Stories Behind Some of Your Favorite Dance Songs

Just as every person has an interesting biography, every song has a noteworthy back-story.  Unfortunately, there’s not enough disk space in the ether for us to write about every song.  So we’d like to put the spotlight on some trends and a select group of songs.  Click on Return to Radio Megamix for what’s popular on dance radio.

Heard It All Before

Every entertainment executive likes a sure thing—or a close facsimile.  That’s why Hollywood keeps bringing TV shows to the big screen.  If something was popular once, an updated version could be a hit with a new generation of consumers.  And movie sequels are really remakes to an extent.  Recording a remake is common practice in the music business.  Before the advent of rock ‘n’ roll music, a pop standard would be routinely recorded by dozens and sometimes hundreds of artists.

When disco music dominated the charts in the 1970s, any oldie was fair game for a makeover.  These dance remakes ran the gamut from “Volare” and the “I Love Lucy” theme to “MacArthur Park” and “Dance to the Music” (by Sly Stone himself!).  Today’s dance artists have another practical reason for doing covers:  It helps them get played at dance radio and even mainstream top 40 radio.  Despite the fact that only DJ Sammy’s cover of “Heaven” (dj-sammy.com) and D.H.T.’s remake of “Listen to Your Heart” (d-h-t.be) became recent top 40 hits, dance acts seem eager to revisit more oldies.

The downside to a remake is that if a listener is familiar with the original, the cover would have to be at least as good as the old version.  Perhaps that’s why some remakes employ the same vocalist (Stevie Nicks on “Dreams” by Deep Dish) or someone who sounds like the original vocalist (check out DJ Sammy’s “Why,” Blue Man Group’s “I Feel Love,” or Karmadelic’s “Who’s Crying Now”).  Then there are remakes that sound totally different from the original source.  Case in point:  Rockell’s take on Garth Brooks’ country anthem, “The Dance.”

The title of king of dance remakes goes to DJ Sammy with no fewer than three hit remakes at dance radio in the last four years.  Plummet has also scored three hit remakes since 2001.  The most popular makeover target lately is Journey, whose catalog includes three songs that were covered by three different dance artists in the 2000s.

Since the early 2000s, there’s been an interesting development in the business of dance remakes.  Instead of reworking the entire song, an artist would have a vocalist sing just a few lines, a technique borrowed from hip-hop.  Some of these records started out using a sample and then replaced it eventually (sometimes by choice and sometimes for legal reasons).  An example of a partial remake is LMC’s “Take Me to the Clouds Above,” which features Rachel McFarlane singing a few lines of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.”  Another equally intriguing example is “Love on My Mind” by Freemasons, a quasi remake of Tina Turner’s “When the Heartache Is Over.”

These two records share a further distinction for their use of a sample:  LMC includes a few notes from U2’s “With or Without You” and you can hear “This Time Baby” by Jackie Moore on the Freemasons track (a vocal duet between a sample and a remake).  Doesn’t anybody compose anything wholly original anymore?  But does it really matter when these two remake/sample hybrids from LMC (ultrarecords.com, aatw.com) and Freemasons (ultrarecords.com) are good enough to stand on their own?

Jason Nevins’ “I’m in Heaven” is also unusual in that it remakes a part of the instrumental track of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.”  “Deep End” by Pete Tong & Chris Cox likewise recreates a guitar riff from Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down.”  Supermode’s “Tell Me Why” pays tribute to Bronski Beat by copying “Smalltown Boy” (sans vocals) and sampling three words from “Why.”  Note that recordings by Lil’ Love (“Little Love”), LnM Projekt (“Everywhere”), Angel City (“Love Me Right [Oh Sheila]”), Deep Dish (“Flashdance”), and Royal Gigolos (“California Dreamin’”) are almost complete remakes, excising a small portion of the original lyrics.

The two tables below showcase some of the dance remakes since 2000 (excluding remakes of classical music).

 

Selective Dance Remakes Since 2000 – Traditional Remakes
Complete Remake Original
2010
Aroma Featuring Katerina, “The Children of Piraeus” Don Costa & His Orchestra, “Never on Sunday” (1960)
Lale Anderson, “Ein Schiff Wird Kommen (Never on Sunday)” (1961)
The Chordettes, “Never on Sunday” (1961)
Carefree, “Broken Strings” James Morrison Featuring Nelly Furtado, “Broken Strings” (2009)
Cosmosound Featuring Nekk, “I’d Love to Change the World” Ten Years After, “I’d Love to Change the World” (1971)
Jes, “Lovesong” The Cure, “Lovesong” (1989)
311, “Lovesong” (2004)
Meck Featuring Dino, “Feels Like a Prayer” Madonna, “Like a Prayer” (1989)
Mad’house, “Like a Prayer” (2002)
Kris Menace Featuring Emil, “Walkin’ on the Moon” The-Dream Featuring Kanye West, “Walkin’ on the Moon” (2009)
Mon a Q, “How Long” Ace, “How Long” (1975)
Pet Shop Boys, “My Girl” Madness, “My Girl” (1980)
Pet Shop Boys, “Viva la Vida/Domino Dancing” Coldplay, “Viva la Vida” (2008)
PH Electro, “Englishman in New York” Sting, “Englishman in New York” (1988)
Kate Ryan, “Ella Elle L’a” France Gall, “Ella Elle L’a” (1987)
Shiny Toy Guns, “Major Tom” Peter Schilling, “Major Tom (Coming Home)” (1983)
Soul Seekerz, “Dancing on the Ceiling” Lionel Richie, “Dancing on the Ceiling” (1986)
Vinny Troia Featuring Jaidene Veda, “Do for Love” Bobby Caldwell, “What You Won’t Do for Love” (1979)
2008
Amber & Zelma Davis, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (1979)
Buzz Junkies Featuring Elesha Moses, “If You Love Me” Brownstone, “If You Love Me” (1995)
Cascada, “What Hurts the Most” Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts the Most” (2006)
Samantha Cole, “Angel of Mine” Monica, “Angel of Mine” (1999)
Crystal, “Numb” Linkin Park, “Numb” (2004)
DJ Scotty K Featuring Knockhopper, “Goodnight Tonight” Wings, “Goodnight Tonight” (1979)
Jenna Drey, “All out of Love” Air Supply, “All out of Love” (1980)
Enur Featuring Natasja, “Calabria 2008” Rune, “Calabria” (2003)
Fawni, “Chasing Cars” Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (2006)
Freemasons Featuring Bailey Tzuke, “Uninvited” Alanis Morissette, “Uninvited” (1998)
Erin Hamilton, “The Flame 08” Cheap Trick, “The Flame” (1988)
Erin Hamilton, “The Flame” (1999)
Henri, “Push the Button” Sugababes, “Push the Button” (2006)
Hi_Tack, “Let’s Dance” David Bowie, “Let’s Dance” (1983)
Kristine W, “The Boss” Diana Ross, “The Boss” (1979)
The Braxtons, “The Boss” (1997)
George Lamond, “Don’t Stop Believin’” Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981)
Maria and Concetta, “Hold On” Richard Marx, “Hold on to the Nights” (1988)
Offer Nissim Featuring Maya, “Happy People” Prince Ital Joe Featuring Marky Mark, “Happy People” (1993)
Rockell, “You Keep Me Hanging On” The Supremes, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (1966)
Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (1968)
Kim Wilde, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (1987)
Shape:UK, “Chime” Orbital, “Chime” (1992)
Andrew Spencer & The Vamprockerz, “Zombie” The Cranberries, “Zombie” (1994)
Cam Tyler, “Feels Like Heaven” Uniting Nations, “Feels Like Heaven” (2006)
2007
Alibi vs. Rockefeller, “Sexual Healing” Marvin Gaye, “Sexual Healing” (1983)
BeatFreakz, “Superfreak” Rick James, “Super Freak” (1981)
Booty Luv, “Boogie 2Nite” Tweet, “Boogie 2Nite” (2002)
Cascada, “Truly Madly Deeply” Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (1998)
Cass Fox, “Touch Me” Rui Da Silva Featuring Cassandra, “Touch Me” (2001)
Henri, “Some Girls” Rachel Stevens, “Some Girls” (2004)
Kira, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” Phil Collins, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)
Koishii & Hush Featuring Catherine McQueen, “Time After Time” The Beloved, “Time After Time” (1990)
Leana, “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” (1987)
Linda O, “Because the Night” Patti Smith Group, “Because the Night” (1978)
10,000 Maniacs, “Because the Night” (1994)
Monster Taxi Featuring Ish Ledesma, “Get Off” Foxy, “Get Off” (1978)
Pakito, “Living on Video” Trans-X, “Living on Video” (1984/1986)
Mark Ronson Featuring Daniel Merriweather, “Stop Me” The Smiths, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” (1987)
Seamus Haji Featuring Kay Jay, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” Indeep, “Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life” (1983)
Starting Rock Featuring Diva Avari, “Don’t Go” Yaz, “Don’t Go” (1982)
Eddie Thoneick Featuring Berget Lewis, “Deeper Love” Clivilles & Cole, “A Deeper Love” (1992)
Aretha Franklin, “A Deeper Love” (1994)
Ultra Nate, “Automatic” Pointer Sisters, “Automatic” (1984)
Jody Watley, “Borderline” Madonna, “Borderline” (1984)
Jody Watley, “I Want Your Love” Chic, “I Want Your Love” (1979)
Yanou,“Sun Is Shining” Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Sun Is Shining” (1972)
Bob Marley vs. Funkstar de Luxe, “Sun Is Shining” (1999)
2006
Akira, “Piece of Heaven” A7, “Piece of Heaven” (2000)
Blank & Jones Featuring Elles, “Catch” Kosheen, “Catch” (2002)
Deep Dish Featuring Stevie Nicks, “Dreams” Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams” (1977)
D.H.T. Featuring Edmee, “I Go Crazy” Paul Davis, “I Go Crazy” (1978)
Kristine Hendricks, “You Got It All” The Jets, “You Got It All” (1987)
Lasgo, “Hold Me Now” Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (1984)
Cyndi Lauper Featuring Sarah McLachlan, “Time After Time” Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time” (1984)
Inoj, “Time After Time” (1998)
LMC Featuring Rachel McFarlane, “You Get What You Give” New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (1999)
Love to Infinity Featuring Charlotte Day, “Finally” CeCe Peniston, “Finally” (1992)
Master Blaster, “Since You’ve Been Gone” Rainbow, “Since You Been Gone” (1979)
Suzanne Palmer, “Fascinated” Company B, “Fascinated” (1987)
Kathy Phillips, “When You Say Nothing at All” Keith Whitley, “When You Say Nothing at All” (1988)
Alison Krauss & Union Station, “When You Say Nothing at All” (1995)
Lucas Prata, “More Than Words Can Say” Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (1990)
Silosonic, “Something (To Make You Feel Alright)” Julia and Company, “Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba)” (1984)
Kim Sozzi, “Alone” Heart, “Alone” (1987)
Sylver, “Lay All Your Love on Me” Abba, “Lay All Your Love on Me” (1981)
Information Society, “Lay All Your Love on Me” (1989)
Abbacadabra, “Lay All Your Love on Me” (1992)
Erasure, “Lay All Your Love on Me” (1992)
T-Funk Featuring Inaya Day, “The Glamorous Life” Sheila E., “The Glamorous Life” (1984)
Tokyo Featuring Siobhan, “Love Come Down” Evelyn King, “Love Come Down” (1982)
Judy Torres, “Faithfully” Journey, “Faithfully” (1983)
Xavier, “Give Me the Night” George Benson, “Give Me the Night” (1980)
2005
Crazy Frog, “Axel F” Harold Faltermeyer, “Axel F” (1985)
Crazy Frog, “Popcorn” Gershon Kingsley, “Popcorn” (1969)
Hot Butter, “Popcorn” (1972)
Inaya Day, “Nasty Girl” Vanity 6, “Nasty Girl” (1982)
D.H.T., “Listen to Your Heart” Roxette, “Listen to Your Heart” (1989)
DJ Sammy, “Why” Annie Lennox, “Why” (1992)
Fannypack, “Nu Nu (Yeah Yeah)” Lidell Townsell & M.T.F., “Nu Nu” (1992)
Groove Coverage, “Poison” Alice Cooper, “Poison” (1989)
Lenny B. Featuring Kristy Kay, “I Touch Myself” Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (1991)
Lil’ Love, “Little Love” Coldcut, “People Hold On” (1989)
LnM Projekt Featuring Bonnie Bailey, “Everywhere” Fleetwood Mac, “Everywhere” (1988)
Milk Inc., “The Sun Always Shines on TV” A-Ha, “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (1986)
Plummet, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” Paul Simon, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (1976)
Kate Ryan, “The Promise You Made” Cock Robin, “Promise You Made” (1985)
Uniting Nations Featuring Laura More, “Ai No Corrida” Chas Jankel, “Ai No Corrida” (1980)
Quincy Jones, “Ai No Corrida (I-No-Ko-ree-da)” (1981)
Vinylshakerz, “One Night in Bangkok” Murray Head, “One Night in Bangkok” (1985)
2004
Angel City Featuring Lara McAllen, “Love Me Right (Oh Sheila)” Ready for the World, “Oh Sheila” (1985)
Deep Dish, “Flashdance” Shandi, “He’s a Dream” (1983)
Jordan James, “Livin’ on a Prayer” Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer” (1987)
Linus Loves Featuring Sam Obernik, “Stand Back” Stevie Nicks, “Stand Back” (1983)
Tony Moran, “The Promise” When in Rome, “The Promise” (1988)
Pepe Featuring Bernd Schoenhart, “Classical Gas” Mason Williams, “Classical Gas” (1968)
Plummet, “Cherish the Day” Sade, “Cherish the Day” (1993)
Royal Gigolos, “California Dreamin’” The Mamas and the Papas, “California Dreamin’” (1966)
Tina Ann, “All I Need Is a Miracle” Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is a Miracle” (1986)
2003
Aria, “Ti Amo” Umberto Tozzi, “Ti Amo” (1977)
Laura Branigan, “Ti Amo” (1984)
Becky Baeling, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” Belinda Carlisle, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” (1987)
Blue Man Group Featuring Venus Hum, “I Feel Love” Donna Summer, “I Feel Love” (1977)
Deborah Cox, “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” Phil Collins, “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” (1990)
DJ Sammy Featuring Loona, “The Boys of Summer” Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer” (1985)
Mad’house, “Holiday” Madonna, “Holiday” (1984)
QED, “Love Bites” Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (1988)
Dana Rayne, “Object of My Desire” Starpoint, “Object of My Desire” (1985)
Daphne Rubin-Vega, “Rocket Man” Elton John, “Rocket Man” (1972)
Kate Ryan, “Desenchantee” Mylene Farmer, “Desenchantee” (1991)
Secret Tunes, “House of the Rising Sun” Roy Acuff, “House of the Rising Sun” (1938)
Bob Dylan, “House of the Risin’ Sun” (1962)
The Animals, “The House of the Rising Sun” (1964)
Santa Esmeralda Featuring Leroy Gomez, “The House of the Rising Sun” (1978)
Sir Ivan, “San Francisco” Scott McKenzie, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” (1967)
2002
ATB, “You’re Not Alone” Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (1997)
Brancaccio & Aisher, “It’s Gonna Be…(A Lovely Day)” Bill Withers, “Lovely Day” (1978)
The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. Introducing Michelle Visage, “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day” (1993)
Brooklyn Queens, “Amanda” Boston, “Amanda” (1986)
Gigi D’Agostino, “The Riddle” Nik Kershaw, “The Riddle” (1985)
Distant Soundz, “Time After Time” Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time” (1984)
Inoj, “Time After Time” (1998)
DJ Sammy & Yanou Featuring Do, “Heaven” Bryan Adams, “Heaven” (1985)
4 Clubbers, “Children” Robert Miles, “Children” (1996)
Gadjo, “Besame Mucho” Emilio Tuero, “Besame Mucho” (1941)
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, “Besame Mucho” (1944)
The Coasters, “Besame Mucho” (1960)
Eyra Gail, “The Flame” Cheap Trick, “The Flame” (1988)
Eyra Gail, “Heaven” Bryan Adams, “Heaven” (1985)
Mad’house, “Like a Prayer” Madonna, “Like a Prayer” (1989)
Dee Robert, “Separate Ways” Journey, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” (1983)
Space Cowboy, “I Would Die for U” Prince and the Revolution, “I Would Die 4 U” (1985)
2001
Aurora Featuring Naimee Coleman, “Ordinary World” Duran Duran, “Ordinary World” (1993)
Cleptomaniacs Featuring Bryan Chambers, “All I Do (Is Think About You)” Stevie Wonder, “All I Do” (1982)
Karmadelic, “Who’s Crying Now” Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (1981)
K.T. Oslin, “Come on-a My House” Rosemary Clooney, “Come on-a My House” (1951)
Plummet, “Damaged” Plumb, “Damaged” (1999)
2000
Madonna, “American Pie” Don McLean, “American Pie” (1972)
Olive, “I’m Not in Love” 10cc, “I’m Not in Love” (1975)
Rockell, “The Dance” Garth Brooks, “The Dance” (1990)

 

Selective Dance Remakes Since 2000 – Quasi Remakes
Partial Remake Original
2010
J Brazil, “Girl I’m Tryin’” Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (1983)
Pitbull, “Pearly Gates” Bryan Adams, “Heaven” (1985)
DJ Sammy & Yanou Featuring Do, “Heaven” (2002)
2008
Mathieu Bouthier & Muttonheads, “Make Your Own Kind of Music” Mama Cass, “Make Your Own Kind of Music” (1969)
2007
Deborah Cox, “Everybody Dance” Chic, “Everybody Dance” (1978)
Freestylers, “In Love With You” Spandau Ballet, “To Cut a Long Story Short” (1981)
Bob Sinclar & Cutee B. Featuring Dollarman, Big Ali & Makedah, “Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)” C&C Music Factory Featuring Freedom Williams, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (1991)
Bob Sinclar & Cutee B. Featuring Gary Pine & Dollarman, “Sound of Freedom” Rozalla, “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” (1992)
Sixty-9 vs. Discodrive Featuring DJ Fierce, “Rainbow” Brenda Russell, “Piano in the Dark” (1988)
Sunloverz, “Shine On” Steve Winwood, “Shining Song” (1989)
2006
Cascada, “Everytime We Touch” Maggie Reilly, “Everytime We Touch” (1992)
Dario G, “Ring of Fire” Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire” (1963)
De Lorean, “Push It” Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It” (1988)
Marcus Levin, “2 Take Me Away” Toto, “Africa” (1983)
Rogue Traders, “Voodoo Child” Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Pump It Up” (1978)
South Side Crew, “Go Your Own Way” Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977)
Gwen Stefani, “Wind It Up” Mary Martin, “The Lonely Goatherd” (1959)
Julie Andrews, “The Lonely Goatherd” (1965)
Supermode, “Tell Me Why” Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (1985)
Pete Tong & Chris Cox, “Deep End” Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (1979)
2005
DJ DLG & Redroche, “On the Run” Christopher Cross, “Ride Like the Wind” (1980)
Freemasons Featuring Amanda Wilson, “Love on My Mind” Tina Turner, “When the Heartache Is Over” (2000)
Global Deejays, “The Sound of San Francisco” Scott McKenzie, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” (1967)
Sir Ivan, “San Francisco” (2003)
The Lovefreekz, “Shine” Electric Light Orchestra, “Shine a Little Love” (1979)
Uniting Nations, “Out of Touch” Daryl Hall John Oates, “Out of Touch” (1984)
2004
LMC vs. U2, “Take Me to the Clouds Above” Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know” (1986)
Milk & Sugar Featuring Lizzy Pattinson, “Let the Sunshine In” The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” (1969)
Sin Plomo, “It’s You” Sister Sledge, “Thinking of You” (1979/1984)
Solitaire, “I Like Love (I Love Love)” Norma Jean, “I Like Love” (1978)
2003
Jason Nevins Presents Holly James, “I’m in Heaven” Michael Jackson, “Human Nature” (1983)
SWV, “Right Here (Human Nature)” (1993)
2000
C.O.P. Project, “Pornostar” 2 Unlimited, “Let the Beat Control Your Body” (1994)

 

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