THE A LIST: 35 Dance Floor Songs That Work Every Time

Nov 25, 2020

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(At the time we're writing this, the COVID 19 pandemic in the US has changed life for the time being. Larger gatherings in our part of the country are on hold at the moment, so we've taken this time to reflect on dance-floors-past as we look forward to dance-floors-future.)

A live DJ is always trying to read the room. Figuring out which songs work and which songs don't is a strange art form made up of taking small risks that help guide you in the right direction. Since we started 4 years ago, we've officially surpassed 250 weddings as a duo. And over that time, we've learned a lot about the songs that work. So, we created what we call "THE A LIST". These are songs that seem to work every time we play them. Songs that get people excited or ignite something in them that wasn't there before. And we are going to share 35 of them with you.

When we put the songs in chronological order, it forced us to ask questions like “Why is this song still so popular on dance floors?” and “How duo these dance songs fit into the history of popular music?” This started us on an inter-dimensional joyride through some of the most popular dance songs of the last six decades.  

As you go through this list there are a few caveats we want to highlight.

  1. This is not a list of our favorite dance songs (although it may be a little biased). These are songs that we believe work almost every time.
  2. This is not a comprehensive list of the best wedding dance songs ever. 
  3. This list DOES NOT include any kitschy or gimmicky songs like line-dances and overused sing-along songs. (Think “Cha Cha Slide” and “Sweet Caroline.”)

 The 1960s:
1. Runaround Sue – Dion (1961)
2. Twist And Shout – The Beatles (1963)
3. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – Four Tops (1965)
4. Respect - Aretha Franklin (1967)
5. Ain't No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell (1967)
The 1970s:
6. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) – Stevie Wonder (1970)
7. December, 1963 (Oh What a Night!) – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (1975)
8. Stayin Alive – Bee Gees (1977)
9. September – Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
10. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson (1979)
The 1980s:
11. What I Like About You – The Romantics (1979/80)
12. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (1980)
13. Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners (1984)
14. It's Tricky – Run–D.M.C. (1986)
15. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston (1987)
16. It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock (1988)

The 1990's:
17.  Jump Around – House Of Pain (1992)
18. This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan, Wino (1995)
19. Wannabe - Spice Girls (1996)
20. Let Me Clear My Throat (Live) – DJ Kool (1996)
21. Everybody - Backstreet Boys (1997)
The 2000's:
22. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé, JAY-Z (2003)
23. Hey Ya! - Radio Mix – OutKast (2003)
24. Yeah! (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris) – Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris (2003)
25. Lose Control (feat. Ciara, Fatman Scoop) - Missy Elliot (2005)
26. Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus (2009)
The 2010's:
27. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO, Lauren Bennett, GoonRock (2011)
28. We Found Love – Rihanna, Calvin Harris (2011)
29. I Love It (feat. Charli XCX) – Icona Pop, Charli XCX (2012)
30. Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON (2014)
31. Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars (2014)
32. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift (2014)
33. CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! - Justin Timberlake (2016)
34. Despacito - Remix – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber (2017)
35. Good As Hell - Lizzo (2016/2018)

(Honorable Mention)
Don’t Start Now - Dua Lipa (2019)


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