Dance music, also known as electronic dance music (EDM), is a genre of electronic music that is designed for clubs, raves, and festivals.
It is generally produced by DJs, who create a non-stop listening experience by segueing one recording into another.
The genre emerged through the 1980s and 1990s, following the rise of raving and underground club scenes.
Dance music first became mainstream in Europe, hence there being a large number of Eurodance groups on this list, but was less popular in the US outside of New York, Chicago, the Midwest, and California.
The genre finally saw popularity in the US begin to rise in the new millennium.
We hope you enjoy this list of the 50 best dance songs from the 1990s!
1.“Sweet Dreams” by La Bouche
“Sweet Dreams” is a Eurodance track from German duo La Bouche.
An iconic sound of the 90s, this song was released in March 1994 as the lead single for the album of the same name.
The duo are also known for songs like “Be My Lover”, “You Won’t Forget Me” and “Tonight Is The Night”.
2. “The Rhythm of the Night” by Corona
“The Rhythm of the Night” is still regularly played by DJs today, but was originally released in 1993 by Italian Eurodance group, Corona.
The song reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song regained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the band’s shared name with the group of viruses that cause COVID-19.
3. “Rhythm is a Dancer” by SNAP!
“Rhythm is a Dancer” is another song from a German Eurodance group, called SNAP!
The song was an international success, topping charts across Europe after its release in 1992.
It spent six weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart, making it the second best selling single of the year.
The Guardian placed the song at number 69 on their list of the UK’s greatest number ones, in 2020.
4. “Around the World” by Daft Punk
“Around the World” is an electronic dance track from iconic French music duo Daft Punk.
Known for wearing masks to not reveal their identity, the duo saw success throughout the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s before taking a break in 2021.
This song was one of their earlier hits, released in 1994.
There are no lyrics other than ‘around the world’, which is repeated 144 times.
5. “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim
Norman Quentin Cook, known by his stage name Fat-Boy Slim, is a British musician, DJ and record producer who helped popularize ‘big beat’ in the 1990s.
The song reached number one in the UK charts after its release in 1999 and sold over 150,000 units in the US.
The music video won ‘Best Breakthrough Video’, ‘Best Direction’ and ‘Best Choreography” at the MTV Video Music Awards.
6. “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C & C Music Factory
This hit song was released in 1990 as the lead single for the debut album of the same name.
C & C Music Factory are an American music group formed in 1989 by David Cole and Robert Clivilles.
David Cole sadly passed away in 1995 after a long illness.
Robert Civilles announced that the cause was spinal meningitis, but there was some speculation that it was from AIDS.
7. “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison
“Return of the Mack” comes from British R&B singer Mark Morrison.
It topped the UK charts and reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was released in 1996, but Morrison was constantly in trouble with the police and was imprisoned not long after, in 1997.
8. “Finally” by CeCe Peniston
“Finally” is the debut single released in 1991 by CeCe Peniston, for the album of the same name.
It is known as Peniston’s signature song, as it was her only song to reach the top ten in the US Hot 100, although she did have a few songs in the US dance charts.
Peniston has performed at private engagements for Aretha Franklin’s private birthday party in Michigan, for Pope John Paul II in Rome and for Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
Her vocal range supposedly vacillates between five to seven octaves.
9. “Tonight Is The Night” by Le Click
The dance music scene was ruled by German Eurodance groups, with Le Click adding another to this list.
“Tonight Is The Night” features vocals from La Bouche’s Melanie Thornton.
The lead singer Kayo Shekoni has gone on to have a successful career in television in her home country of Sweden.
10. “What Is Love” by Haddaway
“What Is Love” was released by Trinidadian-German artist Haddaway, for his debut album titled The Album.
The song was released in 1993 and became a hit across Europe, becoming a number one in at least twelve countries.
The song is often thought of as a quintessential 90’s dance song, and is still very popular with DJs to this day.
11. “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” by Vengaboys
Vengaboys are a Dutch Eurodance group based in Rotterdam, that are still active today.
They saw most success in the 1990s, with “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!”, “We Like To Party” and “We’re Going To Ibiza”.
They have sold an estimated 25 million records worldwide.
In 2001, they were given an award by the World Music Awards for being the best-selling dance group of the year.
12. “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch
Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch is an American Hip-Hop group, led by Mark Wahlberg under his alias ‘Marky Mark’.
“Good Vibrations” is their most successful song, having topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1991.
Their debut album Music For The People was released in 1991 and was a huge success for the group.
Their other single from the album, Wildside, reached no 10 on the US chart.
13. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65
“Blue (Da Ba Dee)” is a song from Italian music group Eiffel 65.
It remains their most successful track to date, garnering international success.
It is the lead single from their 1999 debut album, Europop.
It reached number one in 18 countries.
14. “Be My Lover” by La Bouche
Another song from popular German Eurodance duo La Bouche, “Be My Lover” was released as the second single for their album, Sweet Dreams.
Following the success of the “Sweet Dreams” single, it reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It has sold over six million copies worldwide.
15. “Believe” by Cher
Cher is an American singer, actress and TV personality, who has been dubbed “The Goddess of Pop”.
She had released many songs before this, with Believe being her 22nd album.
“Believe”, the title track from the album, brought about a new commercial popularity for Cher, becoming the biggest-selling single from a female artist of all time in the UK.
“Believe” departed from her previous pop rock sound and delved into dance-pop instead.
16. “Barbie Girl” by Aqua
“Barbie Girl” comes from Danish Norwegian group Aqua.
It was released in 1997 as the third single from their debut album, Aquarium.
It was written after band member Rasted saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Denmark that featured Barbie dolls.
The song remains one of the biggest-selling singles of all time in the UK.
17. “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith
Will Smith is an American rapper and actor, who began his career on sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
The verse of “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” samples “He’s The Greatest Dancer” by Sister Sledge and the chorus samples “Sang and Dance” by the Bar-Kays.
The song spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, after its release in 1998.
18. “Freed From Desire” by Gala
“Freed From Desire” is a Eurodance song from Italian singer songwriter Gala.
It was released in 1996 as the first single from her debut album, Come Into My Life.
The song was her biggest hit and is still very popular today.
The song is particularly used in association with football, with fans changing the words of the song into a football chant.
19. “Don’t Stop Movin’” by Livin’ Joy
“Don’t Stop Movin’” is a follow up single from Livin’ Joy to their previous single, “Dreamer”.
Livin’ Joy were an Italian Eurodance group consisting of brothers Paolo and Gianni and singers Tameko Star and Janice Robinson.
The song was released on their album of the same name in 1996 and spent seven weeks in the UK top ten.
20. “Frozen” by Madonna
“Frozen” is a song from the pop icon of the 90s, Madonna.
It was released as the lead single for her album, Ray of Light, by Maverick and Warner Brothers records.
“Frozen” addresses a cold and emotionless human, with the singer imagining that they could ‘melt’ this person’s heart.
A trap remix of the song was made in 2021 by Canadian DJ Sickick, which went viral on TikTok.
21. “U Can’t Touch This” by M.C. Hammer
“U Can’t Touch This” was co-written, produced and recorded by American rapper M.C. Hammer, and is considered his signature song.
The song won the Grammy award for the ‘Best R&B Song’ and a Grammy award for ‘Best Rap Solo Performance’ in 1991.
The song samples Rick James’ “Super Freak”.
22. “Push The Feeling On” by Nightcrawlers
“Push The Feeling On” is a house track from Scottish music group Nightcrawlers.
The song is influenced by disco and acid-jazz.
The song was later remixed heavily by Mark Kinchen, including one remix called “Push The Feeling On (MK Deb Revisited Edit)” that was an international chart hit in 1995.
In the wake of its success, Nightcrawlers deleted their original release and reclassified the remix as their first single.
23. “Insomnia” by Faithless
British musical group Faithless released “Insomnia” in 1995, and it became their most successful song.
On initial release, it reached number 27 on the UK charts, but after a re-release in 1997 it reached number 3.
The song was voted by Mixmag readers as the fifth greatest dance record of all time, in 2013.
24. “Show Me Love” by Robin S
“Show Me Love” is a song performed by American singer Robin S and was written by Allen George and Fred McFarlane.
The original song was released in 1990 in the UK, but it was then remixed by Swedish house duo StoneBridge and Nick Nice, and their version became one of the most well known UK house anthems.
The house track was thought to have made house music more mainstream.
25. “Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust
“Music Sounds Better With You” comes from French house trio Stardust.
It is a dance track with a guitar riff, and samples Chaka Khan song “Fate”.
It stayed at number two on the UK singles chart for two weeks, becoming one of the best-selling singles of the year in the UK.
26. “Ray of Light” by Madonna
“Ray of Light” is the title track from Madonna’s seventh album, Ray of Light.
It is an electro dance song with techno, trance, Eurodance and disco influences, released in 1998.
It has been praised by critics for its ‘emotional warmth’.
Madonna was a pop icon across the 80s and 90s, shaping the industry with her progressive views.
27. “Dreamer” by Livin’ Joy
“Dreamer” was released in 1994 by Italian house group Livin’ Joy, and was re-released the following year.
In the US, it topped the dance charts but didn’t do as well in the popular charts.
The song features vocals by Janice Robinson, who went on X-Factor in 2018 and auditioned with the song, eighteen years after its initial release.
28. “Let Me Be Your Fantasy” by Baby D
Baby D is a British breakbeat hardcore and house music group, best known for their single “Let Me Be Your Fantasy”.
The vocals were sung by Dorothy Fearon, also known as ‘Dee’.
Band member Floyd Dyce said that they were trying to develop an original song over the top of hard beats, so that people could sing along while they were raving.
29. “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay
“Better Off Alone” is considered a ‘trance’ music track.
Trance music is a genre of electronic music that emerged from the British new-wave scene and early 1990s German techno.
Trance music is characterized by repetitive melodic phrases, a beat of 135-150bpm and a musical form designed to build tension.
30. “The Key, The Secret” by Urban Cookie Collective
“The Key, The Secret” was the debut single from British group Urban Cookie Collective.
It features vocals from British singer Diana Charlemagne.
The song is widely regarded as one of the most iconic dance songs of the 90s.
The song was originally written by Rohan Heath as a soul and hip hop song.
31. “Feel It (Blunt Edit)” by The Tamperer ft. Maya
“Feel It (Blunt Edit)” was released by this Italian house music group in 1999 as the lead single for their only album.
The song is based on the Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It”.
The song was successful, reaching number one in the UK charts.
It is their biggest success to date.
32. “Saturday Night” by Whigfield
Whigfield is an Italian dance act, fronted by Danish singer Sannie Charlotte Carlson.
The song was first released in 1992 in Italy, before being released to the rest of the world in 1994.
The song entered at number one on the UK charts, making Whigfield the first artist to enter at the top of the charts with their debut single.
33. “Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)” by Technotronic
“Get Up!” is a song from Belgian musical group Technotronic, featuring Ya Kid K.
The song was described by critics as ‘highly infectious’.
The single was successful across many countries, and even topped the charts in Belgium, Finland and Spain.
34. “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” by Rozalla
“Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” is a song from Zimbabwean singer Rozalla.
It was her second single from the album Everybody’s Free, which was released in 1992.
The song has been remixed many times since, remaining a popular club track to this day.
It reached number 6 on the Eurochart Hot 100.
35. “Moving on Up” by M People
“Moving on Up” is a song by British band M People.
The song peaked at number two on the UK Singles chart.
The song has been described by critics as ‘electrifying’, and a ‘nu-disco slant’ track.
The lead singer of M People is Heather Small, who went on to find success as a solo artist.
36. “Set You Free” by N-Trance
“Set You Free” is a song from British electronic music group, N-Trance.
The group is also known for their covers of disco songs, like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Shake Ya Body”.
They had 14 charting singles in the UK.
“Set You Free” was most successful after its second release, reaching number two in the singles charts.
37. “You’re Not Alone” by Olive
“You’re Not Alone” was written by Tim Kellett and Robin Taylor-Firth, and recorded by hiphop group Olive for their debut album, Extra Virgin.
The song has been covered by many artists since.
A critic described it as a ‘lush, ambient tune’.
Music Week rated the song a 4 out of 5.
38. “Everybody” by Clock
Clock were an English dance music act comprising Stu Allen and Pete Pritchard, fronted by rapper Marcus Thomas and vocalist Lorna Saunders (using the name Tinka).
They made use of the common formula in dance music tracks, with a male rapper and female vocalist.
The group broke up in 1999 due to personal reasons, despite having a string of hits in the 1990s.
39. “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” by Underworld
“Born Slippy (Nuxx)” comes from another British group, Underworld.
The lyrics describe an experience of alcoholism, making use of a fragmented style.
The song was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting.
It reached number two in the UK Singles chart.
40. “Give It Up” by The Good Men
“Give It Up” is a song by Dutch musical duo Chocolate Puma, performing under the name “The Good Men”.
It was the duo’s debut single and became a chart hit in 1993.
The duo have performed under various monikers throughout their career.
41. “Dooh Dooh” by Barcode Brothers
Barcode Brothers were a Danish trance duo.
“Dooh Dooh” is one of their most well known hits, alongside “Flute” and “SMS”.
“Dooh Dooh” was released in 1999 as a single for the album Swipe Me.
42. “The Promise Man” by Basic Element
“The Promise Man” is a 1993 song by Swedish band Basic Element, featuring vocalist Zetma Prembo.
The song peaked at number three in Sweden, making it one of their most successful songs.
The band were active until 1999, then re-formed in 2005 and are still active, albeit with different members to the original group.
43. “This Is Your Night” by Amber
“This is Your Night” comes from Dutch singer Amber.
The song is upbeat and cheerful, and was released as the lead single for her 1996 album of the same name.
The song reached number one in Israel and was successful in a few other countries across the world.
Critic Barry Walters called the song a ‘sugar-coated treat’.
44. “Happy” by Infinity
“Happy” is a song from Norwegian dance group Infinity.
The song was released in 1998 by a Norwegian record company called Parlophone Norway.
It was composed by Birgitte Moe, with lyrics from Egil Storstein.
45. “Baby Baby (Lee Marrow Radio Mix)” by Corona, Lee Marrow
“Baby Baby” is another song from Italian dance group Corona.
It is a cover of Joy & Joyce’s 1991 hit “Babe Babe”.
Both tracks were produced by Lee Marrow.
The song was very successful on singles charts around the world.
In 2007, Swedish group Sunblock released a cover.
46. “Omen III” by Magic Affair
Magic Affair is a German Eurodance project, formed in Frankfurt in 1993.
The group uses the common format of a female vocalist and male rapper, with vocalist Franca Morgano and rapper A.K. Swift.
The song peaked at number one in Germany and has sold 750,000 units in Germany alone.
It reached number 17 in the UK charts.
47. “Never Alone” by 2 Brothers On The 4th Floor
2 Brothers on the 4th Floor are a Dutch Eurodance duo created in the 1990s, made up of brothers Martin and Bobby Boer.
The song was released as the third single for their debut album, Dreams.
It peaked at number two in their native country of The Netherlands.
They said that the song was influenced by “Rhythm is a Dancer”, which ‘set the tone for the whole Eurodance movement’.
48. “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by Crystal Waters
“Gypsy Woman” is a song from American singer Crystal Waters, for her debut album, Surprise (1991).
It is most known for its ‘la da dee, la dee da’ refrain.
It is a very often sampled guitar riff, used by many DJs today.
It is widely regarded as a classic in house music.
49. “Everybody Everybody” by Black Box
“Everybody Everybody” is a song from Italian dance group Black Box, with vocals by American singer Martha Wash.
Wash was replaced by French model Katrin Quinol as the credit vocalist, leading Wash to file a lawsuit against the group.
It is a house, pop and eurodisco song.
50. “Doctor Jones” by Aqua
“Doctor Jones” was released by Danish group Aqua as a follow-up to their hugely successful “Barbie Girl”.
The song became the group’s second number one, ending the assumptions that Aqua would be a one-hit wonder.
The back-and-forth contrasting sounds of the high-pitched female and deep male voice sets Aqua’s sound apart from other artists.
51. “We’re Going To Ibiza” by Vengaboys
“We’re Going To Ibiza” is another hit song from Dutch group Vengaboys.
The song is based on Typically Tropical’s 1975 hit, “Barbados”.
The song reached the number one spot in the UK charts in 1999, becoming the group’s second number-one there.
It also reached number one in their home country of the Netherlands.
52. “Run Away” by Real McCoy
“Run Away” is a hit single from German Eurodance project Real McCoy from their album Another Night, released in 1995.
The song saw much success in America, reaching the number three spot in the Billboard Hot 100.
BuzzFeed ranked “Run Away” number 56 in their list of The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the ‘90s in 2017.
53. “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite
“Groove Is In The Heart” is from American dance band Deee-Lite.
The song was reached in August 1990 as their debut and lead single for their album, World Clique.
It is recognised today as one of the most iconic songs of the 90s dance scene.
The song was originally written in the late 80s.
54. “Beautiful Life” by Ace of Base
Ace of Base is a Swedish pop group formed in 1990.
They achieved worldwide recognition after the release of their debut album Happy Nation in 1992.
In 2002, they had sold 30 million copies of their first four studio albums, making them the third most successful Swedish group of all time, behind ABBA and Roxette.
55. “Another Night” by Real McCoy
“Another Night” is another song from German Eurodance and pop music project Real McCoy.
The song was a multi-platinum-selling crossover hit.
Although initially it was a sleeper hit in their home country of Germany, it reached the top three in the UK and the US.
Best 90s Dance Songs – Final Thoughts
90s Dance music conjures up images of dark clubs and bass-heavy raves.
The 1990s was truly the era that shaped the genre, with many of these classic dance songs recurring time and time again amongst present day DJs.
This list spans many sub-genres of dance music, including dance-pop, house, techno and trance, and includes artists from many countries across the world.