Tens of thousands of you voted, and now it’s time for the results. We can now reveal your 50 Greatest Dance Tracks Of All Time. And of course, the worthy winner...
Words: Damien Morris, Chris Cottingham, Thomas H Green, Duncan Dick
50. Darude 'Sandstorm' [16 Inch Records], 1999
49. Age Of Love 'Age Of Love' [Diki], 1990
48. Chase & Status 'Blind Faith' [Ram], 2011
47. Jaydee 'Plastic Dreams' [R&S], 1992
46. Soulwax 'NY Excuse' [Pias], 2005
45. Josh Wink 'Higher State' [Strictly Rhythm], 1995
44. Groove Armada 'Superstylin' [Pepper], 2001
43. Frankie Knuckles/ Jamie Principle 'Your Love' [Persona], 1986
42. A Guy Called Gerald 'Voodoo Ray' [Rham!], 1988
41. LCD Soundsystem 'Losing My Edge' [DFA], 2002
40. Âme 'Rej' [Defected], 2006
39. Armand Van Helden 'U Don’t Know Me', [Armed], 1999
38. Justice 'Phantom Pt 2' [Ed Banger], 2007
37. Massive Attack 'Unfinished Sympathy' [Virgin], 1991
36. Noir And Haze 'Around (Solomun remix)' [Noir Music], 2011
35. The Future Sound Of London, 'Papua New Guinea' [Jumpin' & Pumpin' Records], 1991
34. Robin S 'Show Me Love' [Champion], 1993
33. Aphex Twin 'Window Licker' [Warp], 1999
32. Moby 'Go' [Outer Rhythm], 1991
31. Orbital 'Chime' [FFRR], 1990
30. Goldie 'Inner City Life' [FFRR], 1995
29. Larent Garnier 'Man With The Red Face' [F Communications], 2000
28. Rythim Is Rythim 'Strings Of Life' [Transmat], 1987
27. Benny Benassi 'Satisfaction' [D:vision], 2002
26. The Aztec Mystic 'Knights Of The Jaguar' [Underground Resistance], 1999
25. The Prodigy 'Firestarter' [XL], 1996
24. deadmau5 featuring Kaskade 'I Remember' [Mau5trap], 2008
23. Energy 52 'Café Del Mar' [Eye Q/], 1993
22. The Prodigy 'Out Of Space' [XL], 1992
21. Above & Beyond 'Sun & Moon' [Anjunabeats], 2011
20. David Guetta 'A Little More Love' [Ultralab], 2001
19. Donna Summer 'I Feel Love' [Casablanca/GTO], 1977
18. New Order 'Blue Monday' [Factory], 1983
17. Swedish House Mafia 'One (Your Name)' [Polydor], 2010
16. Avicii 'Levels' [Universal], 2011
15. Daft Punk 'Around The World' [Virgin], 1997
14. Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner 'Sky And Sand' [BPitch Control], 2009
13. Armin van Buuren feat Nadia Ali 'Feels So Good' [Armind], 2011
12. Silence (Tiesto remix) 'Delerium' [nettwerk], 1999
11. The Chemical Brothers 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' [Freestyle Dust/Virgin], 1999
10. Fatboy Slim 'Right Here, Right Now' [Skint], 1999
Released at the peak of the Skint Records-led big beat explosion, at a time when ‘You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby’ was elevating Norman Cook to superstar DJ, it’s now a universal anthem of strident empowerment.
9. Sasha 'Xpander' [deconstruction/BMG], 1999
Progressive house was all but dead by 1999. Sasha and Charlie May resurrected the form triumphantly with the stunning surges and tidal melodies of Xpander, named after the analogue synth it was written on.
8. PVD 'For An Angel' [Deviant Records], 1998
Originally from his PVD’s ‘45 RPM’ album, it was rediscovered, toughened up and re-released as the ‘E-Werk Remix’ during the Gatecrasher-led late-‘90s trance boom, becoming a scene-defining hit.
7. Plastikman 'Spastik' [Novamute], 1993,
He's done so much but perhaps still Richie Hawtin’s greatest achievement, ‘Spastik’ is imperious, terrifying, the sound of a spitting, Touretting drum machine having a break down, a murderous, metallic jazz take on techno.
6. Stardust 'Music Sounds Better With You' [Roulé], 1998
Improvised around a Chaka Khan guitar loop by French producer Alan Braxe and Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter, garnished with Ben Cohen’s rudimentary yet perfect vocals, Stardust proved that Bangalter had an uncanny ability to turn disco metal into crossover gold.
5. Faithless 'Insomnia' [Cheeky], 1995
“Long build, big drop, big riff.” Faithless executed the blueprint so perfectly on Insomnia that they had to play it twice at every gig. An astonishing cocktail of Buddhist street poetry, piano house, orchestral pop and Euro-trance.
4. Underworld 'Born Slippy' [Junior Boys Own], 1995
Before Trainspotting, this was originally a b-side, a seemingly uncommercial ten-minute mix of improvised, one-take lyrics and jackhammer beats. Last summer it featured in the Olympic opening ceremony.
3. The Prodigy 'Smack My Bitch Up' [XL], 1997
The last of a trilogy of controversial singles which saw the Prodigy discussed in Parliament. Thrillingly combative street music, polished for so long it became raw again, beats sicker than a zombie orgy.
2. Tiesto 'Adagio For Strings' [Independance], 2004
Barber’s classical Adagio was a deeply serious work. Tiesto, inspired by Ferry Corsten’s 1999 remix, collides brutal beats with lachrymose strings for an anthem which fanfared his rise to world’s biggest DJ.
1. Daft Punk 'One More Time' [2000 / Virgin]
Is it the loop? Slower than the average house tune, somehow the breathless, chiming slice of compressed euphoria seems to be constantly accelerating, pulling us along after it, further and higher into ecstasy. And then, just as you think you may smile yourself to death – boom! The bass and beat drop and we are off.
Is it that extended breakdown? So soon into the track that it’s almost the track itself, a confident inversion of the usual template that contributes to ‘One More Time’ being one of the single most suspenseful, dramatic slices of dance music ever made?
Is it those lyrics? Repetitive, robotic and effected to within an inch of its life Romanthony’s vocal may be – but somehow that makes it even more achingly human, a robot that teaches us about ourselves in trying to be more like us. Or the fact that the words to One More Time are the closest that we night people have to national anthem? ‘Music’s got me feeling so free. We’re gonna celebrate, Celebrate and dance so free’. Look deep down inside yourself, strip away all the accumulated bullshit and distractions and ask why you go to festivals, why you go to clubs, why you feel the need to get up there on that dancefloor: It’s right there in those three lines. ‘One More Time’ never loses its power because its message is something we all need to be reminded of every so often.
Then that loop comes back, charging like a runaway train through your body – with the same spine-tingling hit like pure MDMA whether it’s the first or the thousandth time you’ve heard it. It’s a physical impossibility not to smile, move, dance, raise your arms, jump in the air. Or whatever it is that your body does to tell you that yes this is it and yes this is why we are here and this is why we came out and this is why we love dance music and yes fucking yes fucking yes fucking yes… In hindsight, no other track ever really stood a chance.