strong in belief and makes a great acapella.