Original artwork by Sydney Jones. In the world of dance music, the single is the thing. Still, not everyone is a DJ and sometimes a playlist just won't do. Even in a time when the record industry is satiating appetites for individual tracks, the dance album that thing that makes you move all night still has relevance and power. In putting together this list of the Greatest Dance Albums of All Time, we looked exclusively at artist albums—those complete statements of musical intention and dancefloor ambition.
Singles rule but albums like these are iconic in their own right, holding down the foundation of dance music's storied past and bright future. There are no compilations, best-ofs, soundtracks, or mixes included; they have their place, but elsewhere. Instead, we gathered the 99 LPs that have left a mark on dancefloors and are guaranteed to make you work up a sweat while doing your thing, be that in your bedroom, under a mirrorball, or bathed in starlight.
His sophomore album is entirely in French but its focus is on the world. Fischerspooner: Odyssey [Capitol] The art-popped duo of Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner dropped the "clash" from electro when making their major label debut.
Instead, they offered up a critique on pop album structure while making a pop album of their own. Fischerspooner's Odyssey brought a cheeky self-awareness that didn't detract from the infinite danceability of tunes like "Never Win" and "Just Let Go. On his second album with this alias, he pays homage to the 90s French electronica he loved so dearly with fantastical rides on tracks about sweating, losing control, and discos that sample reverently and often. Apparat's glitch love is balanced by Allien's bass fetish and somehow their individual strands of esoteria collide in the dark for a rare techno masterpiece that is also irrepressibly very danceable.
The Presets: Apocalypso [Modular] On their second album, The Presets proved themselves to be subversive rascals of the club, notably with "My People," a dark, thrashing jam about the heinous conditions of immigrant detention centers in Australia. Apocalypso isn't all dancefloor politics though, "This Boy's In love" and "Talk Like That" mine more typical lyrical fare, woven together with an uncurrent of synthesizer intensity.
The album's lyrics are about that DJ life but the beats are about the dancefloor. Boys Noize: Oi Oi Oi [Boysnoize Records] This album came at the world like a punch in the face, and the impression from its rhinestone glove still smarts. Basically, hip-hop breaks and acid house got really drunk at a party once; nine months later, Boys Noize gave us his debut. Banging Oi Oi Oi in the street may cause severe strutting, unintended mean-mugs, and spontaneous dance battles. That he collaborated with The Doors, put out the introspective "Tokyo," and brought in wub-chuckers 12th Planet and Kill the Noise on some ravey fidget-glitch adventure "Right On Time" proved he was ahead of the game he helped create.
Drexciya: Neptune's Lair [Tresor] Out of print and hard to find for several years, Detroit duo Drexciya's Neptune's Lair became somewhat enigmatic even as its influence endured. Tracks like "Surface Terrestrial Colonization" show why. It's the sound of the future through the lens of the first video game generation: hopeful and anxious, experimental but rooted in the reality of song structure and western melody.
The kids from Cambridge brought strong classical elements and an approachably twee mentality that embraced rap, piano house, and Mozart with equal levels of earnesty, while tunes like "Rather Be" brought house back to the radio masses. Lazers Do [Downtown] Before Diplo was a household name, Major Lazer was two random white dudes plus a cartoon Jamaican with a laser gun arm.
The time they came together in Jamaica's Tuff Gong studio begat a dirty-speaker sound so viciously rude it couldn't be ignored. Chock full of progressive, trancey anthems like "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and the serotonin opus "Strobe," it displays his knack for sound design, creating tracks that put the sometimes cantankerous producer in the category of those who truly push limits in the new millennia. Their debut album, Hot Fuss , paid homage to the many great 80s English dance-rock outfits and did it well. Still, The Killers remain red-blooded Americans.
The rest of their catalogue isn't dancefloor ready, but this set is. Tunes like "Hustler" fit into the electro milieu of the time, but with an edge that set them apart.
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Purely coincidental, we're sure. If you soundtracked the best first date in history, you'd get this. Swipe right forever. Calvin Harris: I Created Disco [Columbia] While doing press for his debut album, then-unknown producer Calvin Harris swore he wasn't trying to say he invented disco, but rather made an album of disco music. Before he was a radio mainstay, Harris staked his claim to danceable, infectious, melodies, prime for a live performance or DJ set with tunes like "The Girls" and "Acceptable in the 80s.
The squad of everymen from Nottingham became one of the few indie bands fully embraced by the dance community. Albums like this prove there is a raver in every one of us.
Akufen: My Way [Force Inc] Montreal producer Marc LeClair recorded over two thousand tiny samples on his short wave radio, meticulously cut and pasted them onto upbeat house loops and mindfucked everybody by producing a finished album that's simultaneously intellectual and funky as hell. It's a glorious chaotic mess of sound snippets, reined in masterfully, proving that danceability doesn't have to be sacrificed for experimentation.
He got guest drops from Bootsy Collins and Macy Gray and you might recall Spike Jonze's incredible video in which Christopher Walken dances, then flies. Chromeo: Fancy Footwork [Turbo] Chromeo's second album really put the Montreal duo and their funky synthy electro sound on the dancefloor map. There are even enough sing-along opportunities to overlook the absurd mannequin leg keyboard stands.
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The London duo packaged current club sounds into a widely palatable visage without watering down their creative energy. They even managed to squeeze a good few hits out of the process. Club music can live on pop radio too. Delectable, devine? Gwen Stefani: Love.
The Beginnings of House Music
The type of woman who can go triple-platinum by spelling "bananas. Dre, it's easy to hear why. Femi Kuti: Shoki Shoki [Barclay] The raw sensuality of "Beng Beng Beng" rightly steals the spotlight here, but so embraced by the club scene was Femi Kuti's sophomore solo release, Shoki Shoki , it eventually got its own remix album. Still, the original version is pure fire, with the young Kuti keeping his father's legacy of Afrobeat dancefloor politics alive amid swirls of horns and beats.
Theo Parrish: First Floor [Peacefrog] First released as two EPs, the debut album from the Detroit producer introduced the masses to his otherworldly sauce of jazz-funk-injected house music, as well as the ingenious drum programming he would become known for. While Theo Parrish tracks are forever a DJ go-to, First Floor gave us some insight into the intricacies that would soundtrack his legendary sets forever.
Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere [FFRR] Morphing grooves melt into each other on the famed English brothers' fifth album, where funky robotics intermix seamlessly with cycling crooning from female vocals and lush ambient techno. The Middle of Nowhere was a hit in the UK as Orbital offered a slightly brighter sound experience than usual, showing that even ravishing ambient numbers can still be fun as hell. Ripped from Ibiza, ripe for urban dancefloors, the album is Guetta and longtime production partner Joachim Garraud at their finest.
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Should Guetta or his EDM contemporaries ever want to find some soul, this is where they left it. The Rapture: Echoes [DFA] The Rapture captured the imagination of the millennial indie-dance movement with pulsing, four-on-the-floor kick patterns, house-inspired bleepy bloops and warped vocals that presented a wholly new aesthetic with classic instrumentation.
This ain't your cool uncle's disco. Initially a flop, Moby licensed all 18 songs for film, TV, and commercials—a first for any album. That strategy got people listening to what is one of the most touching, soulful, and awe-inspiring albums in dance music history. For me, it's always been a preference thing. While CDs and digital music make up most album sales, many albums released today are still released on vinyl. But to quote Martin Talbot And although vinyl remained popular — sales rose nine percent, to Shop for Music at Walmart. Individual titles will vary wildly.
According to data released last week by Nielsen Soundscan, more than 9. In , the digital compact disc came to market and superseded both cassettes and LPs by The story is from Rolling Stone Magazine. CD sales are still ahead of vinyl sales, but barely, and dropping fast. Golden Discs is reporting an increase in profits driven by continued growth in vinyl sales. Commercial vs.
I had woken up not long before, fallen out of bed, and descended the hotel stairs to the Atrium—to the sight of what appeared to be many tens of thousands of vinyl records. Inventory sits unsold, taking up space. There was a steady rise in vinyl sales in the UK in — up 38 per cent. CD and vinyl outselling digital music downloads. Vinyl album sales have climbed every year since , jumping from less than 1 million annual sales up to nearly 4 million sales in [source: DigitalMusicNews].
Find a classic vinyl record to fit your mood with punk, hip-hop, and alternative artists. Annual Streaming and vinyl sales surge, but the big moneymaker, CDs, has been gradually abandoned. Discuss vinyl records, buy sell and trade vinyl records, resources for new vinyl record collectors, turntables and other vinyl equipment. Amoeba Music. Find quality fence panels online or in store.