Advertisement
This story is over 5 years old
Music by VICE

The Best Dance Tracks of 20 Years Ago

In 1994, these tracks turned up the night. Two decades later, they still do.

by David Garber
Apr 24 2014, 9:42pm

Flashback to twenty years ago, 1994 was the year of Forrest Gump, the Major League Baseball strike and the long awaited return of Woodstock. It was also a year for some of the most iconic dance music tracks ever released as the once-underground genre began to take an interesting turn. With the growing addition of sleeker, more approachable production and uplifting vocals of house music, dance music began its slow and inevitable move towards the mainstream.

Check out the best tracks of 1994 and get a little history lesson on the sly while you hear the tunes that shaped the way you turn up your night in 2014.

CRYSTAL WATERS - "100% PURE LOVE"

Crystal Waters is a rare house music vocalist who is also a songwriter. She wrote or co-wrote almost all of her songs, including her breakthrough "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)." By 1994, Waters was a fixture in nightclubs the world over when she smashed records with her pulse-pounding single "100% Pure Love." The tune spent 45 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 while the video splashed across MTV with Waters surrounded by white flowy fabrics. Today, it still reigns with its message of positivity coupled with a warm and fuzzy bassline.REEL 2 REAL - "I LIKE TO MOVE IT"

Your mother, your grandmother, your neighbor, your high school math teacher and probably even your dog has at one point strutted their stuff to this one. Legendary house producer Erick Morillo's former group, Reel 2 Real, produced this Jock Jam fave with growling vocals and the classically techno synth line. Released on iconic NYC label Strictly Rhythm, "I Like To Move It" features vocals by Trinidadian rapper The Mad Stuntman. You'll hear this anthem at baseball games, in commercials and occasionally at your local nightclub if the DJ is feeling extra nostalgic.MK - "LOVE CHANGES"

Detroit-born DJ Marc Kinchen, otherwise known a MK, is one of the most celebrated producers of the 90s, responsible for some of the most-loved house tracks of the decade. MK's signature, what some call "piano-house," still sounds fresh and funky twenty years later. In 1994, MK teamed up with vocalist Alana, who he first collaborated with on his first No. 1 single "Always." This time around, the power duo crafted another No. 1 single entitled "Love Changes." With powerhouse vocals and MK's beats, it became a staple of club music club favorite that endures today.PAUL VAN DYK - "FOR AN ANGEL"

1994 was a momentous year in the history of trance, with some of the genre's most iconic tracks taking root and establishing DJs like Paul van Dyk as future icons. The 1994 release "For An Angel" was the trance debut by the German DJ and is still regarded as his most famous record. While the original production made Paul van Dyk what he is today, the 1998 "E-Werk Remix" re-release on Deviant Records served to provide the legendary producer with his first #1 charting UK Dance track, proving the durability of the genre and the producer himself.CECE PENISTON - "I'M IN THE MOOD"

Vocalist CeCe Peniston has a set of the most recognizable pipes in the history of dance music. Throughout the 90s you could hear her on everything from house music, to pop and R&B. Peniston hit the top spot on the Dance/Club charts five times, including her signature 1991 hit "Finally." At the end of 1993, CeCe dropped "I'm In The Mood," the lead single from her second album. Blurring the lines between house and R&B, "I'm In the Mood" is a classic 90s house track and a well-titles tone at that: it's a song about exactly what you think it is.