La Da Dee La Dee Da: 11 Of Our Favorite House Songs From Back In The Day

September 11, 2013  |  

house songs

As a young woman from Chicago, House music is pretty much everything. My older brother often fondly remembers his days jamming in the club and dancing like he was on acid to House jams, and you couldn’t avoid the songs during rush hour traffic when some stations would play an eclectic mix. Because of all that, I grew to have major love for the sound, and since moving to NYC, I’ve noticed it’s basically popular everywhere. So what are some of our favorites? The ones that get our heads bopping and our fingers snapping? We’ll have to pass on all that David Guetta stuff from today and take it back old-school. Here are 11 of my favorites. If you don’t agree, that’s cool, feel free to share your faves below.

“Good Life” – Inner City

“Love is shining, life is thriving in the good life…good life.”

This song is so ’80s house it’s not even funny, and I’m sure if you call yourself a house fan you’ve acted a fool to the beat of it on more than one occasion. It was upbeat, somewhat uplifiting, and sure to make you drop that bottom or at least do a shimmy in a circle a few times. You know you love it!

“Everybody Everybody” – Black Box

OW! Though the song is by “Black Box,” the skinny chick dancing around in the video is NOT the voice singing the track. The legendary Martha Wash is the one belting out “Sad and freeeeeeee!” But aside from that controversy, the song is still one of my absolute favorites for its energy.

“Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” – Crystal Waters

Did anybody else think it was weird that people were getting it on the dance floor to a song about a homeless bag lady…? No? Okay, just checking. The song by House diva Crystal Waters has been sampled many a time (see T.I.’s “Why You Wanna”) and still gets people to do their best Vogue impression. The simple keyboard is the song’s essence!

“Follow Me” – Aly Us

When I sing this song in our office, it absolutely drives my boss crazy, but a gospel house song? Yes, please! It’s not only inspiring and positive, but it also makes you want to jump around (and praise God too, don’t forget!). It’s not too complicated and it definitely is a must-play for ’90s house music fans.

“Gonna Make You Sweat” – C+C Music Factory

Talk about the ultimate workout song. C + C Music Factory’s classic still gets me extremely amped and ready to search for the tightest spandex a playa can find. Sadly, this is another house/dance jam that featured Martha Wash’s vocals but didn’t really give her credit for it. She would later successfully sue to get her song credit and royalties. Makes sense, because it IS her voice that makes the track hot.

“Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)” – Soul II Soul

A definite club classic that has been referenced in raps by folks from Jay Z to Foxy Brown, everything about this jam is a banger. Including the random string usage, to the vocal capabilities of Caron Wheeler, which truly bring us “back to life.” Sorry, I had to do it. It just barely beats out the awesome-ness that was Soul II Soul’s other hit, “Keep On Movin.'”

“Coffee Pot (It’s Time For The Percolator)” – Cajmere

While my colleague would say that the actual dance is a bit out of style, the song itself still makes me want to shake something. And shake it fast at that. The song was a massive hit that to this day, depending on what part of the country you live on (a lot of West Coast readers didn’t really know it), can bring up some colorful and fun memories.

“Finally” – CeCe Peniston

Love CeCe’s voice! As for the hair in this video though, not so much. But hey, it was the ’90s. While she’s had quite a few jams, including “Keep On Walkin” and “Movin On,” this one was her biggest house creation and is still a must to jam to.

“Show Me Love” – Robin S.

I soooo wish I was in my 20s during the early ’90s clubbing to songs like this in chunky slingback heels, a velvet dress and with thick bangs on my forehead. I would have clowned! The Queens native’s classic definitely still gets the party started. And kudos to the keyboard player during the bridge. So yes, if you’re looking for devotion, talk to me!

“Can You Feel It” – Mr. Fingers

A classic Chicago House record by Mr. Fingers, aka Larry Heard, it wasn’t centered on catchy lyrics, but explaining what house music is and entails (well, it did depending on what version you had). The instrumental was amazing on it and is best appreciated in a dark room with at least two strobe lights running around the room. Let there be House!

“I’ll House You” – Jungle Brothers

One of the biggest “hip-house” tracks done, Native Tongues members the Jungle Brothers had a major hit on their hands when they were telling folks to “house your body” with this jam in 1989.  The song is so booty-pop worthy and a classic that on YouTube alone,  it has folks reminiscing about house parties in Brooklyn and college soirees. Good times indeed…

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  • Sha

    Thanks for posting the memories, I love all of these tracks. Got my Friday started off right!

  • Ms. Terry

    You forgot about Hot Music by Soho. THAT is the jam!!!

  • gogoflow

    since you did a list of house music, you got to do one for the 80’s/90’s dmv gogo!.:)

    • texastea

      House filtered down to the DMV too. I remember WEAA (morgan state u.’s radio station) used to rock some house on Saturday nights. And the clubs in DC use do pump! I miss those days.

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  • FashionBaby

    Okay, I’m so about to have an 80’s/90’s house party at my house. “Move Yo’ Body”!

  • Nina

    Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body

  • Bren

    What about “Follow me…” Don’t know who wrote it. I am also from Chicago and living in New York and I still listen to 90’s house.

  • kb

    some of these aren’t house; but I appreciate the effort. Absolutely love house, deep, tech, if prog!
    David Guetta used to make house, now he makes EDM and it sucks!

  • RHONYC

    Lil Miz Miley ‘STHD’ Cyrus don’t know from ‘The Percolator’! haHA! ;-D

  • RHONYC

    great post to listen to during my 3-4pm office slump hour! ;-D

  • Team nymphis

    The children- Freedom
    Adonis-no way back
    Mark imperial- the love I lost
    Ralph’s Rosario- you use to hold me
    Jamie principle-your love
    Chip e- like this

  • ChiTown Princess

    Got all of those songs on my iPhone, those were the days and the music was way more better than the crap that’s out right now. People born after 1990 might disagree, but who gives a rat s**t.

    • chaka1

      Thank you. ALL these songs are my jams!!!

    • chaka1

      Thank you. ALL these songs are my jams!!!

  • pickneychile

    My husband and I were LITERALLY just talking about old school house music last night! We were trying to remember some of the ones that would always play back in the day. Thank you for this list! lol

  • Maile00

    Still Perkin but I wouldn’t call anything Soul II Soul “house”.

  • LisaD

    Ok, you’re missing So many Tears by Frankie Knuckles, That’s the way Love is by Ten City and one of the biggest house tunes of all time….Break For Love!

    • RHONYC

      AHHHHHHHH, YEEEAAAAAASSSSS!!! ;-D

      • bobbie

        Oh my goodness…I feel so old. House music back in the day was the best….Work it to the bone, Notice me, Big fun etc. Way better than current crap.Takes me back to the good old days of going out to the clubs in the Lower East Side almost every night of the week.

        • RHONYC

          riiiiight!!!???

          b4 it got so safe & sanitized! there was no better feeling like you were putting your life in your hands all in the name of having a good time. i miss you Save The Robots! *tears* ;-(

          *Edith Bunker sings*

          “THOSE WERE THE DAAAAYYYYS!” ;-D

        • texastea

          Yes. And I just remember the black love that was up in them clubs back east, back in the day. I felt so connected and accepted there. I saw beautiful, strong black people there who loved themselves and loved each other. I miss those days.

    • Ray

      co-sign.

    • texastea

      Yes, honey, yes!!!!! Man, this list is just taking me back to such a better time! The memories. I am originally from da east anyway.