Friday, May 13, 2011

'90s Dance Music Appreciation 2 - Heavy Dance

John Marine | 5/13/2011 03:23:00 PM | | |
'90s dance music was discussed in a previous post. This post concerns the more hard-hitting songs of the '90s. This brief series on '90s electronica and electronic dance music is all part of appreciating the '90s in this genre of music. As a self-confessed child of the '90s (but born in 1983), one thing I've enjoyed about the '90s was all the dance music then. The '90s still resonate with me when it comes to electronica and electronic dance music. This blog post showcases some of my favorite '90s light dance music songs. I say light because none of these are really powerful songs. I have prepared two blog posts to discuss '90s dance music. You are reading the second part of this series.

In this series:

* '90s Dance Music Appreciation 1 - Light Dance
^ Favorite EDM music songs of mine featuring light dance tracks from the '90s. Several club pop songs are featured in this post. They are likely songs you will hear in commercials as well as in TV-friendly music collections of dance music.

* '90s Dance Music Appreciation 2 - Heavy Dance (YOU ARE HERE)
^ Favorite EDM music songs of mine featuring heavy dance tracks from the '90s. Rather than some of the light songs, these are more hard-hitting '90s dance songs.

--- '90s Dance Music Appreciation: in General ---
What you are about to see (and hear) in these videos are a bunch of songs from the realm of '90s dance music that I've enjoyed listening to or remember most. You are invited to have a listen and enjoy the songs I've found on YouTube. Each video features a header letting you know who made the song and what the song is. If you just see a header and no name of the song, that means that more than one video will be featured for that specific artist/group. I'll talk about the video, and then you have a chance to watch/listen to the video to get to hear the songs I've discussed.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I've enjoyed posting these videos. I also want to thank the ones who uploaded these videos to YouTube. Any videos that have had embedding disabled will be replaced with a link to the YouTube video in question.

About This Post:

With this blog post, you will hear more interesting songs from the '90s. These are hard-hitters that still pack a good punch in today's music scene.

NOTE: Some of the artists/groups featured may be featured in future blog posts related to them. Some have already have blog entries of mine posted on them.

--- '90s Heavy Dance Music Appreciation: Videos ---
What I hope to accomplish with this blog post is to offer a flashback of '90s dance. I want you to listen to these songs to see what character these songs have. Even have a listen to the instrumentals and the singing and all that makes these songs such classics to many in the genre. The videos are provided for both entertainment and education.

With this version of this blog post, you will hear some of the many different heavy dance songs of the '90s that basically define '90s dance in general.


Two of my all-time favorite songs from the '90s are very long songs and done by the same duo. Before they changed up their basic format to lighter music, Underworld had two heavyweight songs. The first I heard was from the soundtrack to "The Saint" called "Pearl's Girl." The first one I want to feature, though, is the NUXX Remix to "Born Slippy."

"Born Slippy" is a song from 1996 that I consider as Saturday night music. It even influenced the tracker song I created and uploaded to YouTube called "Saturday Night Delight." The original song is some 11 minutes long. This one is condensed to almost 4 and a half minutes. I mentioned this blog post being about hard-hitting '90s dance. How is THIS for a start? (You may need to turn down the volume a bit):

This song below is "Pearl's Girl." Just the overall flow of the song is memorable. It is one of my favorite songs from "The Saint" soundtrack despite it being such a long song. Have a listen to the beats and instrumentals and how everything flows. This is surely devoid in today's realm of electronic dance music. Here is a classic for you:

The Chemical Brothers.

If you played "WipEout XL/2097," you may have heard "Loops of Fury" by the Chemical Brothers. This is surely one of my favorite songs from the game.

Prepare to be under the Chemical Brothers' influence when you hear "Under the Influence." This song was first heard by me in "Wip3out" (or "WipEout 3"). You just can't help but get down when you hear this '90s classic:

The Prodigy.

The Prodigy provided a great mix of electronica and rock into their music. Prepare to feel the awesomeness of "Firestarter" from "WipEout XL" here. Too bad you only hear the instrumental version in that game:

I also love "Serial Thrilla" from The Prodigy's "Fat of the Land" CD. Have a listen:

Future Sound of London - "We Have Explosive."

When it comes to Future Sound of London, I know of only one song- and my favorite one. FSOL came up with "We Have Explosive" as part of the intense soundtrack to "WipEout XL." Here is the song in case you haven't yet experienced this '90s classic:


Fluke has a number of awesome songs from the '90s. Two will be featured here.

Purely influenced by "WipEout XL," this video showcases the awesome "Atom Bomb" song. It was also part of the soundtrack to the movie "The Saint." H

Another song I like from Fluke is "V6." As per usual, this is ANOTHER song from "WipEout XL." Check it out:

Rob Dougan - Clubbed to Death.

Maybe you've heard a few songs featuring "Clubbed to Death," but you really have seen The Matrix movies with this song. Here is perhaps the best way to waste 7 minutes of your free time:

Olive - You're Not Alone.

I am more used to a certain remix of this song. Otherwise, this is a true classic of the '90s for me. The singing is smooth and hypnotic as it mixes in with the beats and instruments. Here is the original version of this song:

Sneaker Pimps - Spin Spin Sugar.

A heavy-hitter for sure, this song was meant to be played at the nightclub. This song (especially the non-original one) hits hard with its great vocals and

This is the version many people have heard (and loved), as mixed by one Armand Van Helden:

And this one below is the original:

Chicane - Offshore.

Chicane has a number of classic songs, but I want to focus on "Offshore." This mid-1990s song remains a classic even today. From the Cream Trance Anthems Ibiza 2009 collection, there was a vocal version of this song featuring Power Circle. What you are about to see and hear is the original followed by the vocal mix. Have a listen to the original...

...followed by the same song with Power Circle supplementing vocals for it:

I got some more tracks for you all later in this blog post. Read the full post to see and hear more music I've found for you all in this blog post.

ATB - 9 PM (Till I Come).

ATB is a heavyweight in the realm of trance, and this was one of those '90s knockout punches delivered by ATB. It is a classic if you are into trance music. How can anyone argue that this ISN'T one of the finest trance songs of all time?

Robert Miles - Children (Dream Remix).

I am a big fan of Robert Miles. He introduced "dream trance" to music with his "Dreamland" CD in 1996. I chose "Children" in particular because it is perhaps his most well-respected song. Robert Miles has the ability to come up with the fiercest beats using the softest-sounding instruments and songs. The reason why I admire Robert Miles in making music is that he is able to make such melodic music that still can be enjoyed even by the trance music fan who wants the hardest-hitting trance ever produced. The version many people know of is the Dream Version, which you will hear in this video:


You know, I'm going to be honest... I don't like Moby all that much. There are, though, two songs I really like from the long-time veteran of the genre. I remembered hearing "Oil 1" from "The Saint" soundtrack. That is the song you will hear below. This song is surely nightclub material with its indulgent vibes. Have a listen to one of my favorite songs from the CD, as heard in Moby's "I Like to Score" album:

The only other Moby song I like all-time is this one called "Bodyrock." It has a nice mix of rock-inspired instrumentals along with some real get-down lyrics. How can you not get down when you hear THIS?:

Faithless - Insomnia (Monster Mix).

Here is a '90s classic from 1996. "Insomnia" (especially its Monster Mix) from Faithless is another '90s classic. The song is good in its original form. But as anyone knows, a song can be made great (or terrible) by a certain mix. You will be hearing the Monster Mix of this '90s classic:

Barry Leitch (Honorable Mention!).

This blog post is about actual music from actual groups/artists. I want to make Honorable Mention to a composer of video game music as part of my '90s flashback. Barry Leitch is one of the finest at producing some great songs. One of the British video game music composer's masterpieces (to me) was the menu music to the North American version of "Top Gear Rally" for the Nintendo 64. When you hear this song, you will hear a song that is soft and melodic, but also has a fierce beat to it. You can say that this song is trying to be fierce... without being fierce. Hear for yourself:

Among one of the other games Barry Leitch has made music for was "RUSH 2: Extreme Racing USA." Through looking around on YouTube, I found two songs that are just as much of hard-hitters as part of '90s dance. The first song is the intro music to RUSH 2 while the other is one of my other favorite songs in the game, "Amigaish." Have a listen to both:

^ "RUSH 2: Extreme Racing USA" Intro music

^ "Amigaish" from "RUSH 2: Extreme Racing USA"

I may feature more songs in future edits. Hope you've enjoyed this trip back in time!

--- Final Thoughts on This Post ---
The character of '90s dance music seems like so far away from music culture today. It doesn't seem much like music is fun anymore. Music is just... music. Noise. For many people who are fans of the genre of music, many people will say that they don't make songs like these anymore. I have absolutely no problem with today's trance and all other subgenres of electronica and electronic dance music. But as a '90s person, many people feel the same way hearing old classics again. Many just think that there just isn't that same sort of passion and that same sort of enjoyment listening to most of today's music in the genre.

If one thing has stunned me, it's when I've read comments from people 21 or younger who may be hearing these songs for the first time and enjoy these songs. I think the downfall of electronic dance music in the mainstream came from trying to market this material through the mainstream. People bought into it and listened to the songs, but I keep hearing that this genre didn't make too much sense financially. That's why you don't hear many of the heavyweights often in mainstream music. However, influences by many of the genre's heavyweights try to infuse electronic dance music to some of today's music. You may have heard some of the most recent songs from the likes of Katy Perry, Rihanna, (Texas' own) Usher, Ke$ha, even the Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, and artists/groups like that. You've even heard music from the likes of LMFAO and Far East Movement.

I am a normal listener of pop music. If there is one thing I like about the genre as a fan of electronica and electronic dance music, I like the many EDM influences to try to spice up these songs. I always feel that most music is more rock-influenced than pop or dance influenced. Hardly anyone says anything negative about rock-influenced music. That's why when people keep saying that everyone wants to be in hip-hop music, hardly anyone says anything about being into rock. So now after hearing some of the many songs I have included in this blog post, you can now say that you've heard some of the all-time classics of the '90s... and then some. This post concerned some of the best hard-hitting songs of the genre from the 1990s while the other post concerned some of the lighter variety dance songs of the '90s.

So if you learn ANYTHING from this blog post and the other post, learn to appreciate some of the best dance songs of the '90s across the many different varieties of songs. Nothing really wrong with today's electronica and EDM music, but as a '90s lover, it's best to pay respect to the many songs and artists/groups that have helped define and shape '90s dance.

--- In Case You're Interested... ---
I will probably review this CD in a future post, but I want to make mention to it. I mentioned "The Saint" soundtrack to an extent. This features some great music for which many of the songs were songs I've heard for the first-ever time. Here is the soundtrack to "The Saint" below:

"The Saint" soundtrack has been very influential in me hearing some of these classics for the first time and for exposing me to certain artists/groups. Remember that I may do a blog post reviewing this CD, so stay tuned to my blog for my own review of this CD. I may need to do more CD reviews just to enhance the broad array of topics I discuss.

Thank you for reading (and listening)! Honor and appreciate '90s dance!

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