The early 2000s brought with it a wave of club/dance/trance hits carried over from the late ’90s. These were the days when I would go to teenage clubs, roller-skating rinks and strobe light-filled sleepovers with friends I wish I still had while sporting bright neon UFO pants, a tube top and Skechers. Here is a list of my top five favorite, most personally memorable songs from this era. Feel free to add your own.
Number Five: “Castles in the Sky” by Ian Van Dahl (2000). “Castles in the Sky” is a song by Belgian dance group Ian Van Dahl featuring Marsha. It was released in 2000 and was written by Erik Vanspauwen, Christophe Chantzis and Martine Theeuwen (the former two also produced the song). The song peaked at #3 on the UK charts, #13 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music charts and #13 in Ireland. The song is known for its addictive hook, “tell me why / do we build castles in the sky / oh tell my why / all the castles way up high.” This song has the perfect trance groove and brings back plenty of memories.
Number Four: “As the Rush Comes” by Motorcycle (2004). “As the Rush Comes” by collaborative group Motorcycle was released in 2004. Motorcycle consists of vocalist JES and DJs/producers Gabriel & Dresden. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart, as well as reaching #11 in the UK and reaching the top ten in several European countries. The song has been remixed by artists like Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz and Gabriel & Dresden (my favorite version of this track is the Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Remix). Different formats of the song have been featured on TV shows like Entourage, Nip/Tuck and C.S.I.
Number Three: “Rapture” by iiO (2001). “Rapture” is a song by iiO, released in 2001 off of their debut album Poetica. The song consists of the production beats of Markus Moser and the “rapturous” vocals of Nadia Ali. Like many songs that came out during this time, “Rapture” was remixed numerous times by artists like John Creamer and Stephane K, Riva, Deep Dish, Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk. The track hit the top of the charts in several countries, peaking in Australia at #3, in Canada at #4, in Belgium at #1, in Greece at #3 and on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart at #2. The song is known for its catchy chorus: “mi amore / don’t you know / my love I want you so / sugar / you make my soul complete / rapture tastes so sweet.”
Number Two: “L’amour Toujours (I’ll Fly with You)” by Gigi D’Agostino (2001). “L’amour Toujours (I’ll Fly with You)” is a song by DJ Gigi D’Agostino that was released in the US and became popular in 2001 (although technically it was first featured on the 1999 album of the same name). “L’amour Toujours” is French for “love always,” although the song is spoken in English and is best known as “I’ll Fly With You.” The song became a hit in the rave scene of the early 2000s and peaked high in countries like Romania, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Austria. It peaked at #44 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts. This is the perfect song to dance to with your lover, as it features both male and female vocals.
Number One: “Ready Steady Go” by Paul Oakenfold (2002). “Ready Steady Go” is a song by DJ Paul Oakenfold and was released in 2002 as part of the double-single, “Southern Sun/Ready Steady Go.” The song was featured on the artist’s 2002 album Bunkka and features the vocals of Asher D. The song has been used in video games like NFL Blitz Pro and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003, as well as in movies like The Bourne Identity and Collateral. For Sex & The City fans, it was featured in the season 6 episode titled, “Lights, Camera, Relationship,” and is played during the scene where Carrie and Berger ride away on his motorcycle. The original and the many remixed versions of the songs have been featured on over seventy compilation albums. The song peaked at #2 on the UK Dance charts, #9 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart and #16 on the UK Singles chart. This song makes you want to get your glow sticks out and rave on.