I’ve always had this unique upbringing with music. It started with hip-hop before descending back in time to a time where popular music ranged from an era of Swing, Traditional Pop, Jazz to one of New Wave and Adult Contemporary. With the plethora of artists, a few names stuck through like Tears for Fears and Tony Bennett. Tony, like many contemporaries, shared songs throughout the years since intellectual property didn’t have the weight it does today — the songwriting and construction further made it easier to discover variations attuned to your preference. Because of this, you can choose a different sensation when it comes to the dance floor. Tony Bennett is known for his lovely vocal pitch that resonates with smooth jazz while encompassing a broader picture in pop.
I’m not going to come here and break down the aspects of Tony that make him astounding. If you’re of my age, 27, ask your parents about Tony or go on a journey during a weekend day — with a glass of bourbon neat and let the music whisk you away. From countless Traditional Pop records and smooth jazz, a lot of the music Tony embodied had a cadence, and as he grew into bringing the groove, you knew there was nothing that could stop that voice. As I wrap up, I’d like to say this playlist below is a little dear to me — the music took me through a weird journey on my first hallucinogenic trip in New York City. I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to check out the legend’s final duets album with Lady Gaga this weekend.
When it comes to Dance music two definitions come to mind. It is a genre. It is a label for a song’s specific vibe and correlation to the dance floor. It started with Disco creating a new atmosphere for club-goers, stretching far and wide until it stripped down to sonic style with more synths and bass grooves. It has now become nuanced, along with the second wave of European dominance in the club scene with early House and Eurodance, as we see with the influx of pop stars coming from overseas today.
As people, we have this innate reaction when a recognizable hit or, as some put it, one-hit wonders, starts playing. We start tapping our feet to the groove that comes from our core, leaning into mingling and escaping our comfort zone. Everyone will have their niche taste or the music that will get them grooving; for me, it is Dua Lipa and others, who may listen to Heavy Metal, may still throw down when “Cosmic Girl” or “Virtual Insanity,” by Jamiroquai starts playing. But the dance floor is for all types of music, despite pop trends weighing in what would be a dominating force in clubs.
The variety of trends that have dominated the pop-sphere have waned and dissipated as new ones arise; however, the influence remains in new trends. I emphasize new trends because they aren’t necessarily new. They are refurbished, slightly better, and catchier variations of what there was in the 90s and early 2000s; this includes more staying power with the trove of singles that became monster hits. But unlike these new artists, the kind of dominance and perseverance these songs have had to stay relevant.
Some of these notable songs and artists include: “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel65, Darude’s “Sandstorm,” and “Rhythm Is A Dancer,” by Snap! One could go on and on about how many of these artists we have had in that time frame, but it’s easier for you to tunnel down that rabbit hole filled with awe and whimsy; the kind of whimsy that Whigfield’s “Saturday Night” brings. That whimsy delivers on other occasions, like the memory of a certain song’s peak on mainstream and hearing it on car rides that played Hot 100 radio.
Some of us remember them for that one song, while others have had a continuous appreciation for their later work; particularly those in Europe. The same goes for other artists, like A Touch of Class or Alice DJ. They leave isolated hits that can turn up the dance floor at any themed party, with an isolated few aging gracefully to stay in the rotation with today’s music. Fortunately, these European artists benefited from the influence it had on American pop stars like Madonna, Cher, and Brittany Spears, with the latter of the two releasing pure Electro-Pop/House albums. I could go on and on about the kind of stimulation this music brought the club when the wavering punk rock scene started to slowly begin its hibernation. And like a bear, we fortunate enough to have them keep waking up and delivering detailed memories of the past.
These songs eventually became epitomized with social trends like Throwback-Thursday and more. With the massive reach from these social media platforms, it has allowed for natural growth in that intoxicating feeling nostalgia delivers. It’s a syndrome filled with intoxicating electronic sounds and swinging grooves. And there is no cure, except for dancing it out. So come dance with me, as we listen to dance songs throughout the years.