List the absolute best music to dance to

I’m thinking about an upcoming party that I will be one of the hosts for and I wanted to get my creative juices flowing with a little inspiration from you all.

Name your favorite songs to dance to and (optional but encouraged) why. Any thought on what makes good music to dance to (or any other musings/anecdotes on the subject are welcome).

I have odd tastes in music and I don’t always know what people like and I am not always so good at discerning what is good to dance to just by listening to it.

So have at it. What are your favorite dance songs?

What kinda party? What mood do you want to set?

Well, l understand if you plan on waltzing, you’ll want some Johann Strauss CDs.

What’s your audience? Give me a demographic.

Funk and/or Disco.

300 drunk college students can dance all night to “Cowboy” by Kid Rock on repeat. Throw in “Back in Black” once or twice for variety.

No, really, is this a get wasted and break stuff party, or a black tie ball (in which case you should play Queen :smiley: ) or what?

Klezmer always gets me going.

Get wasted and (hopefully) not break stuff party.

Sort of a restrained version of that kind of party. Which is to say there will probably be lots of people packed into a space not initially intended for partying (that is to say a dining room sans tables and living room, both fairly big). There will be plenty of people getting drunk to varying degrees (this is college), but the point of the party won’t be to get drunk so much as to dance and mingle with other students. Some hooking up may occur but we don’t throw these parties with that expressly in mind.

I guess kind of a wild party but without the property damage and fist-fights of a completely out of control party.

If it’s a formal affair, can you play “Rhinestone Cowboy”? :smiley:

Oh and Splanky, I agree, Klezmer gets me going too. Maybe the guests wouldn’t appreciate it though.

I like merengue for dancing; doesn’t involve much jumping up and downn, as it’s all in the hips. Can these people dance, or will they be beyond caring whether they can dance? Blues is good, reggae is good, anything polyrhythmic with lots of percussion IMO is good for dancing.

(I like klezmer, too, especially the newer jazz-influenced stuff, but not for dancing.)

Oh my God. Dude. Forget about what kinda party it is. If your guests can’t dance to Rock-a-Billy or swing, they’re dead. So, right off the bat:

Stray Cats (any, including Best-Of’s)

Brian Setzer & '66 Comeback Special “Ignition” (the ultimate dance CD)

Brian Setzer Orchestra “Dirty Boogie”

If you only get one of these three, get “Ignition”

Now get in there and cut a rug.

To quote from, I believe, Beastie Boy Bouillabaisse from Paul’s Boutique: “It’s a trip, it’s got a funky beat, and I can bug out to it.”

If it meets that criterion, then it’s the absolute best music to dance to.

Good luck in your search. :wink:

I’ve never understood the joy in dancing to standard eurodance/techno, kick-hihat-kick-hihat-kick-hihat… hihat-hihat-dubbelkick!, i often try to unload my theories about how music evolved up until the 70s but has since been steadily deteriorating with few exceptions but it usually ends with people throwing cans at me.

According to me, the best music to dance to is music that floats between disco and funk. But the problem is that you might scare certain people if you go full-blown 70s. I’ll rant a bit about some songs.

Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions
“Basically the ultimate soul/funk-tune, it has constant percussion going on in the bakgrund and the bass guitar is completely used as an instrument instead of just being there to fill the void. I have yet to meet someone who does not like this.”

Shake Your Booty by KC & The Sunshine Band
“KC & The Sunshine band was the ultimate disco band. As expected, the lyrics are about absolutely nothing but they aren’t what’s important here. This starts with great rhythm guitar that pretty much carries the entire song. It also has a horn section, yay!. I dare you to not sing along.”

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown
“As most of James Browns early songs, it’s just wicked semi-slow funk.”

Who’s that lady by The Isley Brothers
“One of their hits, has a distorted lead guitar that’s basically a hello and goodbye to Jimi Hendrix who played with them during their early days. Has a great build up. (“Look, yeah, but don’t [pause] touch.”)”

He’s The Greatest Dancer by Sister Sledge
“Sister Sledge was the pet project of the guys behind Chic. This is basically just a long disco attack, rhythm guitar, strings and piano. Nothing extraordinary but also nothing plain.”

Found a cure by Ashford & Simpson
“Great intro, builds up and explodes into disco.”

Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
“One of Stevie Wonders best, a sort of tribute to the oldies Duke Ellingtone, Count Basie and all the others. This is the perfect song, no question.”

Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band
“There are few bands who can funk like Average White band, their songs completely rely on awesome use of the guitars and it works.”

Freak Out by Chich
“Sing-along, Aaah freak out.”

Dire Straits by Sultans of Swing
“A song about the joys of playing what you like. Completely carried by Mark Knopflers guitar.”

Strawberry Letter 23 by Brothers Johnson

Family Affair by Sly and the Family Stone
“Sly and the Family Stone pretty much invented the slap-bass-funk in the very early 70s. This is a mellow song with great deep vocals.”*

Bottom line is, as long as the bassline is moving… you’ll be grooving.

Ick. Most recordings of Strauss are totally unsuitable for dancing.
I wanna add to chigger’s list:
Cascade of Tears by Mary Lea and friends
Civil War Ballroom by Spare Parts
The Tango Lesson a soundtrack from the Sally Potter film