By the late 1980s, clubs and airwaves across Europe were soaking up Chicago house, acid house and techno. With so many styles competing for attention, a new genre quickly emerged: eurodance. Kicking off the eurodance movement was an Italian group called Black Box with their 1989 hit “Ride on Time”. Belgian music project Technotronik followed later that year with their hit “Pump Up the Jam”. By the time a SNAP! released “The Power” to celebrate the demolition of the Berlin Wall, eurodance had taken over. In the mid-90s, eurodance split off into bubblegum dance and UK hardhouse and, by 2001, had gone extinct.
Eurodance is a melting pot of catchy vocal hooks, rap sections, synth riffs, samples and a hard hitting four-on-the-floor beat. Traces of earlier house styles like Chicago and acid house as well as techno can all be found in eurodance music.
Eurodance is defined by its heavy use of the Korg M1 keyboard, echoed vocals, relatively faster tempo, and, most importantly, its positive energy. If there’s one genre of house music that seems like it was designed in a lab to be a dance floor hit, it would be eurodance.
Black Box – “Ride on Time”
Black Box defines establishes the role of piano house in eurodance with “Ride on Time”.
SNAP! – “Rhythm is a Dancer”
SNAP! leads the eurodance revolution with “Rhythm is a Dancer”.
Haddaway – “What Is Love”
Haddaway solidifies eurodance’s dominant sound with “What is Love?”
Culture Beat – “Mr. Vain”
Culture Beat brings techno and hip house to eurodance with “Mr. Vain”.
2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
2 Unlimited releases “No Limit”, splicing techno with eurodance and hinting at a Dirty Dutch sound that would show up in later in Dutch house.
La Bouche – “Be My Lover”
Smash hit “Be My Lover” by La Bouche marks the end of eurodance as bubblegum dance and progressive house take over.
Aqua – “Barbie Girl”
Eurodance takes a weird turn, morphing into bubblegum dance/pop with hits like Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”.