Four Top 80 & 90s House Tracks
No music gets people dancing quite like house. Something about those 4×4 beats taps into the human unconscious desire to move our bodies in time with music. Producers and musicians have put a lot of spins on this simple BPM foundations over the years. Ask any house fan who knows the history of the genre though, and they’ll tell you the best house came out in the late 80s and early 90s.
First developed in Chicago, USA, house music was pioneered by the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Mr Finger, Steve Hurley and many more. DJs took influence from the sound of disco, that had been so popular in the 70s, and morphed it into something more serious, atmospheric and repetitive. Here then, are just four of the best tracks from that early era of house – that spawned a musical phenomenon which travelled around the globe. Although there are some undisputed classics in here, this list is clearly still subjective. What records would have made your cut?
1. Mr Fingers – Can You Feel It (1988 Vocal Version)
Considered the pioneer of ‘deep house’, which fused the soulful and uplifting sounds of disco with the pulsating technical repetition of early house tunes, Larry Heard made a tonne of top tracks under the Mr Fingers alias. But it is this 1988 classic, with its iconic vocal refrains and bouncy oscillating bass, that will really stand the test of time.
It may have come out of the 80s, but even today it sounds futuristic. Altogether now, ‘cannn you feeeeel it?’
2. Hardrive – Deep Inside
This 1993 hit for the New York production duo Masters at Work under an alternate name, is still a certified banger some 25 years later. Deep Inside’s oh-so-catchy vocal sample, taken from Barbara Tucker’s vocal house track from the late 80s, is twisted into an unrecognisable form that stabs over the luscious basslines and video-game style melodic blips to create a real head-nodder of a track.
3. Inner City – Good Life
One of the first commercially successful house tracks to hit the United Kingdom, the Detroit-based duo if Inner City hit number four in the UK charts in 1989. The record went on to sell 200,000-plus copies and regularly appears in lists of the best dance music tracks of all time. If nothing else, this infectiously happy track with its uplifting synths and happy days subject matter sung with spirit by Paris Grey, proved that house music didn’t have to be so serious.
4. Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)
If Inner City’s Good Life bought house to mainstream attention in the UK, it was 1991’s Gypsy Woman that helped it come crashing down the door of the charts. With it’s iconic la da deee la da da vocal refrain (you know the one) and unbelievably floaty yet danceable backing track, this is a true house classic. Gyspy Woman took three weeks to hit number one, where it stayed for a whole month. It is often listed in the top tracks of the 90s of any genre, including by Mixmag as recently as 2018.