TOP TEN LISTS: 80s Dance Artists

Artists from the eighties coming back and hitting the dancefloor with even more wonderful dance music

1. Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys have more than twenty years at the forefront of electronic pop/dance music. With their catalog of masterpieces, it’s hard to believe that they?ve yet to win a Grammy (despite six nominations), yet The Brits recently recognized them this year with a well-deserved award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

2. Laura Branigan

Unlike Madonna, unlike Cyndi Lauper, unlike Whitney Houston, she was never an icon of that particular decade, though her music from that time period remains just as relevant as that of those artists. She was a singer (and occasional artist) who for a brief period of time embodied the gloriously schizo nature of what pop music can encompass, spanning aerobics anthems (calling “Gloria”), searing ballads (“Ti Amo”), dancefloor apocalypses (“Satisfaction”), and girly-twirl disco (“Solitaire”).

3. Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper’s unique voice and vision have provided us not just with great pop records, but with standards. When you hear a song like “True Colors,” “I Drove All Night,” or “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” only Cyndi comes to mind. Her new album At Last features her interpretations of other’s standards inspired by the stories she has lived. Cyndi’s voice is also memorable whether you hear her live in concert, captured on DVD, or in the mix at your favorite nightclub.

4. Bananarama

And critics say that dance music doesn’t spawn real artists… Twenty-five years into their career as the most successful girl group of all time, Bananarama (the duo of Keren Woodward and Sarah Dallin) have released “Drama,” a defiantly dance album, featuring the singles “Move in My Direction” and “Look on the Floor.” Already a hit on satellite and dance radio, will the ‘rams conquer the states again?

5. Taylor Dayne

When a performer is noted for finding the drama in a song and bringing it forward, you’ll notice a pattern. You can always find vocal drama at its finest in whatever songs that recur with drag queens throughout the world, and that tradition is a mark of quality for those who delight in musical performance.

6. New Order

New Order broke the mold as both an alternative artist and a dance artist in the 80s. Hits like “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith” are still heard in clubs today.

7. Robert Clivilles

Robert Clivilles is truly a dance music legend. Together with his late partner David Cole, C&C Music Factory redefined dance music as a producer-driven artist medium and successfully brought their international smash hits ?Gonna Make You Sweat,? ?Things That Make You Go Hmm,? and ?Here We Go,? to the people through clubs, video and touring. As a remix team, their work on Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and many others introduced many to the concept of remixing.

8. Erasure

For twenty years now, there has been no more tireless a pair of advocates for the glory of synth-pop than Erasure. Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have been making outstanding pop music that moves the dancefloor and the pop charts, and even when exploring new sounds and textures, their devotion to electronic music has never waned.

9. Tiffany

Everybody loves Tiffany. Her hits “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “I Saw Him Standing There,” and “Could’ve Been,” launched from her infamous mall tour, became pop classics. After spending a couple of years in Nashville, releasing the critically acclaimed Color of Silence album, and a popular Playboy layout, Tiffany moved to Los Angeles and created “Dust Off and Dance” ? the high energy dance album that her fans have been clamoring for.

10. Simply Red

Not many bands can claim that they have lasted for nearly 20 years, making music both creative and relevant. Always embracing dance music to enhance their innate r&b/soul flavor, Simply Red continue to produce wonderful music that spans all genres.


Trance is a major genre of electronic dance music. The biggest names on the DJ list are often from the trance genre, thanks to their loyal followings and massive popularity. Here is a list of the top trance DJs – our favorite trance discjockeys

1. Armin van Buuren

Ranked the #1 DJ in the world by the infamous DJ Magazine poll, Armin Van Buuren is constantly touring the world to bring his music to the people.

2. Tiesto

Tiesto – one name means so much. A unique vision of trance music that has conquered the world. Topping the DJ list for three years, playing the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games, and selling out stadiums, Tiesto live is an amazing experience. At the Mansion in Miami, Ti?sto rocked the crowd for a non-stop set that has already become the stuff of legend. Magnetic visuals, creative performance artists and a stunning vocal performance by Jes completed the scene for a magical evening.

3. Paul Van Dyk

With a Grammy nomination, a number one spot on DJ Magazine?s list of the Top Global DJs and the incredible Politics of Dancing 2 compilation, it?s been a great year for Paul Van Dyk. As a pioneer of electronic music, he breaks down genre and technological boundaries to entertain and unite the people of the world.

4. Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond, the trio of Jonathan Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljam?ki, do everything you can imagine in the electronic music world ? produce, write, remix, DJ, and run a music label. With their artist album TriState and AnjunaBeats label compilations as well as relentless touring, they have built a huge fan following resulting in achieving both Radio One Essential Mix of the Year and top 10 on the infamous DJ list.

5. ATB

Andre Tanneberger might be best known for his earliest hits “9pm (Til I Come)” and “Don’t Stop” but his fourth CD “Addicted to Music” showcases a musical progression that could attract a whole new audience to his style of trance music. Known as ATB, he has been touring the world in support of his albums and bringing his music to the people.

6. Markus Schulz

Global DJ is an appropriate title for Markus Schulz. Currently touring the US, his summer Armada residency at Amnesia in Ibiza will be the homebase for his Global DJ Broadcast radio show. With a new mixed CD compilation due in September, this is going to be quite a busy summer for Markus.

7. Judge Jules

Globetrotting superstar DJ Judge Jules has set his sights on the US in 2006 with the release of both an artist album and a mixed compilation. A fixture on BBC Radio One and Sirius Satellite, Jules is one of the few DJs who can bring the cutting edge club sound onto the air and keep the feeling alive in any environment.

8. Alex Gold

How many people can claim to have worked with Prince, Bryan Adams, Chuck D, Phil Oakey (Human League), and Maire Brennan (Clannad) to produce wonderful dance music? Launching the seminal UK dance label Xtravaganza, Alex Gold has been involved with over 55 top 40 hits while maintaining legendary DJ residencies around the world.

9. Christopher Lawrence

The highest ranking US DJ on DJ Magazine’s influential Top 100 poll for 2004, Chris has sold over 250,000 CDs and flies more miles than that annually to play around the world. Even after receiving just about every accolade possible, Christopher Lawrence is still down to earth and one of the hardest-working DJs out there, spreading his love of trance music to the people.

10. Paul Oakenfold

With a career spanning more than 20 years in electronic dance music, Paul Oakenfold is clearly an icon. Movie soundtracks, hit singles, massive tours, mixed compilations, remixes and productions by Oakenfold have expanded the way people view djs and electronic music. Ask any person on the street, dance music enthusiast or not, they will know Oakenfold.