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100 Greatest Dance Singles/tunes - Until 1996

Below you will find a rundown of all the very best house, techno, hardcore and drum 'n' bass records up till 1996, along with important facts and info about just what makes them so special. There are plenty of areas within this article where I’m sure people will disagree (Josh Wink at #4 for example), but it's worth having a read of none the less. Personally I would have preferred to see less house music and more breakbeat orientated tunes featured here and there - only having one drum 'n' bass record in the whole list is a bit measly for instance, but mind you, at least it's by Bukem! Remember this was written in 1996  is a interesting read.

1) Alison Limerick "Where Love Lives (Come On in)" (Arista 1990)
(Best mix: Classic mix)

Because it was mixed by Frankie Knuckles? Because the singer was British? Because a couple of years ago it got revived and every club in the land has since been wheeling it out like a secret weapon for that certified dance floor delirium? Because it's got the funkiest, coolest piano riff ever heard on a house record?
Naw. Where Love Lives (Come On in) is the greatest dance record of all time because it's got everything. It swings, it makes girls pout, boys preen and hearts sing. There's a touch of sadness about it but it's incredibly uplifting, reaching a bittersweet joy that only the most spiritual of house achieves. Ms Limerick - whose subsequent career never lived up to this - sings with a throaty, controlled abandon, hitting the high notes while arms hit the ceiling. Even the lyrics are cool: strong woman sends out her love but gives her lover a bit of a slagging while she's about it: "Don't reach out for me with an apology," runs the chorus, "I'll never suffer your desire/Don't reach out for me with an apology/But I'll share it."
Alison Limerick sang at the first ever Renaissance in Mansfield. She came on around 4am and sang Where Loves Lives second. It was just one of a million golden moments people remember this song for. That's why.

Trainspotting: John Poppo played that killer piano riff - and the song is being re-released in May/June with mixes from Dancin' Divas and Romanthony.

2) Joey Beltram "Energy Flash" (R&S 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Ooh, feel that sub-bass. Dark, rumbling, moody as fuck, Energy Flash is still talked about in hushed tones by overly-serious techno boffins everywhere. And rightly so, too. That spooky "ecstasy" vocal snippet, those disembodied strings, that weird electronic quacking noise - sends shivers down the spine every time doesn't it? A genre-defining record.

Trainspotting: Back in 1991 Energy Flash was considered a hardcore record, not a techno track. Indeed, Beltram's over famous cut from that period, Mentasm was the original Belgian hoover noise record.

3) Ce Ce Rogers "Someday" (Atlantic 1988)
(Best mix: 12" Extended mix)

No single record distils the collectivist, loving spirit of house music like Someday. The conscious lyrics, beautiful singing and Marshall Jefferson's live-sounding production may sound dated, but that adds to its classic status. No surprise that the simple, but potent downward moving chord sequence was used later on every bloody record ever, including Sweet Harmony by Liquid and ripped off on the Farley and Heller version of There But For the Grace of God, while the vocal line was nicked for Some Justice by Urban Shakedown. A true classic record.

Trainspotting: Rumour has it that Marshall Jefferson ended up having to produce Someday because the guy who should've done it, crashed out in the studio after taking bucketloads of drugs.

4) Wink "Higher State of Consciousness" (Strictly Rhythm/Manifesto 1995)
(Best mix: Tweekin' Acid Funk mix)

The Tweekin' Acid Funk mix drilled itself into your brain, didn't it? Breakbeats, 303s, drum rolls and that slowed-up creepy voice intoning the title like the voice of Satan himself as walls caved in and people got lost in the maelstrom of dirty funk noise. So unforgettable, Josh Wink even breached our national top ten. Respect.

Trainspotting: Philadelphia-boy Josh has never touched drugs in his life.

5) Eric B & Rakim "Paid in Full" (4th & Broadway 1987)
(Best mix: Coldcut's Seven Minutes of Madness mix)

Knowing a record is great is relatively easy, knowing why a record is great is another matter entirely. It is perhaps the sheer scope of Coldcut's remix that makes Paid in Full such a stone cold classic - samples coming from Ofra Haza, old stereo sound records ("This is a journey into sound..."), The Salsoul Orchestra, a gangster film album and Howdy Doody. The record opened up the whole issue of sampling, and is a landmark in how a remix can improve a record tenfold. Despite making megabucks off the back of it, Eric B described the mix as "girly disco music."

Trainspotting: Coldcut were famously given £750 for their top ten remix. They completed the remix in 48 hours without a mastertape - it was done off the back of a couple of 1200s. The Ofra Haza sample, once pitched down, just happened to be in tune.

6) Underworld "Cowgirl/Rez" (Junior Boys Own 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

"Everything everything everything..." Flipside to Rez, and quite possibly Darren and the boys' finest moment, Cowgirl is a lesson in cut-up dynamics. And proved dance music lyrics don't just have to be of the "Ooh baby I love you" ilk. Rez, meanwhile, while basically the same tune embraced a never ending melody that marked it an instant classic.

Trainspotting: On the promo pink vinyl version of Rez the b-side isn't Cowgirl. It's a track called Why Why Why, and it's fab.

7) Mariah Carey "Dreamlover" (Columbia 1993)
(Best mix: Def Club mix)

Mariah herself once said in Mixmag that she never went to clubs, as they were too smoky. Once the master, David Morales, got his mitts on this though, she was condemned to soundtrack them forever. Heard it at Shindig in Newcastle last year and they still went barmy. A dinky little pop song turned into a steel wall of phased piano, a glorious disco delight that will always come back.

Trainspotting: Dave Morales reckons Dream Lover is his best mix ever.

8) The Future Sound of London "Papua New Guinea" (Jumpin' & Pumpin' 1991)
(Best mix: Dali mix)

Rave, prior to this meant Anti-Cappella and cheesy Euro-rave screamers. Or hoover noises. Then came this: a slow-stepping dub bass positioned slap bang in the middle of fluttering chords and eerie voices and sweeping waves of melody. A beautiful record that will always stand alone. The start of a brilliant career.

Trainspotting: Gary Cobain's designer loft home in the city of London once appeared in The Observers' A Room of My Own.

9) Joe Smooth "Promised Land" (DJ International 1987)
(Best mix: Underground mix)

There's Someday and Strings of Life and Chime and Keep On Moving, but the one record that, for me, sums up the excitement of that period of music more than any other is the incredible spiritual burst of optimism that is Joe Smooth's Promised Land. As a student, it encapsulated everything I was missing out on while in college, away from London's dirty hedonism. A couple of years later it was a golden oldie off yer nuts at Flying and still sounding so good, so right. Then it was being dropped at the height of a pounding Laurent Garnier techno set and still sounding as good as pretty much any record ever mad, ever. Even if The Style Council did arse it up, with their palsied cover version.

Trainspotting: The video for Promised Land features singer Anthony Thomas in a silvery sports jacket straight from Modern Romance's old wardrobe and footage of driving along the freeway in Chicago. It is the worst video of all time. Sorry Joe.

10) Massive Attack "Unfinished Sympathy" (Virgin 1990)
(Best mix: Original mix)

For many Unfinished Sympathy is the greatest single ever released. Why? Because Sympathy transmits so many messages in such a short piece of music. Melancholy, shifting strings, a beautiful vocal by Shara Nelson, and elements of hip hop and soul bubbling underneath speak the language of pure emotion in a thoroughly contemporary, British way. No one element overpowers the others, and the tune ebbs and flows in a unique way. A classic, perhaps the classic, British soul record.

Trainspotting: Massive Attack employed a 40 orchestra for the sweeping strings on Unfinished Sympathy. They also were famously forced to change their name to Massive as it was released during the Gulf War.

11) Orbital "Chime" (Oh! Zone/FFRR 1990)
(Best mix: Original mix)

If ever a record summed up the E-inspired optimism of the M25 rave scene, it was Orbital's debut single. Recorded, according to the brothers Hartnoll, on "really shitty equipment" and mastered onto a cheap metal tape, its unforgettable jangling riff strikes the perfect balance between home-listening subtlety and hand-raising anthemia. Emotional, electronic, uplifting and profoundly moving, Chime is the British Strings of Life.

Trainspotting: Why does Chime make you throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care? According to musicologists, it's because it's in the 'triumphant' key of E Flat Major.

12) Donna Summer "I Feel Love" (Casablanca 1977/1982/Manifesto 1995)
(Best mix: Patrick Cowley Megamix)

Whenever, however you hear this tune, it's guaranteed to make you smile, shut your eyes and trance out. The first electronic disco masterpiece, disco diva Donna and Moroder's finest, trippiest moment. Whether it's Derrick May or Carl Craig slipping Patrick Cowley's deliciously psychedelic 1982 remix into their techno sets, or Masters at Work climaxing a four deck set with last years garaged-up remake, or just some bloke in a bow tie playing the original at your brother's wedding, this record is timeless. And priceless.

Trainspotting: Although his records are very very cool, archive photos show that Giorgio Moroder is not. The 70s were not a good decade for hair. Two words: Leo Sayer.

13) The Night Writers "Let the Music (Use You)" (Danica 1988)
(Best mix: Club mix)

There are many people who believe The Night Writers' Let the Music (Use You) is the greatest house tune ever made. Those gentle synth washes, that cowbell, and those soulful vocals all add up to something extremely special indeed. This is the prime example of house music as a spiritual experience. "Music that's good for your soul" indeed.

Trainspotting: A sample from Let the Music (Use You) forms the basis of SL2's 'ardcore monster DJ's Take Control.

14) FPI Project "Everybody (All Over the World)" (Rumour/Discomagic 1990)
(Best mix: Dance version)

"Now listen.. one two three four!" Big brass section. Pianos. "Woo-ooh!" The biggest, fattest, funniest Italian scream-up of all time and the one record - yes I know we keep saying this - certified to cause screams, fun, smiles and club mayhem. And isn't that the whole bloody point?

Trainspotting: FPI Project? It stands for their names: Marco Fratty, Corrado Presti and Roberto Intrallazzi. Incidentally, the guys behind TC1991, TC1992 and TC1993...

15) Jaydee "Plastic Dreams" (R&S 1993)
(Best mix: Long Version)

The Sound Factory, Manhattan. 6am. Had a disco nap, hopped a cab out of Brooklyn around five and arrived for peak-time fever. Junior Vasquez was teasing a Madness acappella ("don't watch that, watch this!") into a screaming siren into a sinuous, slinky, organ groove that just went on forever and still finished too soon. The British contingent went loony and the yanks followed. Robin Albers didn't just produce a timeless record: he also got Junior Vasquez playing R&S. No mean feat.

Trainspotting: That's a Hammond B3, fact fans.

16) X-Press 2 "London X-Press (The Journey Continues)" (Junior Boys Own 1993)
(Best mix: a-side)

London X-Press followed hot on the heels of Music X-Press, the first fully fledged tune that Rocky 'n' Diesel ever produced (with the help of Ashley Beedle). With bass driven into overdrive and the funk well in place, London X-Press enjoyed the distinction of being played in handbag clubs and hard house joints alike. The mammoth breakdown features what sounds like a typewriter, but according to X-Press 2 it is in fact an appalling recording of Marshall Jefferson saying "Gotta have, gotta have house".

Trainspotting: The "Raise Your Hands" sample in the breakdown of London X-Press is taken from Make it by Sole Fusion, mixed by Masters At Work, the 100th release on Strictly Rhythm Records.

17) Rhythim is Rhythim "Strings of Life" (Transmat/Jack Trax 1988)
(Best mix: Piano mix)

It took a while for this obscure Detroit import to work itself into the underground consciousness, but by the spring of 1989, this magical Derrick May classic was inescapable. Beautiful artfully constructed, its lullingly ecstatic piano intro set the breakdown-tastic tone for the entire British house scene. It became an orbital rave ted anthem so inevitably humungous that eventually DJs like Andy Weatherall would tempt the crowd with the intro but never play the full record. Massive.

Trainspotting: The original version of Strings of Life was recorded live in Derrick's studio, hence the difficulty anyone's had in remixing it.

18) Jam & Spoon "Stella" (Belgian R&S 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix but Moby's half-speed remixes are worth seeking out too)

The stand out track on Jam & Spoon's Tales From a Danceographic Ocean E.P., Stella has ended up scarring me for life. So obsessed did I become with its sweet trancey wiles that I ended up going to Frankfurt and meeting Mr Jam (aka Rolf) and Mr Spoon (aka Mark) and admiring their massive Moog machine. I wrote the feature, bought the lifestyle and ever since if there's anything German in the office it's been Herr Davies to the rescue. God, I've had stick.

Trainspotting: Stella was Mr Spoon's girlfriend. How sweet.

19) Mr Fingers "Can You Feel it" (Trax/Jack Trax 1987)
(Best mix: Instrumental mix)

The blueprint for every dreamy deep house instrumental that followed, the magic Mr Fingers comes from the slow, somnambulant pace, the simple emotive synth chords and the shiver of joy every time you hear the hi-hats rush shimmeringly over the top. No 1988 house session really seemed complete without the British version that layered Martin Luther King over Lary Heard's instruments at the end of the night.

Trainspotting: Fingers Inc. vocalist Robert Owens concludes a successful DJing set by singing over the top of Can You Feel it. Nice one, Bob.

20) Inner City "Good Life" (10 1988)
(Best mix: Mayday mix)

As the Summer of Love drew to a close, a tune emerged which distilled the spirit of club hedonism, pressed it onto vinyl and slapped it on the decks of every discerning DJ. "Let me take you to a place I know you wanna go," cooed Paris Grey over a chunky effortlessly uplifting backdrop, "it's the good life". And thousands of kids turned on to this bizarre new way of spending your Saturday night knew exactly what she meant. Remove it from its cultural context, play it eight years after it first came out and you're still left with a beautiful, remarkable house record.

Trainspotting: An anthem for the E generation it may have been, but Mr Inner City himself, Kevin Saunderson, has never ever got "right on one, matey".

21) Everything But the Girl "Missing" (Blanco Y Negro/WEA 1994/5)
(Best mix: Todd Terry)

Written to a loop of Raze's Break 4 Love, Missing marked a return to fold for indie shufflers EBTG - out selling all their previous singles put together when it was re-released last year. Missing must rate as one of the most evocative house records ever made - a haunting melody, coupled with a simple lyric about the loss of love, more precise and poignant than anything the so-called lyrical giants of the current indie scene could ever muster.

Trainspotting: Missing was originally made two years ago, and re-released after Sasha and Digweed caned it in the clubs and Ibiza. It was the last record EBTG released on Blanco Y Negro, before moving to Virgin.

22) Gat Decor "Passion" (Effective 1992)
(Best mix: The original, but of course...)

Clean, direct, neatly-funkified house groove with the barest touch of a perfect piano from Laurence Nelson and Simon Hanson, two lesser-known London DJs behind a lesser-known West End shop called Tag Records. Passion came out of nowhere on a one-sided white label and went on to demolish clubs, invent progressive house and become the bedroom DJs most favourite record (it's easy to mix). Passion was remixed and re-released this year, hitting the charts.

Trainspotting: Gat Decor is an anagram of Tag Records. Almost. And the first remix was Darren Emerson's first ever studio outing.

23) Leftfield/Lydon "Open Up" (Hard Hands 1993)
(Best mix: Vocal mix)

Lydon's canny skill or bad luck at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time stopped this record becoming a bigger smash than it was in late 1993. The chorus of "Burn Hollywood burn" seemed in deliberate bad taste after the fires that swept Los Angeles at the time of the record's release. Of course, the lyric wasn't controversial in any way (it told the story of a bitter failed actor). What makes this record great is the blending of two sympathetic spirits - the angry scream of punk, married to the driving, do it yourself grassroots culture of dance music. A fantastic production job by Leftfield helped boost their career and make indie kids finally take notice of techno.

Trainspotting: Having scored his biggest hit for ages off the back of dance music, with Leftfield and Open Up, Lydon then roundly slagged the entire scene in his autobiography Rotten.

24) Bizarre Inc "Playing With Knives" (Vinyl Solution 1991)
(Best mix: QuadrantPark mix)

Playing With Knives was the rave tune that bust boundaries. It got played everywhere, by everybody - from Rocky 'n' Diesel to Danny Rampling to a million hardcore DJs. Playing With Knives is the perfect snapshot of an era, when Shelley's and QuadrantPark reigned supreme, when whistles were de rigeur, when huge piano riffs, nuclear-lunged female vox and head-fucking techno interludes could all co-exist on the same record. Naive and simplistic maybe, but it's a fucking great tune all the same.

Trainspotting: Within weeks of its release, records that were, um, heavily influenced by Playing With Knives were appearing like It's Just a Feeling by Terrorize.

25) DSK "What Would We Do" (Jackpot/Junior Boys Own 1991)
(Best mix: Steve 'Silk' Hurley remix. Or maybe Farley & Heller's dub, or maybe the Slam one. Oh, they're all great)

The bloody record that dogged our heels for two years. First the blinding original import that I spent a good couple of months chasing around the record shops. Then there was hearing the Steve 'Silk' Hurley remixes lifting me out of my socks as Tony Humphries tore up a loved up, dressed up, up for it party in some concrete nightmare of an orbital industrial estate. A year later and I'm grabbing my friend out on the dance floor at the Ministry, begging to know just what is that parping, insistent horn groove that Morales kept working back, back into the mix. It was Farley & Heller's dub of the same tune. A killer song, a whining, insistent voice and one of the basslines of all time. A monster tune all round.

Trainspotting: They're from Miami, they've done a few other tunes, but they were all cack. Oh well, never mind then.

26) Hardfloor "Hardtrance Acperience" (Harthouse/Rising High 1992)
(Best mix: Acperience 1)

For a few months in 1992 this record was to be heard in every club everywhere - a record that put techno back on the menu, acid back on the main course and the 303 on every dinner plate in England. A superlong feast of driving 303's that quietened down to the biggest bastard drum roll breakdown in the history of music and then went to fucking mental oblivion. A record, as Billy Nasty once said, that changed lives.

Trainspotting: One top DJ tried to mix out of this before the breakdown at Renaissance - and was very nearly lynched.

27) DJ Misjah & DJ Tim "Access" (FFRR 1996)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Originally out on Misjah's Dutch X-Trax in 1995, this flew into the charts when London picked it up this year. Perhaps the definitive acid trance track (after Hardtrance Acperience, of course), Access packs a 303 punch like no other, a boot in the chest of a tune. Still causing pandemonium on dance floors world-wide.

Trainspotting: When it came out on X-Trax the hard acid licks of Access proved a big hit with the UK's handbag DJs, including Judge Jules and Danny Rampling. Jules even named it his tune of the year.

28) Stone Roses "Fools Gold" (Silvertone 1989)
(Best mix: Original mix)

The ultimate baggy record, Fools Gold was the creative high tide for Manchester's least productive sons. Coming hard on the heels of their classic eponymous debut album, the Roses claimed they had wanted the whole album to sound like the low down funk of Gold. As a single that had no discernible chorus, but simply flowed all the way through, it was an extraordinary pop record. As a dance floor shuffler, it had a resolutely authentic 'vibe', the mark of every great record. You often hear people say, "I really hate the Stone Roses, except that Fools Gold." The recent remix by Tin Tin Out, was, however, absolute pony.

Trainspotting: Some claim that Fool's Gold is a song about walking up a hill that overlooks Manchester while tripping, and looking down over the city, off yer flares.

29) L.T.J. Bukem "Horizons" (Looking Good 1995)
(Best mix: There's only one...)

So Bukem's Music is widely-regarded as the vinyl moment he took jungle and hardcore into much deeper, more musical territory. But last year's Horizons is the point that everyone sat up and really began to take notice. And its lush combination of climbing breaks and soaring, emotive strings as as good an introduction as any to one of the most talented and innovative DJ/producers we have.

Trainspotting: Danny's Bukem moniker comes from Hawaii-Five-O: "Book 'em Dano!" which you can hear intro-ing his sets.

30) Dave Clarke "Red 2 (of 3)" (Bush 1994)
(Best mix: Wisdom to the Wise)

The record that firmly and irrevocably kicked down the barriers between pure techno and hard jacking house. The record that rescued British techno from 'intelligent' prog-rock noodling and put it back where it belonged - on the dance floor. The record that's as contradictory as the bloke who made it - unfeasibly hard and distorted but irresistibly funky. Oh, and if you listen to it when you're on drugs, it makes you tremble uncontrollably and then shit yourself with fear.

Trainspotting: Dave Clarke takes his drum tracks very, very seriously. He once got extremely baity when someone suggested that the hi-hats on Red 1 were EQed incorrectly.

31) Phuture "Acid Trax" (Trax 1987)
(Best mix: Only one, in't there?)

Banged together by a teenage DJ Pierre and Spanky, with one Marshall Jefferson on the production controls, Phuture's freaked out Roland 303 pulses were played to death by Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles and it was soon the biggest tune in Chicago. Everyone followed with their own variant on the bass sequencer abusing trend, before a few DJs in England caught up with it. Add in a few funny pills and the rest is, as they say, history.

Trainspotting: DJ Pierre took the original tape of Acid Trax round to Frankie Knuckles' house. Knuckles thought it was wicked and played it off tape. It's not a drugs record, incidentally, it's just that Pierre thought the record sounded like a house version of acid rock.

32) Funky Green Dogs From Outer Space "Reach For Me" (Network/Murk 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

1992 and the whole world is mad for hard house. Two Cuban homeboys from Miami release this and the house world switches on its axis. It's slow, with a dirty, hard bass that is pure techno, a sweaty garage swing, and a barely in-tune, scorching vocal. They follow with LibertyCity's Some Lovin' and Interceptor's Together. Hard, sexy grooves that take notice of the changes European techno has been making. Suddenly, deep American house is back on the agenda because it has been listening.

Trainspotting: Oscar Gaetan and Ralf Falcon were discovered by one Danny Tenaglia, then DJing in Miami.

33) Sabres of Paradise "Smokebelch II" (Warp 1993)
(Best mix: Entry)

If any tune developed the myth of Sabres of Paradise it must be Smokebelch II. Unarguably one of the most beautiful dance records ever made, it displayed the schizophrenic nature of Sabres of Paradise. Its neo-classical overtones, especially the Beatles mix, could hardly be further removed from the usual pounding Sabres canon. It also showed that Sabres of Paradise were a great singles band: Smokebelch, Theme, and Wilmot are all fantastic records, while their albums often disappoint. Smokebelch II marks Weatherall's greatest vinyl achievement to date - music and studio effects moving together to create a mood of serenity and peace - so it was no surprise he played it for ages at the last night of his club Sabresonic, to roars of approval from the Sabres faithful.

Trainspotting: Weatherall lifted the melody from Nu Groove (No.33) The True Story of House Music by L B. Bad aka Lamont Booker. (He has just released the Who Am I? E.P. as Prince of Dance on Larhon Records.)

34) K-Klass "Rhythm is a Mystery" (Deconstruction 1991)
(Best mix: remix)

I first heard this dancing shattered in a daylight at a Boys Own party somewhere in Northampton. It sounded fucking brilliant. Then it was released and it was hello top five. Basically a big bollocked Italian style piano pounder that stuck a dirty unpretentious Northern thumb into the scream up pie and pulled out a plum. Every time you heard it blasting out, it was greeted by a mass of sweaty arms aloft salutes and bug-eyed grins. The top buzz, or what?

Trainspotting: K-Klass are the finest house act ever to record on a Welsh farm.

35) Moby "Go" (Outer Rhythm 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Sampling the theme from Twin Peaks and welding it to a rock solid rhythm, Moby made a big splash with this in 1991. When he later tried to copyright it, he found he couldn't because the actual melody line wasn't his and you can't claim electronic beats as your own. So Go ended up in a car advert. Ain't life a bitch?

Trainspotting: The rhythm track Moby created for Go later turned up on a number of other people's records, notably Jam & Spoon's Stella.

36) Urban Soul "Alright" (Cooltempo 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

One of the only deep New York garage records to fight through the mass of Italian piano anthems and still fill the floor. Sasha contributed a sublimely orchestral String mix that cemented his reputation as a remixer, but it was deep house songsmith Roland Clark's original versions that convinced us all for one illusory moment that everything really was alright. Then we went home and had to have a bit of a lie down.

Trainspotting: Urban Soul's Roland Clark is also behind South Street Player.

37) Age of Love "Age of Love" (React 1992)
(Best mix: Jam & Spoon mix 1)

The Mixmag office, back in the early days. Deadline hell. It's 7am and we've been working 21 hours straight, with no end in sight. Hysteria is setting in and the editor is giggling hysterically behind his bloodshot eyes while the designer curses good-naturedly. Why the fuck are we doing this? Someone puts this on, 16 minutes of endlessly building, futuristic perfection. Trance. Sit in awed silence as the sun rises over the Slough industrial estate we were based in. Remember why, go back to work, finish the issue.

Trainspotting: Jam & Spoon? Markus Loeffel called himself 'Spoon' because loeffel is spoon in German. Rolf called himself Jam El Mar because it sounded cool.

38) Candi Staton "You Got the Love" (The Love Bootleg)
(Best mix: The illegal one)

We're not really interested in the original version Candi sang in 1986. Well, maybe the acappella. And we're not really interested in the smoothed out house version that got to the top ten. What we're interested in is the dodgy bootleg that DJ Eren from top Sunday club Solaris (later Kinky Disco) knocked up back in 1989, and turned into the biggest underground record in the country. Only a thousand copies were pressed up and every DJ in the country was chasing after it. Sometimes you feel like throwing your hands up in the air. And that's exactly when you want to hear this record.

Trainspotting: Eren used to try and do the mix at Solaris, and would have to get his mates to hold the records up ready to get them on in time.

39) Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle "Your Love" (Trax 1989)
(Best mix: There's only one)

The first time I heard Your Love it was the summer of 1989 and I was sitting in my sad little student bedsit when my mate Nigel came round with a pile of imports he'd bought up in Bristol. One tune stood out, with its strained, strange off key synth intro that sounded more new wave than rave. With its steady, chugging paced drums, that dragging drug-soaked bassline, all building to those pleading, desperate vocals. Fair makes you want to sob, dunnit? Everywhere you went that summer you heard it. And it was made back in 1985! How deep is Your Love? Deep enough and then some.

Trainspotting: Brilliant though this record is, it must be one of the most cack-handedly edited records in the entire history of badly edited records. I guess that's part of its 'charm'.

40) The Aphex Twin "Digeridoo" (R&S)
(Best mix: There was only one. There could be only one)

Fookin 'ell! The hardest record of all time? 150-odd BPMs of nutter breakbeats and a digeridoo that burned like a forest fire. A record that made everything else sound like Pinky & Perky. Hardcore would never be the same again and of course The Aphex Twin was here to stay.

Trainspotting: Richard James says he made this to clear all the digeridoo-blowing travellers out the back of his Cornwall club because they would never leave. It had the opposite effect.

41) Goodmen "Give it Up" (Fresh Fruit 1993/FFRR 1994)
(Best mix: Original mix)

I remember dancing in some London groove emporium back in 1993 and looking up just as Darren Emerson ensconced himself behind the decks at 2am. With one flick of the cross fader the portentous drum intro kicked in and seemed to announce "I'm Darren Emerson and I am here!" It was the first time I'd ever heard the Goodmen's Give it Up and it was ace. Drums, drummy, drums. Initially released on Dutch label Fresh Fruit, FFRR picked it up and dumped it high into the charts, much to everyone's amazement - a mad drum centred underground house record high in the top 40.

Trainspotting: The drum track on Give it Up provided the basis for David Morales' Conga and Simply Red's Fairground.

42) Baby D "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Production House 1992)
(Best mix: The original version is the one you know and love)

It took almost three years for Let Me Be Your Fantasy to worm its way into the British public's affections, to shift from hardcore anthem to chart topping smash. In retrospect, the only thing that's surprising is that it took so long. Let Me Be Your Fantasy - a sneaky paen to ecstasy's "warm embrace" disguised as a love song - was perhaps the most commercial tune that the hardcore scene ever produced. Massive pianos, crunching breaks and a ravealong chorus meant its appeal spread wider than white gloved Vicks sniffers. Far enough, in fact, to get it voted the Kiss listeners' favourite tune of all time in a recent poll.

Trainspotting: When Baby D discovered they'd knocked Pato Banton off number one, the entire band simultaneously burst into tears.

43) Circuit "Shelter Me" (Cooltempo 1990)
(Best mix: Original mix)

A Hacienda classic. Shelter Me is one of those records with a totally distinctive and utterly indescribable noise in it, a sound forever associated with that particular track. When this was played at the Hacienda's tenth anniversary party the whole place erupted in a massive cheer, a real emotional moment. There is no higher praise than that.

Trainspotting: Circuit producers Jolley, Harris and Jolley were the producers of countless best-forgotten pop acts in the '80s. Not to mention Innocence.

44) Jam & Spoon "Follow Me" (Epic 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

What is that bloody buzzing sound? Ah yes, it's original German trance types Jam & Spoon and their breakdown-tastic Follow Me. Truly, this was the breakdown to top them all, as the burbling electronics give way to an elongated, emotional crescendo, like a thousand bees harmonising their little hearts out. Grown men have been known to weep to this tune. Wusses.

Trainspotting: Follow Me is the flipside to Right in the Night, which features ex-Shamen vocalist Plavka and is, quite frankly, bloody appalling.

45) Bassheads "Is There Anybody Out There?" (Deconstruction 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

What we like to refer to as A Big Northern Tune. The rather gruff, clumsy rapping, that insanely catchy bassline, and best of all the rushing piano overload in the middle - ah me. Many's the time I spent in clubs wankered beyond belief, sweating like a bastard and grinning inanely to this huge piece of plastic. Fabulous stuff.

Trainspotting: The rap in this is actually taken from Zulu Nation leader Afrika Bambaataa's Get Up & Dance.

46) A Guy Called Gerald "Voodoo Ray" (Deconstruction 1988)
(Best mix: Original mix)

A lovely, wibbly-wobbly thing, Voodoo Ray is pretty much the first British acid house record, and sounds like it was recorded by banging on metal pipes. Which is nice. Gerald later went on to make lots of ace jungle, and even remixed this into a fierce drum 'n' bass tune. All together now: Oo-ooh ooh, aah ah-aah yeah.

Trainspotting: Gerald used to keep a notebook by the side of his bed, and leap out when he had an idea to scrawl it down.

47) Billie Ray Martin "Your Loving Arms" (Magnet 1995)
(Best mix: Junior Vasquez's Sound Factory Vocal mix)

If you went into the ladies bogs in any club last summer while Billie Ray's song was playing you could see and hear all the girls joining in. (Not that I ever did go in the ladies, like.) Not only a top tune, Billie Ray Martin's heartfelt lyric spoke the truth about feeling insecure, needing reassurance and hating yourself for it. And, judging by the bogs, many women could recognise the sentiments Billie Ray sang with her incredible sweeping voice - the antithesis of house music's clichéd screaming divas and all the more real for it.

Trainspotting: Billie Ray Martin has taken ecstasy twice. The first time it "made her sad" and the second time it was like "having a battery shoved up my bum."

48) Ron Trent "Altered States" (Warehouse 1990)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Originally released on Warehouse Records in 1990, later licensed to DJax without the Armando mixes, Altered States stands as one of the all-time great house tracks. Hinged solely on the simple emotive dynamic of four minor string chords, a two note bassline and rough as fuck beats, its legendary status has been augmented somewhat by Trent's claim that he made it when just 14. Sheer genius.

Trainspotting: According to Chicago folklore Ron Trent originally made Altered States in his bedroom on just a keyboard, a beatbox and a tape deck.

49) Brothers in Rhythm "Such a Good Feeling" (4th & Broadway 1991)
(Best mix: Inspirational Delight mix)

For a while back in 1991, when being a cheesy quaver meant the music really was pretty cheesy, when half the nation's ravers liked 'ardcore and the other were up for happy dappy Italian house, this tune united us all in the kind of hugged up joy you can only look back on with a smile. A crafty vocal steal gave us all the kind of simplistic but oh-so-meaningful message you need when you're wazzed off your knackers, stripped to the waist on a podium kind of thing.

Trainspotting: The vocal is sampled from Charvoni's cover of Side Effect's disco classic Always There.

50) Empirion "Narcotic Influence" (Wanted 1994)
(Best mix: 1)

Almost totally ignored when it appeared in 1994, Narcotic Influence was nevertheless a stupendous record. A kind of neo-industrial, hammering techno, the hookline "Giving them drugs, taking their lives away" burrows into your head and refuses to leave. Now signed to XL, Empirion have remixed Prodigy's Firestarter, and great things beckon.

Trainspotting: Empirion's three singles for Wanted were collected on to one L.P., which strangely never saw the light of day. I've got one though. Hah!

51) SL2 "DJ's Take Control" (XL 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Take a sample from The Night Writers' Let the Music (Use You), whack it over a rollicking breakbeat and a bouncing bassline, and bingo, one instant hardcore classic. Slipmatt & Lime later hit the charts with On a Ragga Tip, but it's this fearsome beastie from 1991 that the nutters remember most fondly.

Trainspotting: These days breakbeat kings Slipmatt & Lime are big names on the happy hardcore circuit.

52) De'lacy "Hideaway" (Slip-n-Slide 1995)
(Best mix: Dubfire Needs to Score mix)

The sound of last summer, born when Slip 'n' Slide commissioned Deep Dish to remix an unremarkable US garage track into something huge and wonderful. Sharam and Dubfire let the tune build and build like a hard instrumental dub before detonating the first verse and one of their patented lush breakdowns at the same time. End result? An orgasmic club moment.

Trainspotting: Sharam and Dubfire can't come and DJ in England because they're Iranian immigrants and haven't got round to sorting out their passports yet.

53) Lil' Louis "French Kiss" (FFRR 1989)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Back in 1989, this was the record that every DJ needed. The one that, if you dared mix out it before the slow down - orgasm bit - speed up gimmick, a horde of people would come up to the DJ for a whinge. At the time it was a bit of fun, a peak time stomper for the height of orbital raving. But looking back, nothing else set the repetitive building tone so much for what would become trance. Ten minutes of eyes-closed bliss from Chicago's legendary trackhead.

Trainspotting: The remix of French Kiss featured a "sexy" conversation in Franglais between Louis himself and one Alia Ammar. Phwoar!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0KlAI7oNtw

54) Degrees of Motion "Do You Want it Right Now?" (US King ST/FFRR 1991/1992)
(Best mix: King St Club mix)

"Good groovy tune," said the sticker in the record shop. Fiver for an import. Snapped it up and I've played it ever since, Biti's optimistic love-song vocal swaying high above an uproarious, lean 'n' funky piano groove. It became a big club hit when FFRR picked it up for release and remains a classic because, well, it just is.

Trainspotting: Do You Want it Right Now? and follow-up Shine On were originally album tracks for Taylor Dane, produced by the same man, Richie Jones.

55) Sueño Latino "Sueño Latino" (BCM/Expanded 1989)
(Best mix: The Latin Dream mix)

The tune that launched ambient house? The first decent Italian house record? Certainly the tune that jazz and world music DJs, not just house jocks, would spin religiously, ten minutes of bird noises and rolling piano and sexy spoken Spanish vocals from Carolina Damas, a subtle, slow, seductive record that climbed into your head and sat there pouting.

Trainspotting: It's actually a cover of ambient track E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching from 70s German experimentalists Ash-raTemple (they later shortened it to Ash-ra).

56) Ravesignal 3 "Horsepower" (R&S 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

You could say there's nothing to it. Screeching aeroplane noises, echoing kick drums, a bassline. But not just any bassline. On Horsepower, young C.J. concocted the loudest, phattest, piss-off, kick-arse, I-will-shag-you-for-Satan bassline in the history of techno. A bassline that embodied R&S's slogan - Order to Dance - and inspired indie band Denim to sing: "We're into Ravesignal 3/'Cos we're in love with the modern world." There may be nothing to it, but it still makes me dance like a spazzy five years on.

Trainspotting: C.J. Bolland went barmy shortly after making Horsepower. "I ended up talking to walls, having conversations with [R&S boss] Renaat's apartment," he confessed. He also enjoys naked windsurfing.

57) Last Rhythm "Last Rhythm" (Discomagic/Stress 1991/1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

An underground monster tune forever and a day, Stress finally picked up this Italian classic and released it with a smooth haunting Sure is Pure remix that became one of the label's all time best sellers. With that cool floating flute and easy pumping groove it's the perfect sunrise tune and, listening to it again now, a cool precursor to the "dream music" melodic style of Robert Miles' Dreams. Forever a classic. And apparently imminently due for a re-release with Way Out West mixes.

Trainspotting: And who were Last Rhythm? Gulio Benedetti and Roberto Attarantato wrote it and Leandro Papa mixed it.

58) Shades of Rhythm "The Sound of Eden" (ZTT 1991)
(Best mix: The Shadie Side)

Ravey in origin but house of beat, Shades of Rhythm's The Sound of Eden must possess one of the all time classic vocal samples. Singing along to "Everytime I see her, Everytime I see the girrrl" was the musical equivalent of shouting "Lordy, I've taken shed loads of drugs, y'know," which naturally, made singing along to it all the more fun. Still sounds great today.

Trainspotting: Shades of Rhythm's live PA was a right laugh. They used to dance in a sheet which was sewed up, then they projected a light on it and threw shapes.

59) Slam "Positive Education" (Soma 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Another track that every DJ and their dog hammered to death on release. But Positive Education - monster bassline, wild pitch breakdown and spooky deep vocals included - never really went away. Was it house? Was it techno? Was it progressive? Who gives a fuck! Like so many great records, the only category that Positive Education slotted into was the one marked 'bloody ace'. And, let's face facts, any record that can unite Richard Fearless and Jon Pleased Wimmin in praise has got to be a bit of a winner.

Trainspotting: Slam claimed that Positive Education was actually a critique of falling education standards.

60) The Bucketheads "The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind)" (Henry Street 1994)
(Best mix: It's got to be the original)

A quarter of an hour's worth of mirrorball mayhem, Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales' The Bomb is the ultimate disco cutup track. Shatteringly simple, the genius of The Bomb lies in the way it builds up your anticipation with a protracted burst of hard jacking drums and atonal honking before the perfect disco sample soars away into the distance. A massive hit when Positiva licensed it in early 1995, The Bomb kick-started the trend for raiding old disco 12s. Dozens of producers followed its lead, but none of them ever equalled the definitive original article.

Trainspotting: The sample that causes such dance floor chaos when it finally drops is from dreary 70s rock band Chicago's Street Player.

61) Lionrock "Packet of Peace" (Deconstruction 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

It's MC Buzz B's rap that really put the cherry on the Lionrock cake. Justin Robertson's spongy trance was given an icing by Buzz B's strange, impressionistic rhymes, delivered in his deadpan Manchester accent. Not only was Packet of Peace a driving monster of a tune, it had an extra dollop of mystique, yet remained British in tone and feel.

Trainspotting: The drum roll that introduces the mad trancey breakdown on Packet of Peace was whipped from It's My Pleasure by My Friend Sam, a pumping Miami garage tune from 1992. Crazy!

62) Inner City "Pennies From Heaven" (Virgin 1992)
(Best mix: Kevin's Tunnel mix)

I liked progressive house. Well, kind of. I mean, all those Fabi Paras bongo records and Slam dubs and everything were cool for a while, but where were the songs? What happened to the euphoria? Was the scene we'd loved about to disappear up its leather-trousered arse? Then, straight out of nowhere, the people we'd sung along to in '88 came back out of left field with this beautiful, joyous hymn to universal love and peace. "We can make a peaceful world," sang Paris on the fade out, and for a minute she's convinced you and the cynicism falls from your eyes.

Trainspotting: Kevin Saunderson has the biggest telly you've seen in your life. Really.

63) Glam "Hell's Party" (Six6 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

"******s, Whiteys, ***s, Crackers...Don't worry, if there's a hell below, we're all gonna go!" shouted Curtis Mayfield on the anti-Nixon If There's a Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go. Strangely the keynote vocal sample from Hell's Party was not the original from Curtis Mayfield, but actually taken from an unused session Afrika Bambaataa did with Adamski. Sounding resolutely chirpy today, back in 1993 it was a driving homage to unbridled hedonism. The fact that you and your mates could shout the catch line with knowing enthusiasm also helped. Hell's Party was later (but not much later) used as the basis for a mix of Urban Cookie Collective's The Key, The Secret.

Trainspotting: Italian by decent, there was some suspicion that Hell's Party owed a heavy debt to an unreleased Adamski tune.

64) Hashim "Al Naafyish" (Cutting 1983)
(Best mix: Original mix)

One of the best electro tunes to emerge in the early 80s, Al Naafyish tops Planet Rock in the dance floor-friendly stakes, a spiked, scratched, body-popping electronic weird-out. Still gets played out on the nation's more eclectic floors, and still sounds just fine. One of the records that first got me into machine music.

Trainspotting: Hashim's follow-up to Al Naafyish was Primrose Path, which is possibly the spookiest record ever made.

65) South Street Player "(Who) Keeps Changing Your Mind?" (Strictly Rhythm 1993)
(Best mix: Night mix)

There aren't many records that can make you feel deliriously happy and hopelessly sad at the same time. Roland Clark's Strictly classic can. His girlfriend, he sings, is drifting away from him but his tight, drop-dead arrangement simply won't leave you alone: a late night classic with real heart and genuine funk. Proper house music, in other words.

Trainspotting: Roland Clark isn't just South Street Player - he's also Urban Soul.

66) Marshall Jefferson "Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)" (Trax 1986)
(Best mix: Original mix)

When we were all busy going out in black polo necks and dancing to James Brown and Run DMC, this was the one record that stood out, that screamed "look at me", that made you think there was more to this house music lark than that fat Daryll Pandy bloke wailing on Top of the Pops. From the arresting intro, through the electrifying pianos, the urgent chords and the vocal compelling you to "move your body, jack your body", this record was made with one purpose in mind. Sampled to fuck on Royal House's massive hit Can You Party and loads of others, this remains the one record that had the temerity to call itself the house music anthem and can still get away with it ten years later.

Trainspotting: Marshall Jefferson took a couple of years off to "play video games". He is mad as a bike.

67) Kariya "Let Me Love You For Tonight" (Sleeping Bag 1988)
(Best mix: Original House mix)

Remember freestyle, otherwise known as Latin hip hop? No? Well that's because it was arse. Hispanic dance pop that's still massive in the States, but that barely caused a ripple over here. One freestyle anthem that did catch on was Kariya's plaintive caught-up-in-a-one-night-love-affair beat ballad. The house mix had a plodding groove almost too slow to qualify, but the unforgettable organ intro always lifts heads and at four in the morning the song transcends its bubblegum origins and strikes home.

Trainspotting: Let Me Love You For Tonight was produced by Bob & Jerry for Bob & Jerry Productions. No, we haven't heard of them either.

68) Subliminal Cuts "Le Voie le Soleil" (XL 1994)
(Best mix: Way Out West Summer of Love remix)

Le Voie... is actually the work of one Patrick Prins, better known for his Movin' Melodies stuff. Here he combines a romping rhythm with cascading pianos and comes up with a credible hands-in-the-air track, of all things. Nick Warren, who provided the best remix of the tune, reckons the reason it wasn't a massive hit is because the title is "stupid".

Trainspotting: Le Voie le Soleil is due for an imminent re-release. Maybe they should change the title this time.

69) Mantronix "King of the Beats" (Capitol 1988)
(Best mix: There's only one)

Screaming car chase sirens, crazy fucking breakbeats and mad speech samples spun over the top. A bit like the Chemicals really, only madder, funkier and about a million years before Chemical Beats. A buried flip side to Homeboys Make Some Noise, rave era British DJs clasped King of the Beats to their collective bosom. Gilles Peterson could drop it for the jazz heads at Dingwalls, while the rave DJs could whack it up to plus 8. Proof that Curtis Mantronik always was, and still is, king of the beats.

Trainspotting: King of the Beats is the definitive Amen record, using the Winstons Amen, Brother break so beloved of junglists. Hardcore DJs used to play it at 45!

70) RiverOcean "Love & Happiness" (Strictly Rhythm 1993)
(Best mix: Original version)

Shifting from tribal drum frenzy to Latin chant-a-long to an achingly spiritual breakdown to a joyous explosion of vocals, Love & Happiness packed just about every conceivable style of New York house into seven minutes. Lil' Louie Vega and India provided the perfect husband and wife combination, with Vega's stunning production offsetting his missus' beautifully distinctive voice. After listening to Love & Happiness, it became apparent that Mrs Vega could sing a train timetable and make it sound like the most important thing in the world.

Trainspotting: Love & Happiness is actually based on an old Latin number called Yemaya Y Ochun. India recorded it in its original version on her solo Acid Jazz album.

71) Urban Shakedown "Some Justice" (Urban Shakedown 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

The second hardcore classic to swipe vocals from Ce Ce Rogers' Someday, Mickey Finn and Aphrodite's Some Justice sounded shockingly different to the slew of rave tunes at the time it was released. While most concentrated on intensifying or celebrating the ecstasy experience, Some Justice was one of the first hardcore tunes to introduce the churning sound of sub-bass. Listening to it today, it sounds more like a blueprint for the future sound of jungle than a relic of a bygone era.

Trainspotting: Some Justice got to number 23 in the charts.

72) Nightcrawlers "Push the Feeling On" (Great Jones 1994)
(Best mix: The Dub of Doom. The rest are unbelievable shite)

"UUUHP-INNUH-NAAAH, AB-EEH-UUUHP-INNUH-NAAAH, COO-LUSTRUUUHP-INNUH-NAAAH..." MK's mix of crap Scots soul combo The Nightcrawlers was never going to win prizes for its meaningful lyricism, but it's the only deep house record to make the top 10. Originally a b-side, Marc Kinchen's Dub of Doom hung around for two years, its cool summer-night ambience and indecipherable cut up vocal building as an underground garage track, before taking off in handbag clubs and eventually launching two assaults on the charts. Yeah, the second remix, complete with tacky chorus, was arse. Yeah, the unending stream of follow-ups were arse too. But the Dub of Doom is still, undoubtedly, skill.

Trainspotting: How many labels was Push the Feeling On released on? Three - 4th & Broadway, Great Jones and finally FFRR.

73) M People "How Can I Love You More" (Deconstruction 1993)
(Best mix: Sasha mix)

A top song turned into a fantastic end of the night anthem by the man like, with Heather Small singing her heart out and banging on about entering temples of holy love and shouting your name to God above. Good Catholic boy is our Mike Pickering. M People's sparkliest, finest moment to date.

Trainspotting: Sasha's mix of this was so good M People used it as part of their live show, which was a bit cheeky but went down a bloody storm.

74) 808 State "PacificState" (ZTT 1989)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Manchester in the area. For a while there, 808 State were huge and PacificState was a freaky, jazzy, saxophone-laden anthem. When they played it at G-Mex supporting The Happy Mondays in 1990 it felt like the heavens had opened. Though that could have been the drugs. The State later made MC Tunes a star, but then nobody's perfect.

Trainspotting: 'Mad' Mike Banks from Underground Resistance claims the melody on Pacific State is loosely inspired by his 1986 Nation 2 Nation E.P. But then he's mad.

75) Capricorn "20 Hz" (Global Cuts 1993)
(Best mix: Original mix)

How many drummers a-drumming? What could have been an ordinary trance track is transformed into a barnstormer by a loud as hell military drum break. Global Cuts was set up by R&S to release tunes from the less hard, clubbier end of the spectrum. Like, 20 Hz is really mellow, isn't it? Mellow in the sense of making your head explode, that is.

Trainspotting: The man behind the successful Global Cuts series was label manager Marcus Graham, now boss of cool jazzy trip hop label Honeydipped.

76) LFO "LFO" (Warp 1990)
(Best mix: The Leeds Warehouse mix)

The original Sheffield bleep tune and one of the most unlikely chart hits of all time. Raw, minimal and utterly compelling, the bass frequency on LFO was so low it didn't register on the average home stereo. The boys followed it up with the Frequencies L.P. and then then took five years off. Well, everyone needs a holiday now and then don't they?

Trainspotting: The voice intoning "L, F, O," on LFO is actually a speak and spell machine, a trick the boys repeated on We Are Back.

77) Leftfield "Not Forgotten" (Rhythm King 1990)
(Best mix: Hard Hands mix)

We all bought this one - taped it for our friends, raved about it to mates who had yet to understand why Sunday nights were spent babbling on about the night before, lost in bug eyed appreciation of this tune, that mix. Our one mate with some cheap, non-Technics decks had two copies and would keep the mix running on endlessly. Amongst all the happy clappy Italian pianos and universal love and peace lyrics it stood out like a huge chunky instrumental sore thumb. Sasha would stick the acappella of Whitney Houston's Wanna Dance With Somebody over the top and send Shelleys mental. One of the best house records ever. Spinbacks and all, it was Leftfield and from then on we loved them.

Trainspotting: Paul Daley wasn't in Leftfield when Neil Barnes first recorded Not Forgotten, but he was percussionist for A Man Called Adam, and heard the original out in Ibiza. When he went back and hooked up with Neil, he did this seminal remix.

78) Dee Patten "Who's the Badman?" (Hard Hands 1992)
(Best mix: a-side mix)

Coming out of no man's land with a breakbeat, a slow-stepping bassline, and an evil, echo-ed "who's the badman" sample, Dee Patten stepped right into the dub ethos of progressive house with what was basically a proto-jungle record. Maybe it was the dub reggae dynamics of this forgotten classic, but house clubs went mad for it, Leftfield signed it to their label and Dee Patten, a hardcore DJ struggling for a break, was suddenly hot. Though we've never heard from him since.

Trainspotting: How did he get that name? "'Cause when I go into a studio I keep going, "That's a rough drum pattern,"" said Dee.

79) Dan Hartman "Relight My Fire" (Blue Sky 1979)
(Best mix: Vertigo/Relight My Fire)

Just how many times have you heard this record, dancing deliriously, lost in love with a gang of just-met friends? I can remember Steve Proctor saving a dodgy as fuck warehouse thrash in Hackney with it and Larry Levan taking us all to dubbed-out disco heaven and back at the Ministry, the sun rising over a marquee on a lawn somewhere in the Home Counties, a pissed up house party in North London. Fuck Take That and bloody Lulu (Lulu!), after a night of solid house, this unbelievable rush of disco energy never failed to shoot a bolt of lightening up your spine.

Trainspotting: Take That wanted Martha Walsh to sing the Loleatta Holloway bit, but she wanted too much dosh.

80) Frankie Knuckles "The Whistle Song" (Virgin 1991)
(Best mix: Sound Factory mix)

Sweet ambient house vibes from Frankie and Eric Kupper, that would wind up any night a treat, and could have a dance floor whistling like builders and dancing like Charlie Chaplin. Everyone from Morales to Weatherall would play it, and it'd send us all snooker loopy every time.

Trainspotting: It's not really a few hod carriers whistling, it's an effect Eric Kupper happened on while playing with his synth.

81) Outlander "Vamp" (R&S 1991)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Dan dan dan dan dan dan... So many dance tunes live on the memory of the back of a simple hookline, and here's one of the catchiest. Outlander was the first sign that cool things were happening at Belgian beat masters R&S, and was followed by a stack of classic European techno. Helped dispel the lingering aftertaste of nu beat.

Trainspotting: Vamp was R&S' first UK single release, but has since been deleted and is now worth more than the import.

82) Ruffneck "Everybody Be Somebody" (MAW 1995)
(Best mix: Wanna Be mix)

It was one of those records that made you remember the first time you heard it come crunching out of the speakers, a ruff, raw slice of New York house that kicked the arse of everything in its path. The result of producer Steve Wilson looping four samples together and letting singer Yavahn freestyle over the top, Everybody Be Somebody had dance floors full of otherwise normal people pogoing up and down screaming "EVERYBODY! BE SOMEBODY!" and generally acting the giddy goat. Not bad for a record that Wilson cheerfully admitted he "made up as it went along".

Trainspotting: The shouting on Everybody Be Somebody is sampled from groovy Swiss experimentalists Yello. The track was originally recorded for the re-opening of Tony Humphries' club Zanzibar in New York, it never got used, though, because Humphries lost the master tape.

83) Red Planet "Stardancer" (Red Planet 1993)
(Best mix: There's only one)

The second 12 in the otherworldly Red Planet series, 94's Stardancer, like all the others is accredited to The Martians. But popular wisdom holds the producer to be the media shy Mike Banks. And with its volleys of hand claps, trippy vortex of effects and electro boogie bassline, Stardancer instantly found its way into the box of every techno DJ with more than a modicum of funk. In many cases, it's probably still there.

Trainspotting: Mike Banks' denial of involvement in the Red Planet series is so deadly serious that when complimented on them he always replies, "Thanks, I'll tell the Martian."

84) Nitro Deluxe "This Brutal House" (Cutting/Cooltempo 1987)
(Best mix: US version)

At the time, this reached the pop charts and became, what with its cheery melody and all, a popular number in, as they say, the clubs. Listening to it now, it sounds almost impossibly abstract, the link between early 80s electro and late 80s house, a winding, bleeping, beautifully produced rhythm that points a path to a techno future.

Trainspotting: Cutting records supremo Aldo Marin was behind both Nitro Deluxe and Hashim's seminal early 80s electro records. Nice.

85) Sterling Void "It's All Right/Runaway Girl" (FFRR 1989)
(Best mix: It's all beautiful, man)

Ooh. A sneaky corker of a double a-side that enables us to get two records in for the price of one. Ha! It's All Right may have been roundly arsed up by the Pet Shop Boys but it's still the finest example of the deep house "let's all love each other and everything will be great, really" genre ever. And Runaway Girl is just a pure blast of piano-powered joy, a wall of ludicrously uplifting vocal heaven that fits more love, happiness and incitement to dance into its four minutes than the average trendy arsed trance dub can manage in ten.

Trainspotting: Sterling Void later did a cover of the disco oldie Boogie Ooogie Ooogie. It was not bought in large amounts.

86) The Prodigy "Out of Space" (XL 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Not so much out of space, as inside a huge slice of cheese. This club stormer and mainstream success was Le Bollocks. With those slow reggae dub bits tantalising you before the fuck-off kick in the teeth bit, you couldn't go wrong.

Trainspotting: The track was co-written by Carl 'Flipper Dalton' Miller, aka Prodigy's road manager of the time.

87) Soul II Soul "Keep On Movin'" (10 Records 1989)
(Best mix: Club mix)

Incredibly slow, massively phat, arse quakingly cool, Keep On Movin' was clearly a classic as soon as it came out in the early summer of 1989. The old soul vibe was glued on to the electronic swing and suddenly if you were British you could still be funky.

Trainspotting: The drum beat is the same as Coldcut's Paid in Full and became the most used drum break that summer. It is either from Chuck Brown's Ashley's Roach Clip or Graham Central Station's The Jam. Not sure which. Answers on a postcard to the usual address please, 'spotters.

88) Liquid "Sweet Harmony" (XL 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Things were never really the same after I heard Eamon Downes' Someday-sampling hardcore monster at a rave in Margate in 1992. I was an indie kid, I hated dance music, but from the moment that piano riff and, um, something else simultaneously kicked in, I suddenly understood what the fuss was about. The track may have become something of a millstone round Holmes' neck - despite strong house singles like One Love Family and Time to Get Up, Liquid never escaped the 'rave' tag. The day after hearing Sweet Harmony at that rave, my collection of cud albums didn't look quite so appealing.

Trainspotting: The piano on Sweet Harmony isn't actually a sample from Someday. It's Eamon Downes playing the riff. He taught himself how to play the piano in order to do it.

89) Stetasonic "Talkin' All That Jazz" (Tommy Boy 1988)
(Best mix: Original mix)

With a walking bassline nicked from Lonnie Liston Smith's jazz funk classic Expansions and some cracking drums, 1988's Talkin' All that Jazz, while being one of the first hip hop records to acknowledge jazz as a new source of ideas and inspiration, was also the most clear eyed statement of hip hop policy. "James Brown was old, before Eric and Rakim did I Know You Got Soul... hip hop brings back old soul and r 'n' b and if we had not, people would've forgot." It's also perfectly paced for British dance floors.

Trainspotting: A second version of Stetasonic's Talkin' All that Jazz features the bassline from Dominoes by Donald Byrd.

90) Disco Evangelists "De Niro" (Black Sunshine 1993)
(Best mix: The Journey)

As a concept, De Niro was perfect - the gong breakdown and whirring helicopter sound, produced by a plain old analogue synthesiser (crazy!) and the flutey bit robbed off Ennio Morricone's theme to Once Upon a Time in America brought visions of Apocalypse Now. But as a dance record it was sublime. Embracing kicking acid and a musicality that was generally lacking around the fag end of the progressive house boom when the track was released. Crafted by Ashley Beedle and David Holmes (and a studio engineer who later quit) De Niro was a flash of brilliance that the follow up, A New Dawn, could not match.

Trainspotting: De Niro was apparently inspired by David Holmes penchant for Sunday afternoon visits to the cinema while on a comedown. He'd often be moved to tears by his fave flicks.

91) Grace "Not Over Yet" (Perfecto 1995)
(Best mix: BT mix)

One of those tunes Sasha and Digweed caned for ages, before the label involved even thought about releasing it. Benefited from an astounding BT mix, one of the first epic house tracks. Grace were originally called State of Grace but they had to change the name after they found out there was a no-hope indie band already called that.

Trainspotting: The vocalist Grace, who these days is the public speaking face of the group, didn't actually sing on Not Over Yet. She came along later. How queer.

92) Young MC "Know How" (Delicious Vinyl 1989)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Young MC was a brainy young chap with a degree in economics, and his rhymes bristle with intelligence and humour. While not really approved of by the hardcore, Young MC's Know How was perfect fodder for British night-clubs - crashing in on the Theme From Shaft sample and rhymes that could squeeze easily into a house set. But it was the bass and the beats that provided a welcome relief to four to the floor totalitarianism.

Trainspotting: Young MC wrote Wild Thing - a hit for Tone Loc.

93) Robin S "Show Me Love" (Champion 1992)
(Best mix: Stonebridge Club mix)

Fiddle with a Korg M1 synthesiser long enough and you'll come across a groovy hollow nibbly nobbly sound. That same sound is all over the fantastically jaunty garage skip of Show Me Love and following its release, was used on every garage tune for about a year and a half. Bloody hell.

Trainspotting: Robin S' Show Me Love is one of the biggest hits to date for Swedish producer Stonebridge of the Swemix stable (also responsible for Dr Alban.)

94) Rhythm On the Loose "Break of Dawn" (Network)
(Best mix: Original mix)

"I'm surprised to see your suitcase at the door... Remember the good times, don't you want some more?" was the grab from Let No Man Put Asunder by First Choice on Salsoul Records, "Doo dee doo de doo" was the bassline, and bum diddy bum di dum went the breakbeat. Sure it was obvious stuff, born on a bootleg mentality but the cocksure charm of Break of Dawn saw it find its way into thousands of people's record collections. It still brings rueful, knowing grins every time it's dropped.

Trainspotting: When Break of Dawn was recently re-released by Network, the "no man in the world" sample that shows up near the end of the original mix was curiously missing.

95) Cool Jack "Just Come" (Black Moon 1992)
(Best mix: Lilith Extended mix)

An underground sleeper from deepest Northern Italy, that with its rich minor chords, subtle melodics, deep male vocal and dinky guitar solo stayed in many a DJ box for many a month. Italian DJ Angelino Albanese and producer Visnadi - he of Four Movements and Racing Tracks fame - were the men responsible. And it even had a cool sleeve.

Trainspotting: Just Come was a big trade favourite, so much so that George Mitchell's Sharp Recordings are remixing and re-releasing it.

96) D:Ream "U R the Best Thing" (FXU 1992)
(Best mix: Sasha mix)

Before Pete Cunnah became a teen pop heartthrob, he and Al McKenzie made this belter, remixed by Sasha into a heart-stopping, piano pounding epic. Pete Tong made it his Essential Tune of the Year for 1992, and then Things Can Only Get Better went to number one and it all went horribly wrong. A brief flash of genius.

Trainspotting: U R the Best Thing was release three times before it became a chart hit, and that was only after Things Can Only Get Better went to number one. By that time Al McKenzie had given up and quit the band.

97) Robert Owens "I'll Be Your Friend" (Perfecto 1991)
(Best mix: Original Def mix)

The story was that Robert Owens and David Morales had gone out on a razz together in New York, lost it big time and got into a really heavy row. Owens ended up locking himself in the bog and Morales recorded him doing this ridiculously mournful, conciliatory "I'll be your friend" vocal. In came the Def mix team, with Eric Kupper and Satoshi Tomiie on keyboards, and Morales knocked out one of the most insanely addictive house records, getting right under your skin, regardless of whether the tale was true. Noticeably though Owens and Morales haven't worked together since.

Trainspotting: Pizzaman and Mighty Dub Cats honcho, and former Housemartins pop star, Norman Cook reckons this is the record that finally convinced him that house music really was the business.

98) Felix "Don't You Want Me" (Hooj Choons/Deconstruction 1992)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Who the hell was Felix anyway? Who made this killer, chord-driven, keyboard riff? No one knew and no one was saying, but by all accounts he was a young man from Essex who ended up in a studio with Red Jerry and Rollo, played said keyboard riff and ended up with a huge international club and chart hit. So it sounds a bit cheesy now but we didn't see you complaining at the time.

Trainspotting: This was in fact Rollo's first studio outing. Now, of course, he is in Faithless, remixes with Sister Bliss and runs Cheeky Records under a battalion of aliases.

99) A Homeboy, a Hippie and a Funki Dread "Total Confusion" (Tam Tam 1990)
(Best mix: Original mix)

Rising High supremo Caspar Pound surfed the hardcore tide with this shouting, brazen breakbeat monster track in 1990. My abiding memory of this track is hearing it out at one of Manchester's hectic hardcore joints, where dealers nearly outnumbered the punters and the end of the night was usually signalled by the letting off of CS gas canisters. Oh happy days.

Trainspotting: A Homeboy, a Hippie & a Funki Dread now record house music as Blu Room on Thumping Vinyl.

100) Jesus Loves You "Generations of Love" (More Protein 1990/1991)
(Best mix: Totally Outed mix)

This Balearic classic actually hid a rather double-edged message. The "generations of love" Boy George refers to have, he sings, failed miserably. Still, with a couple of eckies down yer neck it all sounded very nice and loving indeed, thank you very much. Until MC Kinky started going at it. But her contribution aside, the gently rolling flamenco guitars and warm Mediterranean vocals saw dance floors turn to slush in its wake.

Trainspotting: MC Kinky's vocal on Generations of Love was later sampled on Phoenix by God Within while the piano later turned up on Ken Doh's Nagasaki E.P.

Edited by Andy Pemberton
Contributors: Dom Phillips, Frank Tope, Alexis Petridis, Nick Jones, Bethan Cole, David Davies, Viv Craske
 

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