he 90s were undoubtedly one of the greatest decades for Dance music. The genre was riding high, and the choices when creating a best 90s Dance songs playlist are, therefore, vast. With this in mind, I’ve kept it simple and stuck to picking my favorites. I hope you enjoy them. Let’s start with the almighty…
Top 85 Best 90s Dance Songs
Children by Robert Miles
This was a huge song in the clubs from the time it was released, in 1995, until the end of the decade. Anyone who ever stepped into a club in the mid-90s and onto their hallowed sticky carpets will undoubtedly recognize and have danced to it.
It’s a piece of classic House music that became one of the most successful Electronic Dance songs of all time. This song was constantly played in the clubs and on the radio. The result was a rather staggering five million in sales and a series of top spots on charts around the world.
One of the few House songs that successfully crossed over to the mainstream. “Children” was taken from the album, Dreamland, which contained a wealth of other House tracks. If you’re not especially knowledgeable about 90s European House, then this is a great place to start.
The album is packed with great music…
Although, I think “Landscape” and “In My Dreams” are two other stand-out tracks. But be prepared for the fact that there are no lyrics in any of the songs. Instead, you get pulsating bass and drum beats, interspersed with the piano, that crescendos and take you on a musical journey like no other.
“Children” is unusual in comparison to most other House tracks since there was a deep and dark meaning behind it. Robert Miles, also known as Roberto Concina, is of Italian descent. He wrote the song to draw attention to the plight of Italian youngsters at the height of the rave scene.
Thousands of youngsters lost their lives during this time as they drove back to their homes after being fueled with drink and drugs following nights out in clubs and raves. Over 2,000 young Italians died in this way in just five years, and Robert Miles wanted to stop it.
It’s unclear if his mission worked…
However, by the time the year 2000 came around, the House scene was starting to lose its shine, and the pointless and tragic deaths declined with it. It’s a powerful and sad 90s Dance song that is strangely uplifting at the same time.
Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio
This was undoubtedly one of the biggest and best 90s Dance songs. It was released on the 1st of August 1995. It became the best-selling single for the whole of 1995 in the US. In the UK, it became the first Hip Hop/Rap song to surpass a million copies.
It reached #1 in several countries. It sold over five million copies and became one of the most popular 90s Hip-Hop Dance songs of all time.
This song was enormous…
“Gangsta’s Paradise” also got a couple of bites at the cherry. That is because it was first released and featured on the album Gansta’s Paradise. However, the song was also included as the lead track on Dangerous Minds Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This was released in the same year.
The movie “Dangerous Minds” featured Michelle Pfeiffer. It was a big box-office success and undoubtedly helped promote the song. It’s no exaggeration to say that this was one of the very few tracks to break through not only into the mainstream but also across multiple musical genres.
If you were into clubbing back in the 90s, regardless of what kind of club you went to, there would be a good chance that you would be dancing to this at some point. As I said, it was one of the biggest Dance songs of the 90s.
So, what’s it about?
“Gangsta’s Paradise” is a commentary on growing up in rough neighborhoods in America. It’s about the youngsters in those areas feeling disaffected and isolated from wider society. The sad result is that many of them became involved in gang culture.
It’s a terrible card to be dealt, and thankfully it’s not a situation that most of us have had to live through. However, the success of the song shows that people lucky enough not to be in a poor environment can still identify with the theme.
I think it’s that people can relate to the rise against the odds and adversity. I also think that people bought it because it’s one hell of a banging tune.
Wannabe by The Spice Girls
This was The Spice Girls’ debut single. It was released in 1996 from their album Spice, and it became an instant hit. “Wannabe” sold seven million copies which makes it one of the most successful singles for an all-girl group.
The album didn’t do too badly, either. That ultimately sold 23 million copies which also made it one of the most successful albums for an all-girl group.
Additionally, it helped The Spice Girls towards album sales of over 95 million copies. Probably no surprise when I tell you that they also became the most successful girl band in history.
The song is extremely catchy and also well-produced…
It’s still popular, even today, though I think later songs such as “Who Do You Think You Are” were much better. The buying public disagreed, though. So, who am I to argue?
The five girls that made up the band were Geri Halliwell, Melanie B, Melanie C, Emma Bunton, and Victoria Adams. Although they were essentially a manufactured group, a lot of credit should still go to them for their professionalism and performances.
The five girls ushered in a new era for girl bands. They brought in “girl power” and made all girl groups a cool thing again. That’s something we should all be grateful for. Finally, they also made music a lot of fun, and I, for one, also thank them for that.
Groove Is In the Heart by Dee-Lite
Dee-Lite was an American House/Dance band that had more than a touch of a European feel about them. They specialized in high-intensity Dance music that was especially popular at the time.
Their debut single, “Groove In The Heart,” was a real cracker and went straight to the top of the US Dance charts and to #4 on the mainstream Billboard charts. It got to #2 in the UK and charted well in the rest of Europe.
Since it has “groove” in the title, there’s plenty of groove in the music. It had an addictive 70s Funk kind of beat but with a modern 90s twist. It was great to dance to and was a frequent inclusion in DJ boxes around the world.
“Groove Is In the Heart” was released in 1990 from their first album, World Clique. They subsequently released two singles from the album, “Power of Love” and “E.S.P.,” but sales were poor.
They released a further nine singles…
As well as two albums but could never recapture the magic of their debut single. Dee-Lite got five #1’s on the US Dance charts, but other than that, they pretty much failed to chart anywhere. Even when they did break into a chart somewhere, it was in a pretty lowly position.
In 1995, Dee-Lite called it a day and hung up their dancing boots for good. So, it’s safe to say that they belong in history as fun but still one-hit wonders. However, that one-hit-wonder remains one of the grooviest 90s Dance songs.
This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
This is another debut single. It was released in 1993 and went to #1 on the US Billboard charts. It was Montell Jordan’s most successful song and his only #1 hit. The single went platinum, as did the album it was taken from, which was also titled, This Is How We Do It.
So, was the song just another one-hit wonder?
No, it wasn’t. Excluding his debut single and album, another single went platinum, and a further five went gold. Additionally, three more of his albums went gold. It should be noted that all of these were in America, where the vast majority of his record sales were logged.
“This Is How We Do It” was essentially a Hip-Hop track that also fused strong elements of Dance and Soul. It was a beautiful fusion of all three genres that the record-buying public loved. Dancers in the clubs loved it, too, as it appeared on DJs’ playlists pretty much everywhere.
The song helped to accelerate the charge of Hip-Hop in America and beyond. Although this process was well underway by the mid-90s, there’s no doubt that this track played its part in bringing Hip-Hop to an even wider international audience.
Missing (Todd Terry Club mix) by Everything But The Girl
Everything But The Girl is a little hard to categorize, but I’ll try my best. They are a pair of singer-songwriters from the north of England. They specialize in Indie Pop, but much of it is stripped back and is very much under-produced in comparison to modern-day music.
The duo, who also happens to be a couple, got together as a band in 1982. However, it wasn’t until 1994, after 21 previous single releases, that “Missing” came out in its original form. The song charted at number 69, which was pretty much on par compared to the rest of their songs.
One year later, in 1995…
American DJ, Todd Terry, picked up the song, and it was re-released as a remix. The results were spectacular. “Missing (Todd Terry Club Mix)” was taken from the album Amplified Heart. It sold over 600,000 copies and became their best-selling.
It went to #3 in the UK and double-platinum. More importantly, they scored their first entry on the US Billboard charts, and at #2, no less. They even scored their first-ever #1 in Germany. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most successful Dance songs of the 90s.
The single and the album gave the band a boost…
They were able to continue recording and performing with renewed audience interest. Happily, after an extended break in the early 2000s, they are now back to making music.
“Missing (Todd Terry Club Mix)” became a club classic, though was a lot less intense than a lot of the contemporary club tracks of the time. I would call it “club lite” music. Despite this, it was no less popular and even managed to hang around in the UK Top 40 for 12 weeks.
The Rhythm of the Night by Corona
Corona was an Italian group that specialized in Eurodance and House-style music that was prevalent in Europe during the mid-90s. Not surprisingly, the catchy tune got to #1 in Italy, #2 in the UK, and, reflecting its European bias, #11 in the US.
“The Rhythm of the Night” was released in 1993 as Corona’s debut single. The track was included in their debut album, also titled, The Rhythm of the Night. This was released a full year later and had less commercial success than the lead single, although it did make it to #1 in Japan.
At this point…
You are probably starting to see a pattern with some of the best 90s Dance songs on the list. A new band releases its debut single and album, and all goes well, but then the success quickly fades away. That pretty much sums up a big part of the Dance scene of the mid-90s.
The songs released during this period were often phenomenal. But, like the Dance scene at the time, the lifespan of the songs and bands was often short-lived. Frankly, I, for one, hoped it would never end. Sadly it did, and with its demise, some of the wonderful music died with it.
This is pretty much what happened to Corona too…
The band valiantly soldiered on, and in 2000 they released two singles, “Good Love” and “Volcano.” However, in reality, the game was pretty much up.
Other than a few Spanish, who never received the memo that the party was over, people had moved on to different kinds of music and a very different kind of vibe.
Vogue by Madonna
Madonna has based her whole career on releasing incredible Dance/Pop songs. Picking just one from the 90s should be a difficult task.
However, I honestly think that after the release of “Vogue” in 1990, she’d pretty much run out of good ideas. I also think that I’m Breathless was her last decent studio album.
Luckily for “The Material Girl,” the buying public didn’t agree…
They continued to buy her singles and albums in large numbers. So much so that after having sold an incredible 335 million records, she’s the most successful female artist in history. I should mention that two of those records, from the earlier years, are down to me. You’re welcome!
Back to “Vogue”…
Hardy surprisingly, given her fame at the time, the song went to #1 in the US and also went multi-platinum. The album was similarly successful, and in fairness, this was still Madonna when I believed in her and before she started to look like a bodybuilder.
“Vogue” felt a little different from her other songs. Despite its Dance roots, the song is grounded in a very specific form of dancing called “vogueing.”
This was a style only seen in a small number of clubs, mostly confined to New York and amongst a small subculture. It also was unusual because Madonna is narrating rather than singing in parts.
Despite all of this…
“Vogue” was still well received, and everything seemed on track for the future. Record sales, as I’ve previously stated, support this. However, from this point, Madonna would never make the same quality of music, in my opinion.
Just compare songs like “Borderline,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Holiday,” and “Into The Groove” with what she released post-1990. I rest my case. But I don’t deny that “Vogue” is one of the best 90s Dance songs ever.
U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
I am not a big Hip-Hop or Rap fan, but I loved this guy. His dancy high-energy Rap and Hip-Hop songs were a ton of fun, and he also happened to write some of the catchiest Dance songs of the 90s.
Additionally, he was one hell of a showman who successfully brought Rap and Hip-Hop to the uneducated masses. That would be me.
More than any of his songs…
“U Can’t Touch This” was instrumental in breaking down barriers. The song was a huge crossover track. Surprisingly, it charted higher in the UK than in the US. It got to #3 in the UK and #8 in the US. It also sold slightly more in the UK and achieved over a million in sales.
“U Can’t Touch This” was the third single released from the album, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em. A total of six singles were released from the album, and all of them were all hits. The album went to #1 on the US Billboard chart and #8 in the UK. It ultimately sold a staggering 17 million copies worldwide.
“U Can’t Touch This” was no one-hit wonder…
His future hits and 50 million in total record sales are proof enough. However, his 1990 single was his biggest seller and also the single for which he received the most critical acclaim. It won two Grammys and also two MTV awards. Quite right.
MC Hammer has now turned his head to music producing. But it’s fair to say that most of us will always associate him with this song. We’ll also associate him with his flashy dancing, enormous pants, and infectious smile. Not a bad legacy by any means.
Believe by Cher
I love Cher, and I bet plenty of you do too. If that wasn’t the case, then she wouldn’t have sold more than 100 million albums and have been crushing for more than 60 years. She is not known as the “Goddess of Pop” for nothing.
Near the start of her long career, she hooked up with her future and abusive husband, Sonny. They became a double act, and in 1966 they released their debut single, “I Got You.” It went to #1 and sold a million copies.
After her split from Sonny…
Cher went on to a highly successful solo career, which included acting parts in TV and film. The 80s came along, and she still kept pumping out the hits. The most successful and well-known of the decade were “I Found Someone” in 1987 and then “If I Could Turn Back Time” in 1989.
The 90s hit, and more than 30 years after the start of her career, she released her most successful single, “Believe.” It went to #1 not just in the US and UK but in several countries worldwide. The single sold over 11 million copies.
But, there’s more…
The song was released in 1998, and at the time, Cher was 52, but quite frankly looked amazing. This made her the oldest female in history to have a US #1 hit. It was also the first #1 hit to use autotune. Plus, it won a Grammy in the bargain. Not bad, eh?
“Believe” was different from most of her previous music. It was more Dance-based and very up-tempo. It marked a major change in musical direction, and Cher built upon it as she continued to innovate.
The history of the song is important because Cher is an artist that’s never stood still. Consequently, the end of the 90s didn’t spell the end of her career, and she continued to record and perform for large audiences.
Cher is as relevant today as she’s always been. And as I write this, she is preparing for her return to residency in Las Vegas. She will no doubt be taking her signature 1990s Dance hit song with her.
I Like to Move It by Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman
100% Pure Love by Crystal Waters
Get Ready for This by 2 Unlimited
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Be My Lover by La Bouche
The Power by Snap!
Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic featuring Felly
Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) by Spiller
The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind) by The Bucketheads
Dreams by 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor
Boom Boom Boom by The Outhere Brothers
Ecuador by Sash!
Stayin’ Alive by N-Trance
No Limit by 2 Unlimited
Saturday Night by Whigfield
Set You Free by N-Trance
I’ve Been Thinking About You by Londonbeat
Twilight Zone by 2 Unlimited
Don’t Stop Movin’ by Livin’ Joy
The Key, The Secret by Urban Cookie Collective
Miami by Will Smith
C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train) by Quad City DJ’s
Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble by PJ & Duncan
Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee) by Crystal Waters
Whoomp! (There It Is) by Tag Team
The Real Thing by 2 Unlimited
I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts
Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison
Lovefool by The Cardigans
What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes
Two Princes by Spin Doctors
Torn by Natalie Imbruglia
I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys
You Gotta Be by Des’ree
Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas
Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor
Killing Me Softly with His Song by Fugees
Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
More 35 Best 90s Dance Songs
- Finally by CeCe Peniston
- Rhythm Is a Dancer by Snap!
- Insomnia by Faithless
- Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) by Rozalla
- Show Me Love by Robin S.
- Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65
- Mr. Vain by Culture Beat
- What Is Love by Haddaway
- It’s My Life by Dr. Alban
- More and More by Captain Hollywood Project
- Another Night by Real McCoy
- All That She Wants by Ace of Base
- Freed from Desire by Gala
- Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai
- I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
- Ray of Light by Madonna
- MMMBop by Hanson
- Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) by Crystal Waters
- Around the World by Daft Punk
- Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by Taylor Dayne
- Jump Around by House of Pain
- Sweet Dreams by La Bouche
- I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
- Do You Really Want to Hurt Me by Culture Club
- Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
- It’s My Life by Dr. Alban
- Beavis and Butt-Head Do America by Primus
- Things That Make You Go Hmmm… by C+C Music Factory
- Love Shack by The B-52’s
- The Sign by Ace of Base
- Stay by Lisa Loeb
- What’s Up? by 4 Non Blondes
- Rush, Rush by Paula Abdul
- Together Again by Janet Jackson
- Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
Want More Songs to Shake Your Stuff To?
If so, take a look at our detailed articles on the Best 2000s Dance Songs, the Best 90s Hip Hop Songs, the Best Hip Hop Songs Of All Time, the Best R&B Songs of All Time, and the Best Funk Songs of All Time for more spectacular song selections.
Of course, you need to hear them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, and the Best iPhone Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Best 90s Dance Songs – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. It’s been a lot of fun delving back in time and listening to some of the best Dance songs from the 1990s all over again. It brought back some great memories, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane.
Until next time, happy listening.