The 80s Electronic Dance Music Hits You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


From New Wave to Synthpop to Italo Disco, we take a look at the 80s electronic dance music hits you need to know.

What is Electronic Dance Music?

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM for short, is a type of music that is made specifically for dancing. The tempo is usually around 120-180 beats per minute, and the music often has a repetitive, hypnotic sound. EDM is usually made with electronic instruments, and it often has a drop, which is a sudden change in tempo or sound.

The History of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music, also known as EDM, is a genre of music that was created by DJs and producers using electronic equipment. This type of music is often played at nightclubs, festivals, and concerts.

EDM first became popular in the 1980s, when DJs began to create remixes of songs that were popular at clubs. These remixes would often include elements of other genres, such as house or techno. As EDM became more popular, producers began to create original tracks that were specifically designed to be played at clubs.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, EDM began to gain popularity outside of the club scene. Producers such as David Guetta and Daft Punk released tracks that were aimed at a wider audience, and EDM festivals such as Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival began to attract large crowds.

Today, EDM is one of the most popular genres of music in the world. It is frequently used in advertising and film soundtracks, and many chart-topping pop songs contain elements of EDM.

The Different Types of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music, also known as EDM, is a genre of music that is created using electronic devices. This can include anything from synthesizers to drum machines to samplers. It is often associated with the rave scene and nightclub culture, but has also become popular in the form of festivals and concerts.

There are many different types of EDM, each with its own unique sound and style. Some of the most popular include:

-House: House music is a type of EDM that originated in the 1980s. It is characterized by a thumping 4/4 beat and often features repetitive melodies and basslines.

-Techno: Techno is a type of EDM that originated in Detroit in the early 1990s. It is characterized by a driving, club-friendly sound and often features minimalistic melodies and beats.

-Trance: Trance is a type of EDM that evolved out of techno in the early 1990s. It is characterized by dreamy, hypnotic melodies and beats that are designed to create an immersive listening experience.

-Dubstep: Dubstep is a type of EDM that emerged in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It is characterized by its heavy basslines and wonky, syncopated rhythms.

The 80s Electronic Dance Music Hits You Need to Know

In the 1980s, electronic dance music was just starting to take off. This was the decade that saw the birth of some of the most iconic dance tracks of all time. From synth-pop to acid house, the 80s was a decade of experimentation and innovation in dance music. Here are some of the most important electronic dance music hits of the 80s that you need to know about.

“Dance, Dance, Dance” by The Chic

The Chic’s “Dance, Dance, Dance” was released in 1978 and is one of the most well-known disco songs of all time. The song was written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, two of the founding members of the band. “Dance, Dance, Dance” was a massive hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and staying there for six weeks. The song also peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart.

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

“Billie Jean” is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson, released by Epic Records on January 2, 1983 as the second single from his sixth studio album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones. Jackson’s vocal spans two octaves, from F#2 to C#5. The song is a medium tempo 160 beats per minute number with synthesizer accompaniment. The lyrics describe a sexually active woman who an anonymous male narrator is attempting to seduce, warning her about the dangers of unprotected sex as she is not the only one in his life.

The song’s hook (“She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene”) is a reference to Marilyn Monroe’s performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. “Billie Jean” was generally well received by contemporary music critics. A number of them praised Jackson’s vocal work, while others commented on the unusual structure and direction of the song. The track won three Grammy Awards in 1984: Record of the Year, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. In 2009 it was voted by Acclaimed Music as the greatest dance record of all time. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Billie Jean” at #58 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Get Down on It” by Kool & The Gang

“Get Down on It” is a 1981 song by American band Kool & the Gang. Released as a single from their album Something Special, it reached number one in several countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The song is often regarded as one of the most influential dance tracks of all time.

“Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers

Can You Feel It is a song by Mr. Fingers, released in 1986. The song was one of the first to popularize the use of sampling in electronic dance music, and has been influential to many subsequent producers.

“Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic

“Pump Up the Jam” is a classic 80s electronic dance hit by the group Technotronic. The song was released in 1989 and quickly became a worldwide sensation, topping charts in multiple countries. The song is known for its catchy hook and danceable beat, making it perfect for any 80s party.

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is one of the most iconic 80s songs, and it’s also one of the most iconic dance songs of all time. The song was originally released in 1987, and it quickly became a worldwide hit. The song is about dancing and having fun, and it’s impossible to listen to it without wanting to get up and dance.

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