|Image by Rebecca Marie Photography & Design|
1. "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire
I discovered early on in my wedding DJ career that this song is pure GOLD. I estimate I've given it 300+ spins and never seen it fall flat. Old, young, black, white, baby boomers, millennials -- all types of folks rush the dance floor for this one. Like any EW&F song, the bass line and horn arrangements are impeccable. But most of all, who can resist singing along with that funky falsetto on the chorus? Thank you, EW&F, for rescuing many an empty dance floor.
2. "Ignition [Remix]" by R Kelly
I was young and snobbish enough when this came out to dismiss it as pop drivel for dudebros crushing Fireball shots at the club. Boy was I wrong. This late '90s classic has only gained heat through the years and become THE anthem for anyone born in the 80s or early 90s. Within the first five seconds of R Kelly's proclamation "Now usually I don't do this, but uh…" the dance floor is fire. If things aren't poppin' off by the time "toot toot" and "beep beep" pops off, I don't know what else I can do for you.
3. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston
My all-time most played track. Even when I think I might get through a wedding without it, someone inevitably requests it. And there's no cutting it short, because like many all-time bangers, the bass drops at the key change.
4. "Pony" by Ginuwine
That baseline though. So simple; so funky; so sexy. It's a melody that's to rap music what "Sweet Jane" is to rock and roll. It's probably the lowest BPM (beats per minute) track that I'll bust out all night, but it works like a gem when the crowd is the most hyped.
5. "PYT" by Michael Jackson
It's hard to pick just one MJ tune ("Rock With You" and "Off the Wall" also come to mind), but I have to say that "PYT" is the lead dog despite maybe being one of the less obvious hits in MJ's catalog. Much of this is due to the faster tempo and slick production of The Legend Quincy Jones, but at the end of the day it's all about the earworm chorus hook and lusty thematic undertones.
6. "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates
Like MJ, it's hard to pick just one H&O track. I'll highlight "Dreams" because it's my go-to track early in the evening when I'm catering to a wide age spectrum on the dance floor. It's fun to watch the older folks act surprised at just how excited the younger set gets when this one drops. You WILL snap your fingers and you WILL do some weird dance that looks something cut from an '80s prom flick.
7. "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO
Like basketball stars who retired at the peak of their game, LMFAO released a Red-Bull-and-vodka-fueled triad of perfect spring break EDM anthems and rode off into the Hypnotiq-stained sunset ("Shots" and "Sexy and I Know It" round out the list). "Party Rock Anthem" is their "Don't Stop Believing" - a perfect 130bpm dance track that no one feels particularly proud about loving but everyone does. Everyday I'm shuffling this one into my queue.
8. "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson (feat Bruno Mars)
Like it or hate it, "Uptown Funk" is "September" for the millennial generation. I didn't know songs like this were left to be written, then Mark Ronson went and did it. Bruno Mars grew a full foot in my estimation with the release of this immaculate Gap Band knockoff. As much as I hear it on halftime shows and commercials, I will never apologize for loving this song.
9. "Teach Me How to Dougie" by Cali Swag District
I'm not sure how many people I drop this on actually know how to Dougie per se, but I do know that they're usually drunk enough to fake it. This is my favorite of the "do-this-dance-now" songs ("Watch Me Whip" and "Cupid Shuffle" are two others that rarely fall flat) and it's the one I'm most likely to drop in when people need a little direction on the dance floor.
10. "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
Any good DJ knows that you should close every set with clear and present instructions to get it on. This set closer accomplishes that in a classy and timeless enough fashion that won't offend mom (and might even put a little heat in dad's loins). "We're all sensitive people, with so much to give." Sayonara suckers, hope you don't have to hire me again!
"I Want You Back" by Jackson 5
"Express Yourself" by Madonna
"Got Yo' Money" by Old Dirty Bastard
"No Diggity" by Blackstreet
"Hot in Here" by Nelly
"Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa
"Apache" by Sugarhill Gang
"Mo Money, Mo Problems" by Notorious B.I.G.
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
"Turn Down For What" by DJ Snake
"Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift
"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Thanks so much to Richard and the team at All Ears DJ! All Ears DJ is all about spinning the tunes that you want to hear. They collaborate with you to create a completely unique and personalized playlist.
For more ideas on selecting the right music for your big day, visit chicagostyleweddings.com!