Move Over DJ – My Top 10 Retro Dance Tracks and Video

16May10

Subtitle:  Death of Dance Music and How I Keep My Sanity

OK. I gave up going to night clubs while ago for many reasons. Current top forty- hip hop  or house music is just filled with garbage. Techno? Don’t make me laugh, please. I call it zombie music;  Zombies will dance to techno music. Hip Hop? I can watch dance itself. But I can’t stand its musicality; I have been going to salsa clubs, or salsa parties, and it’s fun. But I miss the great non-stop dance beat, which, in my opinion, is non-existent in this music era.

Yeah, it’s insane. How come there isn’t a danceable, melodic, and beautiful song these days? Yes there are some very few. But 99% of it is GaGa out there, not to speak of the musical talent. (If you didn’t know, “GaGa” means Garbage Grade A)

So it’s about time that I put together a great retro dance party music list. Instead of moaning about not being able to find clubs that play my kind of music, or instead of relying on DJs  (who think current techno or hip hop is so cool) at night clubs or some retro radio stations that still can’t match my taste of music, I prefer desktop hooked up to my amplifier and loud speaker so that I can blast the music off. Now I am in charge.

The following is the all-time hot 10 top dance music videos chosen  by me. Everyone’s taste is his or her personal choice:  So this is going to be  strictly  my kind of dance music.

Wait a minute. First, a feature presentation before the list: Documentary Film on The Death of Pop Music

Actually, this is a music video from decades ago — but now time has arrived that it’s apocalyptic message feels so  true and so real, I call it documentary of current popular music scene.

Blondie’s Apocalyptic Music Video from 1980.

I guess my list comprises of songs up until 2001 —- that’s about when the good dance party music died in pop/rock music genre in my opinion. Of course there are some good ones that came out after 2001, but it’s like sorting through garbage dump trying to find a diamond. I  live in a time of post Night-of-the-Living-Dead era as far as pop music is concerned.  The pop music scene is dominated by the living dead(bad music)  who keeps killing good music and turning it into one of them(zombies). My strategy of survival is to barricade myself in a house and prevent the zombies from entering my house, and wait for rescue to arrive —-

The rescue may never arrive, but I am not giving up my hope. And in the meantime, I am realizing how apocalyptic Blondie’s song “Atomic” was.

In my interpretation, Deborah Harry wearing garbage bag is current myself — surrounded by the post-nuclear disaster garbage, I am wearing just garbage bag which is all I have. But I am clinging to what I have tonight, however transient it is, and despite the fact that what I have might be gone tomorrow, and rescue may never arrive, I have tonight. And I am  not giving up the hope. Make me tonight.

OK the list starts here.

#1. Blondie, 1979   —–> Hustle

About Blondie: Against the common saying, “Gentle people prefer blondes.”, my favorite female movie stars seem to be brunettes. What can I say? Personal preference. But with Deborah Harry, I must admit that this gorgeous blonde is my pick #1 for all time best female singer, and the song. By far the sexiest, and certainly one of the most talented singers, she deserves this ranking two hands down. I found this comment in the Youtube comment section where this video is featured.

  • Commentator:  “Lady Gaga is like Marilyn Manson. Talentless and stupid, they use scary and ogworth looks to draw attention and get famous while talent artists like Blondie are soon to be forgotten.” ( excerpt from comment section of this music video)
  • Me: “Sorry Mr. Commentator on Youtube, you are dead wrong. Lady gaga will be forgotten, but Blondie will be remembered forever.”

Deborah Harry, I am your fan forever and ever !!!

About Heart of Glass:  Dance club (night club) era was actually  begun with the disco era in America. The essence of disco music is non-stop beats —signifying the everlasting joy  —-produced by repetitive disco beat along with interesting melody (compared to monotonous and boring trance beats). The song, “Heart of Glass”(1980) embodies this dance spirit with the (then) new style of music(new wave), that is “punk rock”.  Now, after 30 years, disco is gone, but punk rock is still very much alive and well. So this song was a perfect embodiment of  “perpetual dance mood” of disco music and “new style” of music. Plus the beauty of Debora Harry, and the excellent musicality of the band. What more is there to be  desired after this?

#2. Blondie, 1980

The mega hit song from 1980. No need to repeat what I said about  Blondie.

“This song was the title theme of the soundtrack for the film American Gigolo. Released in February 1980, ‘Call Me’ spent six weeks at #1 in the U.S. and Canada, reached #1 in the U.K. and became a hit throughout the world.” (from Wikipedia)

Devoid of disco influence, and along with the bouncy, hard hitting new wave style of beats (synthesizer), Deborah Harry’s  voice is so heavenly here, and I will never get tired of listening to her voice.

#3. Jennifer Lopez, 2001   ———> Samba

Jennifer looks so beautiful here and impeccable, and then the half-naked hunk shows up (where have you seen a gorgeous couple like this dancing together?).  Wow, the producer and director of this video, and the director of photography should all be awarded All Time Best Music Video Academy Award. Non-stop samba-like dance beat, well choreographed and well characterized dancing,  and the beautifully executed Flamenco steps, all make it so enjoyable to watch, and just makes me want to keep dancing to this song. I say this is by far the best produced music video i have seen.

#4. Blondie, 1980

This song includes a rap section by Blondie – the song is known as the song with rap that has achieved mainstream success for the first time. Definite disco beat here. Not so much punk rock feel here. The man in white coat dances very interesting dance move.  Blondie is obviously having fun in the video. It’s just so interesting and I feel I am dancing among these strange characters in another world.

#5. Shaft, 1999   ———> Cha Cha

The video production and the dancers here are just top notch. Ordinarily the original version of a song is the best. But this one is an exception. You just can’t stop giggling especially when the dance troop invades a nightclub, kicks off the DJ, and turn it into a hot latin dance scene. Great rhythm and fun video, this will make anyone wants to cha cha or do whatever they can.  This song “Sway” is an English version of ” ‘¿Quién será?’, a 1953 mambo song by Mexican composer and bandleader Pablo Beltrán Ruiz.” (From Sway, Wikipeadia)

#6. Boney M, 1978   —–> Frantic Disco Party

This song is the ultimate representation of non-stop, heart-throbbing rhythm of party music. Although out of the peak years of disco music era, it combines disco rhythm and the strong Euro base beat and leads listeners to an exhilarating party high toward the end. The chanting, the dance, and the heat ———.  Definitely “Euro”, this is a dance music classic, and announcing the beginning of the “Euro” that is still ongoing in Europe.

#7. Eruption, 1978  —-> Cha Cha

How can anyone not dance after hearing this sexy and still powerful voice of Precious Wilson and the hauntingly delicious refrain “one way ticket , one way ticket to the blue” by the chorus? I just wish contemporary singers will learn true “sensuality” from this amazingly sexy and still classy Precious Wilson. Or can someone acquire such a thing?

#8. Mungo Jerry, 1970   ——-> Samba

Here is a my moaning about many pop chart topping songs of today.  A lot of them just do not have the fun element. They are gagaing about something that is repeat of another repeat, without any originality. The signing talent is usually not there, either. Therefore, they use shock and awe technique to attract people’s attention whether it is female nudity, sex, grotesqueness, or violence. Why would I consume music videos that leave bitter after taste? The more I think about popular singers who make dance music videos which lack originality, the more I think highly of “Mungo Jerry”.

Mungo Jerry – they looked like bunch of laggards. These guys’ song was about possibly picking up hot women during hot summer time. But they were original.  Their song “In the Summer Time” is a totally hilarious and funny song – and it tells a story. Plus their singing is top-notch. I must envy those guys. They are totally having fun.

9. Rosemary Clooney, 1954   ——> Mambo

As old as the song is, I love this song —- there are many versions of this song for cha cha also. But this original version is just so classy and theatrical. And so much fun.

10. Artist Formerly Known As ——, 1986  ——-> Cha Cha

Many artists from the 80’s have good dance videos. But I just can’t list all of them (unless I do top 20 music videos another time). So here is Prince. Talented and extremely popular artist of the decade, I don’t need to add explanation for his music. Particularly memorable verse here.

” —— Women not girls rule my world.”

Ok, I got it, Prince.

I have in total 11 songs.  It turns out 8 of the above 11 songs can be played at ballroom dances. Not bad for an amateur ballroom party DJ. Let’s party on !!!!!!!!!

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