Evoke – Arms Of Loren – 1996
Starting with a rich and solid 4 x 4 beat followed a perfect piano melody which just raises the roof and projects happiness into the atmosphere. With major appreciation and radio promotion amongst top DJ’s like Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and other household names this unfortunately flopped in the UK charts peaking 25th and a week later 38th. The vocals performed by E’voke compliment the track making a complete dance track for many music fan.
Hysteric Ego – Want Love – 1996
A new era of sound was happening when the dance music scene was blessed with ‘Want Love’. Although parts of the beat were taken from Bucketheads ‘The Bomb’ there isn’t any question of doubt that this is an original hit. The vocal originally belongs to Colonel Abraham which sounded great and helped Hysteric Ego kick off the UK Garage scene that was starting to emerge in the latter parts of the mid 90’s.
Chrissy Ward – Right And Exact – 1996
You only need to know a bit about dance music to pick out a Stonebridge track. With the vocal written by the legendary Crystal Waters and performed by Chrissy Ward this just spells out class whilst including a great rhythm and Italo house styles. With a smooth start and ending and some piano thrown in, it’s a great warm-up tune.
Todd Terry – Something Goin On ft Jocelyn Brown – 1996
Adding Todd Terry and Jocelyn Brown into the mix you will inevitably end up with a pure House & Garage tune with a radio friendly feel. A great warm up tune, but if you want something harder serving the Rhythm Masters Master Dub Mix or Loop Da Loop Uptown Mix have something special to express.
Sandy B – Make The World Go Round – 1996
Most will recognise that dubby melody throughout with a classic vocal performed by Sandy B. The two most played mixes come from Deep Dish (gets most play) and Stonebridge which always remain nostalgic by taking clubbers back in time to their first holiday away with the mates. A big tune to sing to and get in the Old Skool mood!
Tori Amos – Professional Widow – 1996
The Armand Van Helden remix (Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix) does plenty of justice, and not forgetting, adding and contributing to the speed garage era. The 2 biggest and most influential countries (UK & USA, of course) to invest in music saw Tori Amos reach the number one spot in both nations. With a clever build-up during the intro, using samples that are futuristic and an infectious bassline that is addictive, it was rewarded with major plays on the club scene! The vocal is very floaty and strange at times but works very well.
B.B.E – Seven Days And One Week – 1996
A colossal track from the French-Italian trance act which gained credit worldwide by hitting the top ten spot in 17 countries. 1996 was still quite early for the typical sound and structure of trance so this really was one of the key moments for the genre. It was an end to experimental trance and this track heralded the arrival of this wonderful sub-genre into mainstream. As much of a ‘kick back and relax as a rave-up classic tune with a spaced out melody and, to be honest, it can put you in a state of trance!
FIRESTARTER (THE PRODIGY SONG) – 1996
It was March 1996 when we saw a new chapter of music from The Prodigy and their first single release from Fat of the Land album. This was their single release to hit the number 1 chart spot where it stayed put for 3 weeks. Also reaching out to pop charts around the world this was the next step for The Prodigy as they stepped out onto the international stage as an established dance music act. The string sample was taken from ‘Close’ (to the edit) by Art of Noise which gives Firestarter that Rock edge as well as a hard-driving bassline and a loud breakbeat to hype up the crowd.
GALA – Freed From Desire – 1996
This was the biggest and more renowned hit from the Italian artist (Gala) topping the charts in 3 countries and reached top 10 status around Europe. There are many remixes; however the original has a strong backbone and a lot to boast in terms of production quality. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve actually heard a decent remix?! With a catchy and simple melody, fantastic piano breakdown and a very easy lyric to sing to this is a perfect tune to tear up the dance floor.
JX – There’s Nothing I Won’t Do – 1996
JX’s popularity soared even higher after this which was their 2nd smash hit release. The build up takes you to a BIG vocal leaving behind the beat and residue from other sounds – but the 2nd drop takes you to big and short synths altering the whole look of the dance floor mood & seeing plenty of raised hands!
Sneaker Pimps – Spin Spin Sugar – 1997
The speed garage era was in full flowing force and DJ duo from Hartlepool simply added pure British beef to the flavour. The Armand Van Helden remix will be the more recognised due to the playtime received, but the original still has plenty of driving force behind it. Not well known to commercial dance fans but anyone into bassline and trippy vocals will consider this an anthem.
Da Hool – Meet Her at the Love Parade – 1997
A strong, influential early trance hit from the German DJ that introduced the genre to radio listeners and clubbers all over Europe. The tune of course was named after the famous festival ‘The Love Parade’ which sadly saw its last event during 2010. It’s progressive and substantial electronic strings burst out to create a big room atmosphere wherever you are. A real club anthem geared for trance fans although some Old Skool and dub beat fans will still appreciate this distinguished track.
DJ FLAVOURS – Your Caress (all I need) – 1997
The sample is taken from the 1990 track ‘Pacha’ One Kiss (Urban Mix) and DJ Flavours really adds a different wave of sound. The breakdown goes into a long synth and leads into the main vocal accompanied by a string piano melody. The vocal is very high pitched giving a real unique and different style, but it works really well. The rest of the track includes electronic keys and a great Old Skool flavour break beat.
Free (Ultra Naté song) – 1997
Strictly Rhythm have produced some of the biggest and refined tracks (especially ‘Free’) which is why their name is one of most accomplished in the world of dance music. With a perfect blend of pop, dance and disco this received many great reviews from contemporary music critics, even though it was a commercial hit. Ultra Nate is just one of those brave and diverse artists that can fit in with any genre. An absolute genius track that will always remain in the hall of fame of EDM.
Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go – 1997
The original R’n’B version was a bit of a flop In the US and relatively unknown in the UK, until Kelly G decided a 2-step Garage version was itching for a remix. With 2-step about to explode into the mainstream ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ was probably the most influential track. A ‘must play’ garage tune mid-set for any bassline and urban music lovers. The sub-genres of dance music were beginning to expand quickly and Garage certainly enjoyed a lot of playtime!
Amen – Passion – 1997
A powerful vocal over a spectacular trance production which explodes with feeling and, of course, passion. Being a trance hit many big producers like Binary Finary embraced and remixed to create thumping versions which got major play time. The dance music culture was definitely starting to see a change in direction, especially with a musical divide between the North and South of the UK. The north of England was taking on a lot more hard and bouncy beats and this track couldn’t fit the bill better!
Dario G – Sunchyme – 1997
You can just about call this a dance track and certainly a 1 hit wonder from Dario G, but the piano melody is strong and African choir vocal is awesome, making a radio-friendly track. Interesting fact though – Candle in the Wind by Elton John was number one with Dario G reaching number 2 and the difference in record sales between both tracks very high and a world record.
DJ Quicksilver – Bellissima – 1997
Expressing an epic and euphoric melody is a simple way to end up with a popular tune. As far as trance pop goes this without doubt sends that vibe of happiness and helped pave commercial trance in the right direction. Transferring from a dance hit to an all-round pop hit peaking 4th in the UK charts, this was the German producer’s biggest and most well-known track.
Michelle Gayle – Do You Know – 1997
Music is an expression of feeling through sound and when the very talented Michelle Gayle added her vocal over the full intention mix you can agree a feel good hit was born. The K-Klass remix is exceptional and one that you will hear out and about. Reaching number 6 In the UK charts this was a hit released during springtime ready for summer ’97!
Brainbug – Nightmare – 1997
It’s so good to hear a dance track which really stands out from the crowd and the producer from Venice obviously used the creepy side of his creativeness on this. The name ‘Nightmare’ really suits the track which has scary and haunting symphonies. The track featured in Human Traffic and is played during the 2nd half kick off at Elland Road (home ground for Leeds United).
David Morales Presents Face, The (3) – Needin’ U – 1998
The complete Ibiza anthem and taste maker for the future DJ. The complete piano line is taken from the 70’s disco track ‘Let Me Down Easy’ by Rare Pleasure and the lyrics are taken from The Chi-Lites – ‘My First Mistake’. Whatever though! Without doubt this is an organized sound with intent to make anyone dance. I’m sure any DJ (Old Skool one) will have this track on a very worn out vinyl!
Phats & Small – Turn Around – 1998
Some dance tracks can explain feelings, by words and the sound which is what you get. Basically summing up the summer with many dance floors getting the Phats and Small treatment. You could guarantee radios stations and bars/clubs all over the UK and abroad would have been playing this simultaneously. The vocal is sampled from Tony Lee’s ‘Reach up’ and the controlling beat and melody was produced by Russell Small who is part of the Freemason’s production act. No wonder is such a tune then!
Mousse T. vs. Hot ‘N’ Juicy – Horny ’98 (1998)
Playing a big energetic track with big personality will always attract crazy people to the dance floor. The lyrics are very catchy and easy to understand which is why Horney experienced massive commercial explosion. With all the popularity earned by Horny a mash up with ‘Bohemian Like You’ by The Dandy Warhols was successfully released 8 years later. They wittingly called it ‘Horny as a Dandy’.
Moloko – Sing it Back – 1998
There are many versions that DJ’s will argue as to which is best and if the question is asked most will say the Todd Terry or the Boris Dlugosch mix. The Todd Terry remix features big bassline and classic garage organ samples but the Boris mix was the main mix that was played regularly. The radio edit was a born instant hit with catchy vocals and a very funky production with the vocals being the main essence.
ATB – 9 PM (Till I Come) – 1998
ATB, who is also still a strong force in the producing business put together another one of his masterpieces that sored straight into the charts. A number 1 hit in the UK and Ireland and a top 10 hit in another 5 countries around Europe the popularity still lives on today. A wonderful and typical trance breakdown which leads you to a solo electronic bassline until the high pitched guitar string hits you hard and into a slightly hypnotic state!
Praise You – Fatboy Slim – 1998
In its on league in terms of quality, genre type and popularity we all know everyone loves a bit of Praise You. The prominent piano riff is taken from the track Balance & Rehearsal by Hoyt Axton and James B. Lansing Sound Inc. (1973), the intro vocal is taken from Camille Yarbrough ‘Take Yo’ Praise’, Lucky Manby Steve Miller Band (1968), Running Back to Me by Ruby (Rock Band) (1976) AND It’s a Small World by Walt Disney Records Studio Group (1979)! Wow how long did it take Fatboy Slim to fish through a list of songs before choosing the right elements? A BIG dance floor hit to set the crowd wild!
Shaft – Sway – 1999
As the buzz for Ibiza and other Spanish holiday destination grew stronger and more appealing, thousands of Brits went over every year to party hard. Seeing this movement inspired British producers to create a Latino vibe and they accomplished this by putting a load of samples together including; Lou Benga’s ‘Mambo number 5’ and Dean Martins ‘Sway’. The result was an epic dance track!
The 3 Jays – Feeling It Too – 1999
A smooth blend of soulful vocals and catchy piano percussion and some elements from the Chicago house era. If you had to sum up with type of track in a couple of words you could just day it was an ‘awesome groove’! The soulful house sound has now recently appeared back into the mainstream and more commonly known as Deep House.
Yomanda – Synth & Strings – 1999
A mindblowing thumper of a track which takes essential parts from many musical backgrounds and sub dance genres. There is everything from brass band and horn melodies to trance synths and beats and much more. A year before millennium we saw a new phase of dance and Yomanda’s hit was a celebration of electronic music which provided pure entertainment.
Binary Finary 1998 – 99′
The sound of Trance to mine and a lot of other musical ears with the 2 main mixes coming from original 98’ or the big Gouryella Remix of 99’. A great example of how progressiveness throughout and a killer riff can make a track stand out. Being the first ever trance (as we hear today) anthem to enter the UK charts it was the start of a new era and very big things to come in the early naughties. Using powerful “4 x 4 drum track with a strong melodic hookline this is possibly and probably the king of trance.
Sash – Encore Une Fois! – 1997
The vocals are in French, it’s very loud, it’s banging and it was a top ten hit in 14 countries. Trance was proving to become very popular and there was much more to come. This was Sash’s biggest hit, and on the Billboard dance chart where it honored No. 1 for 14 weeks! As any good structured trance, you can expect a long drumroll beat before the main drop!
Daft Punk – Around the World – 1997
In comparison to other dance music, this was the future sound with filtered vocals and melody and not forgetting the main hook which is a steady bassline. There are only 5 different instruments used to make a simple but very cool and edgy masterpiece. There aren’t too many remixes and that’s because you don’t mess with Daft Punks originality. You will always pull in the toughest crowds with this tune.
Prodigy – SMACK MY BITCH UP – 1997
You only need to listen to a snippet and you know it has that distinctive Prodigy taste. Their 3rd and definitely most controversial single off the album with a scary video, and let’s be honest the lyrics are not exactly radio friendly. In fact, Radio one refused to play the original version (they played the instrumental) naming the title ‘Smack’. Without a doubt an absolute banger tune that will get the dance floor rocking, but you may upset a few feminists.
Tall Paul – Rock Da House – 1997
A tune people listen to in order to feel good and bring back those amazing holiday memories, or at least they should do. After the vocal and just before the main drop into the instrumental a sample from Home Boy’s Only ‘Turn it Out’ appears throughout the track. A truly expressive house track with a bouncy edge to get a crowd rocking.
Double 99 – Ripgroove – 1997
There are elements taken from other garage hits like the Tina Moore vocal loop and the notorious synth sample taken from Armand Helden’s remix of ‘Sugar is Sweeter’, but this is still the dominating speed garage with a distinctive and warped bassline . Featuring on many Garage compilations a copy will also be included in any DJ’s record collection. Not long after a Topcat’s ‘Request the Style’ vocal added to the strong beat and worked really well. By this time, speed garage was a dominate force in dance.
Nalin & Kane – Beachball – 1997
Lay squawking bird sample (suppose to be Seagulls but definitely sounds like crows) on another dance track and it would ridiculous but the balance between electronic and natural sensation is quite incredible. The intro is made up of waves sounds crashing into the shore and your body could easily be tranquilized, but after a few more relaxing samples a steady bassline and awesome synthesizer repeats through the whole track. There is some disunity amongst some – but for me it is just perfect and let’s not forget, an absolute original. There has been many attempts to create a good remix, but none has come close to the success earned by the original.
187 Lockdown – Gunman – 1997
A Speed Garage giant that was also popular in the singles chart. The name relates closely to the gun loading sound sample that’s used during the build up just before the main warped bassline hook with a distinctive melody that sounds like something from a wild west film. A well-organised production that turned famous overnight, but this was soon to be the beginning of the end for Speed Garage.
Ruff Drizerz – DREAMING – 1998
For me, this track is all about the long and progressive build up which just keeps on going and going with big and loud kick drums, synths and a chinese dong samples. For anyone who doesn’t speak Spanish the lyrics translates to: Let’s play in the sun. All days are holidays. On repeat, these lyrics sound perfect! With elements from Latin House and pop this is one of those summer tracks to reminisce.
Feel It (The Tamperer featuring Maya song) – 1998
Getting a top 10 hit in 11 countries must mean something right? Not everyone’s favorite flavour, but in all fairness, if you can take a Jackson 5 record and successfully remix to create a completely different end product then fair play! A pop song like this takes foundations from many other styles and genres of music to target wider audience and create a successful & commercial hit
Better Off Alone (Alice DeeJay song) – 1998
Better off Alone exploded into the mainstream straight away and is one of those tracks that gets your attention, whether you like the style or not. Another game changer in pop dance and a defining moment which saw the start of a new era of commercial sound. The original started off as an instrumental (like most dance tracks) until DJ Sebastiaan Molijn came up with the lyrics. If you want to be really picky the sample lyric ‘talk to me’ was taken from Eurythmics ‘Here Comes the Rain Again’ but well done if you already know this. An all time classic that gets the dance floor into an emotional frenzy!
Blockster – You Should Be – 1999
Maybe it just sounded better as a remix right? Or was it the fact that music just became a lot more commercialised and people bought what they thought (advertised to) was great music? I’ll leave that answer to you! The original performed by super band the Bee Gee’s reached number 7 in the UK and the Blockbuster remix number 3. Featuring on the Ministry of Sound and other dance compilations it seemed that this track was taken fairly seriously.
Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee) – 1999
The Italian’s most decorated track (including this list) in terms of chart position reaching number 1 in 17 countries. The samples are uniquely blended with uplifting, euphoric melodies and a pulse-pounding beat and do not forget the lyrics which are so simple that they do not even mean anything. Many critics gave negative comments, but its legacy still lives on today as a popular & frequently requested song! Also receiving a Grammy is quite an achievement for a dance music act!
Love Inc – You’re a Superstar – 1999
There wasn’t an awful amount of dance music coming from Canada but ‘You’re Superstar’ put the countries name on the map in the dance music world. A feel good track that can be listened to under any circumstances: getting pumped up before a night out, through your mp3 player whilst on the train or on the dance floor. With known success here in the UK, Spain, Canada and the USA its relatively unknown everywhere else.
Basement Jaxx – RED ALERT – 1999
As far as an intelligent UK dance music act goes these boy’s are right up there with the best. The sounds used created are simply amazing and most certainly imaginative that make ‘Red Alert’ a unique sound which no one had experienced before. You could say it was a pivotal point that introduced dance music to music fans! Being the 1st number on the Billboard dance chart and reaching no. 5 in the UK, an instant hit was created. Since its release 15 years ago the track sounds fresher than ever which is a rarity.
Paul Johnson – Get Get Get Down – 1999
A classic 4 x 4 beat with a strong piano riff and the simplest vocal making one a repetitive house track. It’s one of those tracks that everyone has heard at least once in their lifetime and the American producer had created a worldwide hit. I would normally play this repetitive track for a couple of minutes; otherwise you can lose the crowd’s interest.
Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me – 1999
It’s amazing what a DJ producer can do with a bit of inspiration and samples from some older tunes. Take nothing away though, this is an original dance hit that had radio’s all over Europe playing the American DJ’s track. The filtered sound elements make the track sound just as fresh today as it did back in 99’. The strings are sampled from Carrie Lucas ‘Dance With You’ which is from the disco era and the beat is taken from the Old Skool classic ‘Plastic Dreams’ by Jaydee.
Soulsearcher – Can’t Get Enough – 1999
Influenced mainly by disco & soul the track was produced by a British DJ and American R’nB vocalist. To be fair, the whole track was taken from Gary’s Gang ‘Let’s Lovedance Tonight’, beefed up and tailored for big sound systems. Big soulful vocals over a piano anthem always work for me.
Shanks & Bigfoot – Sweet like Chocolate – 1999
UK garage only ever really took off in the UK, but some tracks did leak out to the rest of Europe. A classic 2-step beat with a catchy and very cute R’n’B vocal and without doubt a favorite jam amongst garage fans. A stand out tune during that year with the single going on to earn platinum status.
Bob Marley vs. Funkstar De Luxe – Sun Is Shining
To make a good dance track you need to make sure that the person dancing or listening will feel good at the same time. This goes the extra mile by bringing the summer to you no matter what the weather. Big funky vibes were starting to churn out of producer’s studios and what better vocal to remix other than something by the Reggae king Bob Marley.
Here at Best Event we love to play music but there is something special with Old Skool that DJ Carl loves. Starting his career in Tenerife holiday makers would often go to see DJ Carl play because they loved Old Skool dance tunes. If you want to hear Old Skool tunes hire a DJ from us because we are sure that no one else in the business has the same sort of knowledge as DJ Carl.