Top 7 Rave Era Female Vocal Tracks
Every DJ should have a secret weapon track or two that unleashes a frenzy on the dance floor. By “frenzy” I mean a track that makes them scream when you bring in the mix or the drop. For me personally, I play to all types of crowds and I have a genuine desire to keep them all on the dance floor especially at peak hour.
My philosophy is simple. Make the ladies sweat. For some reason when you have the women on the dance floor constantly moving, dancing, screaming, and singing lyrics at the top of their lungs (or equally as hot, with their eyes closed), EVERY ONE is probably going to have a good time. To be extremely clear, I am not trying to be chauvinistic, perverted or discriminating in any way whatsoever, having played Pride events also. It’s just that in my experiences those secret weapon floor fillers usually have a female vocal, even if it is a remix. Some of you understand exactly what I am talking about having had success with the many quality remixes through the years.
These days dance music has seen a lot of exposure in the mainstream and many popular female pop, R&B, and hip-hop, and indie artists have had tracks remixed or have lent vocals to dance tracks. It is as easy as listening to your favorite radio station or satellite music channel to gain exposure to what is hot, and then downloading it from iTunes. It was not always this easy, especially before the Internet and digital music. Here are a few tracks that paved the way for some of the floor-filling female vocalist tracks of today.
Keep On Jumpin’ – The Lisa Marie Experience
There have been many versions of this track that have killed through the years, but I chose this particular version because it samples the original written and recorded by Musique in 1978. This song did well to represent happy, soulful, vocal house in the nineties and it was perfect for the post peak-hour, sunrise set.
Professional Widow (Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix) - Tori Amos
In my opinion, Tori Amos was a hot mess at her peak in the nineties. She was as sexy and brilliant as she was tormented and angst ridden. This Armand Van Helden mix maintains enough of the original but adds a funky bass line, congas, and sublime breakdown to create a masterpiece. This was a peak-hour floor filler back in the day for certain.
You’re Not Alone (Matthew Roberts Cloud 10 Remix) – Olive
On its own the original recording of this track is a masterpiece. Olive created wonderfully beautiful dub/trip-hop music that had radio pop appeal due to the silky vocals of the lead singer Ruth-Ann Boyle (no relation to Susan). There were countless remixes mostly progressive and trance, but I chose this funkier housey version because I could transition to and from house, trance, or breaks using the glorious vocal in the breakdown. Still good even today.
Not Over Yet (Perfecto Mix) – Grace
(State Of) Grace consisted of singer Dominique Atkins, and DJs Steve Osborne and Paul Oakenfold. They collaborated on several amazing progressive house tracks throughout the nineties, but none more beautiful than this brilliant anthem. The vocals are pure silk and this mix is my favorite.
Better Off Alone – Alice DeeJay
Alice Deejay were pretty much a one-hit-wonder with this track released in 1999, but if you’re going to have one hit, it may as well be this good. This was the seminal break-up song for ravers and I had to include it on the list. We probably don’t need any more remixes of this because of the corn factor, but I’ll play the original only if you are smoking hot.
Inner City Life – Goldie
Goldie is a genius. I have always loved his style and even his acting in that one Guy Ritchie joint. He completely destroyed us with this track with its sublime production, but especially because of Diane Charlemagne’s timeless vocal performance. I didn’t always play jungle, but when I did…
The Gift – Way Out West
Way Out West consisted of DJs Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren, both beasts in the UK progressive house/breaks scene in the nineties. I played every track they ever had a hand in producing or remixing. This track was probably their biggest hit. It was filled with wonderfully lush, euphoric pads, piano and strings, and sweet break-beat. But it was the vocal sample of Joanna Law’s cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which made the track so special and unforgiving to your dance floor. This track closed my sets on many occasions.
So there it is once again! I really wanted to add twenty or so more tunes to this list but creating this makes me want to go home and play these tunes. On that note, please feel free to leave me comment or a suggestion for another Rave Era list and I will be sure to consider it for next time. Thanks to those of you who suggested this list because I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Until next time, happy gigs!