A song can take you back instantly to a memory – a moment, a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment - that is the power of music.
Working year by year through our era’s finest productions, we’ve curated the ultimate list of 60 of the most sentimental club and festival classics to bring back the memories of those hazy late nights, and sunshine filled summer days. Take a nostalgic trip back through the years to re-discover some of the landmark tracks that defined not only decades and genres but dance music in its entirety.
While not necessarily the highest charting, the critically acclaimed or the biggest sellers - it is undeniable these are some of the most pivotal tunes and iconic anthems of all time, playing a part in thrusting both artists and genres into the global spotlight and changing the face of music as we knew it.
2012 brought the game changers. The year provided the ultimate collection of some of the biggest, (and most overplayed) feel-good festival anthems our generation was to experience. Avicii’s "Levels," Disclosure’s "Latch," and Porter Robinson’s "Language" are all among the list of songs that changed the dance music game as we know it and created a new bar of musical heights to reach.
Avicii - "Levels"
Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay - "In My Mind (Axwell Mix)"
Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – "Latch"
Hardwell ft. Amba Shepherd - "Apollo"
Porter Robinson - "Language"
Sebastian Ingrosso ft. Tommy Trash - "Reload"
Swedish House Mafia - "Don’t You Worry Child ft. John Martin"
Porter Robinson & Mat Zo – "Easy"
Kid Cudi - "Pursuit Of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)"
Zedd ft. Foxes – "Clarity"
In a flourishing time for dance music, 2013 brought yet another round of timeless tunes, putting Krewella, Showtek and Martin Garrix into the spotlight and of course marking the return of Daft Punk into the top ten charts. For our era - Animals is undeniably the most iconic track of recent years and quite possibly our whole generation so far. Coming in as Beatport's highest charting house track of all time, 3rd top seller of all time, and holding an astounding 27 days at #1 on the Beatport charts - there are no questions as to why this track, love it or hate it, is labelled as one of the biggest tunes of our time.
Armin van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie - "This Is What It Feels Like"
Dimitri Vegas, MOGUAI & Like Mike – "Mammoth"
Krewella - "Alive"
Showtek ft. We Are Loud & Sonny Wilson – "Booyah"
Daft Punk - "Get Lucky"
Martin Garrix - "Animals"
This list could have gone on to name another 300 incredible tracks, featuring those from 2014, left of center genres and underground anthems as well – but best save these for another time. Special mentions go to Frankie Knuckles, Armand Van Helden, Groove Armada, Moby, and the other incredible artists not listed who scored the points for those tracks not-so-commercially inclined, but perfectly suited to another list of classics.
For some of us, these tracks may have passed us straight by and for others, these songs represent an entire phase of our lives, but take this trip through memory lane as a lesson to remind us of how far this industry has come and how much farther we have to go.
Written by Lauren Mikkor