- On October 22, 2022
Dance music in the 1990s was heavily influenced by the Eurodance scene which originated in the late 1980s across Europe. Hip hop, techno, house, Hi-NRG, and Eurodisco were all infused into the mix by DJs and producers around the world. This genre of music is heavily influenced by the use of rich vocals, sometimes with rapped verses. The combination of cutting-edge synthesizers, strong bass rhythms, and melodic hooks established the core foundation of the genre.
As the 80s progressed, the genre continued to evolve, with new subgenres emerging and the first dance clubs opening their doors. Other countries like the USA, Australia, and Canada quickly caught on and created their own styles later in the decade. Big beat tunes and vocal house also formed a big part of the landscape which is still popular today in clubs and living rooms across the globe.
The 90s also saw the birth of the rave scene, which would go on to become one of the defining cultural movements of the decade. The rave scene became a global phenomenon in the 1990s, with events attracting thousands of people from all corners of the world.
Underworld – Born Slippy (1996)
This British ode to intoxication was featured in the 1996 Danny Boyle film Trainspotting. The movie generated immense public interest in the previously little-known track, helping the single peak at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1996.
Real McCoy – Another Night (1993)
German Eurodance and pop music project Real McCoy scored a multi-platinum crossover hit with this thumper from the 90s. The song featured the vocals of Karin Kasar and rap stylings from band founder O-Jay Jeglitza.
Daft Punk – Around The World (1997)
The lyrics were not super profound but the groove was. The track from the enigmatic French duo became a major club hit around the world and reached number one on the dance charts in Canada, the UK, and the US.
The Prodigy – Firestarter (1996)
Full of punk attitude, thumping percussion, and whaling guitars this track featured on their monster third LP, The Fat of the Land garnering them their first number-one single on the UK Singles Chart.
I’m the self-inflicted, mind detonator, yeahI’m the one infected, twisted animator
Haddaway – What Is Love (1993)
This track was the quintessential Eurodance floor filler in the 90s. It hit number one in 13 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Finland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Nightcrawlers – Push The Feeling On (1992)
Brought back into the limelight recently by Mufasa & Hypeman, Push The Feeling On became an international chart hit in 1995, reaching the top 10 in various European countries, including the UK, where it peaked at number three.
Ace Of Base – Beautiful Life (1995)
More Euro gold from this Swedish four-piece whom you may know more for their smash hit The Sign. A co-written and produced song by Jonas Berggren and Denniz Pop, the single reached number 15 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart.
Darude – Sandstorm (1999)
When released, this Finnish techno song gained instant mainstream success and continues to remain relevant as a popular precursor to sporting events and background music for a wide range of online videos.
Robin S. – Show Me Love (1993)
This 1993 track became one of the most well-known house anthems in the United Kingdom, and Robin’s biggest hit to date. Many would say it helped to push house music more into the mainstream, especially in larger markets like the UK and the USA.
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (1990)
Although released in 1989, the track reached the top of the charts on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1990. The track is known for its fusion of hip-hop and deep house elements, ushering in the hip-house genre. Actual vocalist Ya Kid K, also became well-known for her musical contribution to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
Legend B – Lost In Love (1994)
Popular amongst EDM fans as well as trance enthusiasts this was the most epic trance track of 1994, and still a timeless masterpiece that today in 2020 still speaks volumes as a true trance symphony.
Robert Miles – Children (Dream Version) (1995)
Children was certified gold and platinum in several places and reached number one in more than 12 countries. It was Europe’s most successful single of 1996 and is still revered today.
The Outhere Brothers – Boom Boom Boom (1992)
This was a rather naughty edition to the hip-house canon of the 1990s. The American track debuted in 1992 and soon gained exposure across the globe topping charts in Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Make you sweat, get you wetterPump it faster to make it better Dim the the lights then lock the room ‘Cause now it’s time for me to hit that boom
The KLF – 3AM Eternal (1991)
3AM Eternal was originally recorded by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty in 1988 and remixed three years later by DJ and rapper Ricardo Da Force and vocalist Maxine Harvey. The track became an international top ten hit single, hitting number one on the UK Singles Chart.
Corona – Rhythm of The Night (1993)
This was the debut single from this Italian Eurodance outfit. The track ran riot across dance charts around the world. It hit number two on the Canadian Dance/Urban chart, number three on the UK Dance Chart, and number seven on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the USA.
C+C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1991)
Everybody dance now! Comprising of singer Martha Wash and rapper Freedom Williams the cut charted around the world and garnered huge success in Austria, Germany, the United States, and Sweden, where it reached number one.
Scatman John – Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) (1995)
Combining a blend of jazz scatting, rap, and house this was a surprise hit of 1995 which boasted interest from both young and old music lovers. The song won the March 1996 Echo Award in Germany for the best Rock/Pop single.
The Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats (1997)
One of what would be many big hits for this British duo, Block Rockin’ Beats received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Showcasing their signature big beat sound LA Weekly put it at number 14 in their list of The 20 Best Dance Music Tracks in History.
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You (1998)
French house trio Stardust built this classic from a guitar riff sample from the 1981 Chaka Khan song Fate. The track has been ranked among the greatest in its genre by a long list of publications, and rightly so.
SNAP! – Rhythm Is A Dancer (1992)
With a sharp-edged industrial beat, this iconic 90s track gained international success, topping the charts in Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Rhythm is a dancerIt’s a soul’s companion You can feel it everywhere
Everything But The Girl – Missing (Todd Terry Remix) (1995)
This track from English duo Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt initially didn’t hit the mark until it was remixed by Todd Terry and re-released in 1995, resulting in worldwide success, peaking at or near the top of the charts in several countries.
Culture Beat – Mr. Vain (1993)
Very much in the same ‘vein’ as Rhythm Is A Dancer, this track was performed by lead vocalist Tania Evans and rapper Supreme. The high-energy song achieved massive success worldwide, reaching number one in at least 12 countries.
Ultra Nate – Free (1997)
An incredibly joyous dance-floor anthem, Free reached number one in Italy and on the Billboard Hot Dance Club chart. It peaked inside the top 10 in Iceland, France, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK.
Crystal Waters – 100% Pure Love (1994)
With an undeniable amount of sex appeal and slick percussion, this track from American artist Crystal Waters was certified Platinum in Australia and Gold in the US while developing a worldwide level of recognition.
Basemant Jaxx – Red Alert (1999)
Felix Buxton and Simon Radcliffe AKA Basemant Jaxx have always had a knack for creating infectious yet rowdy and sometimes chaotic-sounding masterpieces, this was no different. It reached number five on the UK Singles Chart and became their first number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
Orbital – Halcyon On and On (1992)
More of a track to play toward the end of the night, this track cemented these guys as one of the finest electronic music duos in the mid-90s. It was a slightly more upbeat and melodic remix of the original song titled simply Halcyon.
Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now (1999)
This was British big beat musician Fatboy Slim’s fourth single from the stacked album, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby. The track reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and became a top-40 hit in Iceland, Australia, Greece, New Zealand, and Ireland.
2 Unlimited – No Limit (1993)
The thumping bass and vocals from Anita Dels made this one of 2 Unlimited’s most commercially successful releases, especially in Europe. The EDM gem also hit the number-one spot in over 10 countries and the top 10 in many others.
BZ – Jackie featuring Joanne (1998)
A cover of the Blue Zone (Lisa Stansfield’s band) song, this jam from Australian singer-songwriter Joanne charted at number 3 in Australia in February 1999, and 5 in New Zealand in April 1999.
ATB – 9pm (Til I Come) (1998)
Another German trance gem this time from DJ and producer ATB. The song topped the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart, while also hitting the top 10 in Denmark, Norway, Greece, Australia, and Italy.
Faithless – Insomnia (1995)
Arguably the most iconic and well-known tracks here, Insomnia can still be heard played at music festivals all around the world. A great tribute to the whole rave scene the track charted across several continents, becoming one of the group’s biggest hits to date.
Delerium – Silence featuring Sarah McLachlan (1999)
Canadian EDM group Delerium teamed up with singer and co-writer Sarah McLachlan on this hypnotic vocal trance symphony. The Tiësto remix was voted by Mixmag readers as the 12th greatest dance record of all time.
Eifel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee) (1998)
Yo, listen up here’s a story … about a quirky but infectious Eurodance mega-hit. The song is Eifel 65’s most popular song, reaching number one in at least 18 countries, charting at number two in its home country of Italy, and peaking at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100.
La Bouche – Be My Lover (1995)
Thumping rhythms, sharp raps, and soulful vocals made this German floor filler hit number one in Germany, and Sweden and dominate the Eurochart Hot 100. To date, it has sold over six million copies worldwide.
Alice DeeJay – Better Off Alone (1998)
This Dutch trance song is known for playing a key role in the development of commercial trance and embodies the 1990s Eurodance sound. Later releases of the track included vocals by Judith Pronk, who would later become an important part of the Alice Deejay project.
Aqua – Barbie Girl (1997)
Described by some as an inexplicable pop culture phenomenon, this track from the Danish-Norwegian four-piece topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the United Kingdom, where it was a number-one hit for four weeks.
After extra thought, here are a bunch of 90s electronic music tunes that we just couldn’t leave out, those being:
- Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby (1999)
- Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret (1993)
- GALA – Freed From Desire (1996)
- Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe (1995)
- Vengaboys – We like to Party! (The Vengabus) (1998)
- Phats & Small – Turn Around (1999)
- Guru Josh – Infinity (1990)
- Ann Lee – Two Times (1999)
- Whigfield – Sexy Eyes (1995)
You can enjoy the playlist on Spotify below: