I love eurodance-type tracks. Between 1997 and 2002, I was a regular visitor to eurodancehits.com, a US-based site which was maintained by a big eurodance music fan. There, I discovered the eclectic joys of a diverse range of dance music artists like DJ BoBo, Sash!, Eiffel 65, and Scooter.
As a way of remembering those days, here’s a compilation of my top 20 eurodance tracks over the past 20 years.
- 2 Unlimited – No Limit
The mega worldwide hit that everyone who didn’t understand dance music dismissed as techno (it isn’t – THIS is techno music).
- Rank 1 – Airwave
Voted the #2 trance song of all time by legendary DJ Armin Van Buuren, you couldn’t go to a dance club without hearing this track playing. Although relatively short (clocking in at one second over three minutes), this track had everything that was good about trance music.
DJ Bobo – Freedom
Capturing everything that was good about eurodance and mutliplying a gazillion times, this was a great track to have on constant play. Uplifting beats, a campy rap portion, campy lyrics, and soaring chord changes were brought together for this track which just made you want to shout, “Freedom!”
- DJ Supreme – The Horns of Jericho
In what would perfectly encapsulate the kind of dance music I enjoyed at that time, The Horns of Jericho was a great blend of trance and club music style beats. It wasn’t campy and had a great hook in the main melody line.
Darude – Sandstorm
OMG. What. A. Hit. I remember that everytime a DJ played it, the dancefloor would go mental… I actuallygot to meet Darude at a press conference when he was playing a gig in Malaysia in 2001. I scored free passes for myself and my cousin since I was tasked to write the event review for (the now defunct) TONE Magazine. The event was a smash hit (with many on the dance floor who were really really smashed on I-don’t-know-what) with the clubbers and it was a packed night in Flux (formerly known as Emporium).
- Zombie Nation – KernKraft 400
A wonderful advert for great techno music.
Alice DeeJay – Better Off Alone
Until now, I think a heck of a lot of people would still remember the opening notes. It’s impossible to forget and it was a great example of the most popular type of sound in the mid to late Nineties.
- ATB – 9pm (Til’ I Come)
As big a hit as Darude’s Sandstorm was (and in many ways, it was bigger because it was slightly more accessible). You only had to play this song once to have the whole dance floor at your beck and call. ATB probably pioneered the pitch shifting of the high note as a melody hook.
- U.S.U.R.A and Datura – Infinity
A gloriously hammy High Energy dance track that I first heard in the Esprit shop in Starhill shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur. I love the pumping driving bass and the sheer energy of song. A wonderful advert for High Energy Dance music.
- Aqua – Barbie Girl
Probably the most annoying Eurodance hit ever (and trust me, there were plenty). But it was a major smash hit and such was its mass market appeal that it was on heavy rotation on every radio station. Fun fact: Me and friends still enjoy hamming this song up in the karaoke every once in awhile…
- ToyBox – Tarzan and Jane
My friends and my then girlfriend hated this song, but I loved it enough to splurge cash on the CD – it even came packaged with a Video CD of their music videos! They were remarkably similar in style to Aqua in terms of their song structure and singing style (synthesized girly vocals coupled with a deep bass-type singer) – probably had something to do with them being formed around the same time as Aqua.
- Daze – Superhero Lover
Great Eurodance! Managed to insert a slightly different element (one line sung through a vocoder) to be different from all the eurodance tracks out at that time. It also had a great hook and sing-a-long line – Ai Ye Ee Oh.
- Hit ‘N’ Hide – Space Invaders
Continuing the theme of similar sounding dance groups this at least differed slightly in terms of the subject matter of their songs (though they were still typical dance music love songs).
- DJ Tiesto – Ayla
One of the great trance tracks of the era! The iconic part starts off at the 2-minute mark of the track.
- DJ Visage – Formula 98
This was a great pumping track which perfectly captured the exhilaration of racing in under 4 minutes. It was such a natural fit that Malaysian Formula 1 ads had it as a backing track for a few years.
- Mr. President – Coco Jambo
A massive hit for them and a timeless dance classic.
- Culture Beat – Mr. Vain
I guarantee you that just about every girl who was a teen when this song was released would know this song.
- Sash! – EcuadorThanks to this song, everyone who never knew Ecuador existed found out about it. A pumping track to stir the blood, the opening shout of “Ecuador!” almost sounds like a rallying call to battle. And people did battle… on the dancefloor.
- Highland – Bella Stella
Wow. I’m down to my last two selections – I’d better choose wisely… This track was one I accidentally stumbled onto when looking for dance songs to download when I was in university. I love the soaring vocals (though I don’t understand a word) and I thought the rap fit in well with the dark tone of the song.
- Scooter – How Much Is The Fish?
My all-time favourite track from Scooter for it’s pumping energetic bass and the way Scooter frontman H.P Baxter tears through the track with such passion you feel like you’re in a concert arena with him.
There’s a whole load of other styles of dance music. Eurodancehits has an excellent dictionary that certainly helped me gain appreciation for the other forms of dance music.
Special mentions (because when writing this I realised that I had no space to include them…): E-Rotic, 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor , Sequential One (pre-ATB), Masterboy, Real McCoy, Captain Hollywood Project and Captain Jack. And I’ll add more as I remember them…