Today is the first day of spring and I've got visions of the Charleston spring wedding season dancing in my head. I was recently approached to organize and create some playlists for some private events that could be making their way to the Charleston area this spring and summer. As one of the best Charleston Wedding DJs, I can tell you with pretty big certainty that there was no period in history that had more great dance music than the one I talk about in this post. In conducting the research for what would become an amazing customized playlist for dancing, I began to reflect back to a truly golden era in dance music. From about 1988 through 1994, there was an incredible bumper crop of artists bursting onto the scene and occupying the Top 40 and Dance charts. These songs created mass hysteria in night clubs all around the Charleston area back during that time, but tend to get pushed to the side in lieu of the Top 40 artists of today. The research for the music to be added to this post allowed me to take a trip back in time to the early 1990s (say around 1994), when I turned 21. We had a night club here in Charleston located right on Vendue Range called The Jukebox. It was in the most ideal location and no club that has opened since then has had such an ideal location. When it closed in the mid 90s, I sensed something missing when it came to night life in Charleston. It's location was absolutely perfect: it was right in front of the Charleston Waterfront park. You could literally dance the night away and then step outside and get some fresh air right on the water. It was perfect. And another thing that was perfect at this place was the music they were playing.
Throughout this post, you'll see some of the most incredible dance music that in my opinion has ever been recorded. As you begin to put together your favorite music for your Charleston Wedding DJ playlist, you should seriously consider reviewing the songs I've selected for this post. These songs are sure to add in extra energy and excitement and heighten the musical experience at your Charleston wedding.
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"It Takes Two" | Rob Base | 1988
Many music critics have said that this song that dropped during the hot summer of 1988 was the greatest hip-hop song ever. I think I agree. In the years since it's release, it's been sampled by many other artists. It reached Number 3 on the Hot Dance Club charts.
"What's On Your Mind" (Pure Energy) | Information Society | 1988
Information Society was a synth-pop band from Minneapolis that had this wonderful dance club hit in 1988. The song went on to spend about 6 months on the Billboard charts, reaching Number 3 in the fall of 1988.
"Monkey" | George Michael | 1988
"Monkey" was all over the radio during the summer of 1988. It was the late George Michael's 6th song to hit Number 1. It spent two weeks at Number 1 in August of 1988.
"Get On The Dance Floor" | Rob Base | 1988
You'll hear samples of Michael Jackson's 1978 hit "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) in this follow-up to their mammoth hit "It Takes Two". It spent 2 weeks at Number 1 on the dance charts in early 1989.
"Good Vibrations" | Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch | 1991
In the coming weeks, I will be doing a post about the great year in music that we saw in 1991. This song will serve as a bit of a tease to get you ready. The summer of 1991 got a little hotter on the dance floor when this was released in mid July of that year.
"Batdance" | Prince | 1989
Back in the summer of 1989, the original Batman starring Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer hit the movie screens and Prince did the soundtrack. Need I say anymore? I've always thought this track was one of the best Prince songs. It did reach Number 1 in America during that summer.
As the 80s turned into the 90s, Prince was making some incredible dance tunes.
"Back To Life" | Soul II Soul | 1989
"Back To Life" (However Do You Want Me) was the second single off this British R&B band's album "Keep On Movin". It was released in the summer of 1989 and went all the way to Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play charts.
"Pump Up The Jam" | Technotronic | 1989
This song mixed some house and hip-hop and was a worldwide hit and eventually was certified triple platinum. It was keeping all the floors in dance clubs full early in 1990 when it reached the Top 5 in America.
"Two To Make It Right" | Seduction | 1989
Seduction was one of the many all-girl bands from the 80s. This song hit the airwaves in November 1989 and by February of 1990, it had reached Number 2. The song also samples one of the songs on this post, "It Takes Two" by Rob Base.
"Vogue' | Madonna | 1990
This song has shown up on Charleston wedding DJ playlists quite frequently, even without me spotlighting it on this special post about the golden era of dance music. It was a great upbeat song released by Madonna in the spring of 1990 that went all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
"The Power" | Snap | 1990
During the late 80s and early 90s, there were many "Eurodance" and "hip house" music groups creating some pretty iconic dance hits. Snap was a group from Germany that went all the way to Number 1 on the Hot Dance Club charts, and number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990.
"Everybody Everybody" | Blackbox | 1990
Blackbox was an Italian group that created some truly iconic dance songs. Everybody Everybody was the third single from their album "Dreamland" in 1990. In Part 2 of this blog post, you'll see another one of their hits that probably went on to become their signature song.
"Groove Is In The Heart" | Deee-Lite | 1990
Deee-Lite was a club and dance music group based out of New York City who hit the Top 5 in the fall of 1990 with this great dance classic. It would be an excellent addition to your Charleston wedding playlist down at the Historic Rice Mill or over at the Daniel Island Club.
"Gonna Make You Sweat" | C&C Music Factory | 1990
You couldn't turn the radio on or MTV for that matter in 1990 and 1991 and not see C&C Music Factory. They were a huge part of this golden era of dance music and have been requested quite frequently at Charleston weddings.
"Touch Me All Night Long" | Cathy Dennis | 1991
Cathy Dennis was a British dance musician who scored four Top 10 hits from her album "Move To This" after it's release in December 1990. "Touch Me" reached Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1991.
"The Humpty Dance" | Digital Underground
The 90s started on an excellent notes as we were still in the midst of this truly golden era of dance music. From their album Sex Packets, "The Humpty Dance" became one of the biggest dance songs of the 90s and would climb all the way to Number 1 on the rap chart.
"I Like To Move It" | Reel 2 Reel
What do you get when you mix a little reggae, with a side of electronic? You get American band Reel 2 Reel, which released "I Like To Move It" at the beginning of 1994. The song wouldn't do much on the Billboard Hot 100, but would peak at #8 on the U.S Dance Club chart.
"Show Me Love" | Robin S
Originally released in the UK in 1990, as well as 1992, "Show Me Love" finally made it's debut in America in the spring of 1993. The song would eventually be certified gold after climbing all the way to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #7 on the Hot R&B charts.
"Here Comes The HotStepper" | Ini Kamoze
"Here Comes The HotStepper" was a mixture of hip-hop and reggae. Ini Kamoze was from Jamaica and he brought that sound into clubs all over America in the fall of 1994. "Here Comes The HotStepper" would peak at #1 on the Hot 100, as well as the Rhythmic chart in the fall of 1994 and into early 1995.
"Whoomp! There It Is" | Tag Team
Miami bass went mainstream beginning in the spring of 1993 when "Whoomp! There It Is" was released. The song became one of the most popular songs of 1993 and would reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Number 1 on the Hot R&B chart.
"What Is Love" | Haddaway
One of the recurring themes in this amazing era of dance music is the appearance of a lot of One Hit Wonders. Haddaway would become one of the most popular 90s One Hit Wonders (hey, that's an idea for another blog / playlist). :) Eurodance would play an integral role in the overall sound of this truly iconic era of dance music as well. Haddaway would release "What Is Love" in May of 1993 in Europe where it was a massive hit. When it was released in the U.S, the song would make it all the way to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Rump Shaker" | Wreckx-N-Effect
Back in the summer of 1992, the hip-hop world was shaking their rumps. "Rump Shaker" would become one of the most requested hip-hop songs of the 90s and would be kept from hitting #1 by Whitney Houston and I'll Always Love You from The Bodyguard Soundtrack.
"We Got A Love Thang" | Cece Penniston
There is a large segment of the population that thinks Cece is a one-hit wonder. "We Got A Love Thang" was the follow-up to her smash hit from 1991, "Finally". The song was released in January of 1992 and would climb into the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and would peak at #1 on the hot Dance Music Club Play charts.
"3am Eternal" | The KLF
I cannot stress enough the variety of dance music that was being released in the late 80 and early 90s. I've mentioned Eurodance and electronic, but The KLF was a British house band that would score a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991. By the way, if you have made it all the way down thus far and want to know more about 1991: The Best Musical Of The 90s, click on the link to be transported back to (in my humble opinion), the greatest year in music in the 90s.
"Connected" | Stereo MC's
Hip hop and electronic were meeting a lot in the early 90s. Released in March of 1993, "Connected" would peak at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #5 on the Modern Rock tracks chart. The Stereo MC's have been placed a lot of lists in regards to the best One Hit Wonders Of The 90s.
Interested in Volume 2 Of The Best Era In Dance Music ? Click HERE
Thank you for making it to the end of this post. This concludes Volume 1 of The Best Era In Dance Music For Your Charleston Wedding Playlist. I hope you didn't get your neighbors mad because you had to turn up the stereo. Wasn't this truly an iconic period in dance music? If you are truly interested in learning more about this golden era of music, you should check out https://www.dancechart.net and just go through the charts of the late 80s through the mid 90s. I'm not sure we've seen another era that comes to close to this, and I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like it ever again. Hope you enjoyed listening to these incredibly iconic dance songs. Charleston brides and grooms who are looking for a different energy at their wedding reception should consider putting some of these into their Charleston Wedding DJ playlist.
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