Sunday, January 4, 2015

John's Music World's Top 50 Dance/Club Songs of 2014

It's a bit late, but better than never for my annual countdown of the year's top dance/club songs, of course according to me.  I've been compiling this list for four years now and until this year I've always done a mere 30 of the best danceable tunes I'd listened to during that particular year, but this year there were so many songs to jam to that I decided to go for an even 50.  That's what Billboard does in their Dance/Electronic Countdown, so why shouldn't I?

Dance music is my favorite type of music.  I just love it when a great beat or a powerful hook gets me to move my body, and just because I haven't clubbed in 2014 as much as I used to doesn't mean I don't jam out at home.  Besides, one of my resolutions for the New Year is to get back into clubbing because I miss it so much, and making this list is inspiring me to do so, and so without further adieu, check out my personal favorite dance/club tunes of 2014...   

#50 - Timber - Pitbull, with Ke$ha

Pitbull and Ke$ha were a surprise collaboration, but the parts they played on this one blended so well together.  Oh yeah, it's going down...

#49 - Birthday - Katy Perry

Well Katy Perry is not normally a dance artist, but she did break new strides in the genre on her last album PRISM with her song Walking On Air and this one, which is a nice, dancey birthday song for the ages.

#48 - You & I - Medina

Here's a nice tune that's got all the ingredients for a great 90's-style club track, a nice bass beat coupled with strong vocals and a memorable hook.  Check out You & I.  

#47 - Wasted - Tiësto, featuring Matthew Koma

The year 2014 was a big one for Dutch deejay/producer Tiësto, who plays a part in at least three songs on this countdown.  Though I'm not crazy about the lyrics, I do like the melody, and it probably would've been better with its original title, which I like better,...Naked. Hmmmm!!!!

#46 - Summer - Calvin Harris

Though practically everyone I know that likes dance music loves this song, I was never particularly crazy about it.  Maybe because it was played out too much, but also I feel it's not really that danceable.  Anyway, there are better things to be had on Harris' latest album, Motion (read on...).

#45 - Love Come Home - Kristine W

I've always loved Kristine W, from her mid-nineties breakout album Land of the Living to her atomic performance of Some Lovin' on the Queer as Folk soundtrack in 2003 and just about everything else she's done.  Oh man, this woman can sing, and this powerhouse neo-disco song brought her back onto my radar just about 20 years after she first appeared.  Check it out...

"Love Come Home" by Kristine W (Barry Harris Tribal Anthem Remix) from Barry Harris on Vimeo.

#44 - Bang Bang - Jessie J, with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

Oh this one by the trio of Jessie, Ariana and Nicki blew up radios everywhere and quickly when it first broke out over the summer.  I must admit, I tired of it quickly due to all of that overexposure, but it is a powerhouse dance song.

#43 - Animals - Martin Garrix

Fast and furious deep house jam...nuff said!

#42 - Outside - Calvin Harris, with Ellie Goulding

Ex-lovers Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding reunited musically, at least, on this, their second collaboration for Harris' Motion album, and the results are just as splendid as was their first collaboration on I Need Your Love.  Check out Outside on John's World from last November.

#41 - Say My Name - ODESZA, with Zyra

This tender and melodic jam makes for an easy sway on the dance floor.

#40 - Hideaway - Kiesza

Canadian dance songstress Kiesza made big waves in 2014 with Hideaway, the debut single from her sophomore effort, Sound of a Woman.  Check out this funky jam...

#39 - Turn Down for What - D.J. Snake & Lil Jon

This one was one of the most played out songs on dance floors during the year and it fared much better on Billboard than it did on my list.  I usually like dance songs with raps combined with hot hooks, but unfortunately this one didn't do it enough for me.  Definitely a track for getting down and dirty, though.

#38 - Put Em Up - Edun

Okay, now you won't find this one on any top whatever list for this year, and for good reason.  You see, this track, by Russian-Nigerian singer Edun, was first recorded in 2005 and re-released in 2007, but I only discovered it in 2014 and it got plenty of airplay on my iPod.  I included it for that reason and because it's soooo good!  Such a great groove!  Take a listen...

#37 - Work Bitch - Britney Spears

You wanna hot body?
You want a Bugati?
You want a Mazerati?
You better work bitch!

Britney's latest dance smash was actually released in 2013, but it got plenty of play in 2014 for it's typical dramatic Britney sound (with a lil help from, too!).  Classic!  Check out Work Bitch.

#36 - Addicted to You - Avicii

This country-flavored, yet soulful tune off of Avicii's highly successful True album is simply awesome!  Check out Addicted to You on John's World.

#35 - Faded - Afrojack

Afrojack's 2014 Forget the World album got a lot of airplay in my music listening this year, and this highly charged house jam was one of my favorites.  Check it out...

#34 - Faux De Baux - Real Connoisseur

Here's another deep, bassy Frenchy house jam that was just meant to be played on a Saturday night dance floor.  Sweet dreams!  Check it out on YouTube.

#33 - Sky's the Limit - Katy B

One of my best discoveries of the year was in a fabulous British dance music singer/songwriter Katy B.  I actually caught two or three of her songs via Shazam while shopping for clothes earlier in the year, and once I connected the dots, I downloaded her entire album, Little Red.  In researching for this article, I'd first included five songs to be listed here, but eventually settled for three.  Great, great stuff!
#32 - Let It Go - Idina Menzel

Okay, so this one I include not from my own particular taste, but for its popularity and the fact that it is a good dance tune in the remix.  I'm sure it would appear a lot higher on other lists, but at least I include it.

#31 - Wild - Jessie J, with Big Sean

Jessie J has proven to be a hot commodity in the dance music genre.  This one was the debut single from her second studio album, Alive, and it was a springboard to even greater success in 2014 with her third release, the fantabulous Sweet Talker.  Check out the bassy and very funky Wild on John's World.

#30 - All of Me - John Legend (Tiësto Mix)

I've mentioned before that I hadn't been a very big fan of this song at first, but upon hearing Tiësto's remix of it, I quickly changed my mind.  The dance version even got me to like the original, beautiful ballad.  Check out All of Me.

#29 -  Blame - Calvin Harris

When I first heard this one, I was like, "this is more like it!"  This was the first tune off Harris' Motion album that reminded me of his earlier stuff, which got me to like him in the first place.  It's definitely one of the better tunes on the new record.

#28 - Changes - Robin Schulze, with Faul, Wad, Ad & Pinau

Another new discovery of mine in 2014 was Robin Schulze.  The German deejay/producer put out a remix of a song called Prayer in C with Israeli/French duo Lilly Wood and The Prick that absolutely mesmerized me.  I eventually purchased Shulze's album, Prayer, and found plenty of gems, including this one, with a chorus of children and a pretty tender and soothing music track. 

#27 -Problem - Arianna Grande, featuring Iggy Azalea

One of the biggest pop smashes of the year is also one of its best songs to dance to.  Check out Problem on John's World.  I got one less problem without ya!

#26 - Papaoutai - Stromae

This song, sung in French by Belgian singer Stromae and whose title means "papa, where are you?", is dramatic enough in its original form, but it's even more so in its remixed house version by Liam Summers.  Check out Papaoutai.  

#25 - Living for Love - Madonna

I may be a little biased here with this one because I'm a longtime Madonna fan, but this first single off of her new Rebel Heart album is da bomb.  Inspirational and dancey, too!  Check out Living for Love.

#24 - Ten Feet Tall - Afrojack, featuring Wrabel

Oh this one is so tender and sweet!  I first posted this one on John's World in October and it's one of my favorite tracks off Afrojack's Forget the World album.  The singer, an American named Wrabel, sounds to me just like The Wanted's Max George.  Click on the link and tell me what you think.

#23 -Fancy - Iggy Azalea, with Charli XCX

The bass beats of this one are oh so danceable!  Love it!

#22 - Gecko - Oliver Heldins and Becky Hill

This high energy driven track reminds me a lot of some of the stuff British duo Disclosure has done. I love the video, too!  Check out Gecko...

#21 - Rather Be - Clean Bandit, featuring Jess Glynne

Probably one of my favorite tracks of the year of any kind comes in the form of this beautiful, tender and melodic tune.  Check out Rather Be on John's World.

#20 - Coming Home - Gorgon City

I discovered British electronic dance duo Gorgon City on Spotify sometime during the year, and this, the opening track to their album, Sirens, was never a single, but is my personal favorite.  It's another one of those chillish dance tracks that makes you feel good when you take a listen.

#19 - Say Something - Tiësto

Here's another big 2014 hit from deejay/producer Tiësto, only this one's much smoother and chill than Wasted.  Check out Say Something .  

#18 - Aaliyah - Katy B

I've already spoken of Katy B earlier and this dark, melodic track was my introduction to her.  After just one listen I was hooked!

#17 - Partition - Beyoncé

Down, dirty, funky!  That's how I describe this, the only entry brom Bey on this year's dance countdown.  Ooh, almost everything about this song is awesome, from the sexy bass, the accompanying vocals and the French....ooh the French!  Check it out...

#16 - Into the Blue - Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue made a return to the music scene this year with her album Kiss Me Once, and this one is quite possibly one of her best songs ever.  Check out the John's World Song of the Day post of Into the Blue.

#15 - Blind Heart - Cazzette

This track could fit on the dance floor just as easily back in 1977 as today, except with the funky bass interlude between the end of the chorus and the following verse.  Totally awesome! Check out Blind Heart.

#14 - The Days - Avicii, with Robbie Williams

After finding great success with his awesome 2013 album, True, Avicii has returned to the scene for a taste of what's yet to come.  This one features Robbie Williams on vocals and is oh so good!  Check out The Days on John's World.

#13 - No Rest for the Wicked - Lykke Li

Here's another melodic and tender track from Robin Schulze's mixboard.  I featured it just today on this blog in its original form, and now check out Shulze's remix...

#12 - Prayer in C - Robin Schulze

The one that made me a Robin Schulze fan.  This one's just plain mesmerizing!  Check out one of the two times I featured it on John's World.

#11 - Pursuit of Happiness - Kid Cudi

Although I'm not a huge fan of Kid Cudi, I tend to usually like whatever I hear that he does.  This one appeared on a great album I downloaded called Casablanca Nights.  Awesome house tune that you can check out right here.

#10 - As Your Friend - Afrojack, with Chris Brown

Chris Brown has a voice that lends itself so well to dance music, and this appearance along with Afrojack is one of the hottest dance tracks of 2014.  Check out As Your Friend.

#9 - Love More - Chris Brown, with Nicki Minaj

...and speaking of Chris Brown, this other hot one garnered a lot of attention when I posted it as Song of the Day back in September.

#8 - Do It Again - Robin & Röyskopp

One more time...let's do it again!

As a big time Robyn fan, I was very excited to see her come out with a new EP with Norwegian disc jockeys and producers Röyskopp and even more excited to hear this great, great tune!  Check out Do It Again on John's World.

# 7 - Latch - Disclosure, featuring Sam Smith

Another artist that made its name in the dance music world in 2014 was the British electronic duo known as Disclosure. Their debut album, Settle, produced six hit singles, two of which are in this top ten, and caught the attention of one Mary J. Blige, who went on to work with them on a remix of F for You (see below), but also used their help with her own London Sessions album.  This very electronic dance tune features the high-pitched vocals of one Sam Smith, whose voice just adds a wonderful complexity to this one.  Check out Latch...

#6 - Burnin' Up - Jessie J, featuring 2Chainz

I absolutely LOVE this high energy jam off of Jessie J's newest, Sweet Talker.  Check it out here.

#5 - Delirious - Steve Aoki, Featuring Kid Ink

One of my favorite dance jams of the year comes from deejay/producer Steve Aoki with a little help from kiddish Kid Ink.  Oh, this one's just plain fun and funky!  Check out one of two Song of the Day posts featuring this one.

#4 - Just Girly Things - Dawin

Here's another tune off that wonderful Casablanca Nights album.  This one's by Brooklyn based producer Dawin and it's got so many good ingredients that make a great dance hit: nice, smooth vocals on the verses, a deep, bassy beat, and a little bit of rap thrown in for good measure.  Such a well constructed, awesome dance track!  Check it out on John's World.

#3 - F for You - Disclosure, featuring Mary J. Blige

What a combination of forces on this hot track from Brit duo Disclosure!  From what I've heard, Miss MJB herself heard the tune and asked to be put on a remix of it, and the rest is history.  I absolutely love Mary's voice on a dance jam and when I first heard this one, I was, well, simply ecstatic.  You can tell how excited I was from my first post of the song on John's World back in January.

#2 - Everything - Katy B

I will be the one that will be beside you
Even when the stars don't seem so bright
Any obstacle that life throws I'll fight through
I will be the one

Oh, my favorite Katy B song.  This one's so beautifully written and musically it's just,, well, awesome!  Check it out...

#1 - Primitive - Richard Vission & Luciana

Not since Ida Corr's classic groove Let Me Think About It have I loved a dance tune as much as I love this one.  Out of all the dance tracks I've played all year long in 2014, this one by far has gotten the most airplay.  The tune is what we used to call tribal, and tribal music at its best.  If you love a great dance track and you're only going to listen to one song on this list, make it this one...

I'm feelin' primma primma primma primitive!  Yeah!

So there you have it, my top 50 favorite dance tunes of 2014.  If you'd like to check out my lists from the previous three years, then click right here, but in the meantime click play on some of the tracks and enjoy!  Oh, check out iTunes below to download any of these great dance tracks, too!  Stay tuned to what the year 2015 will bring...

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