Saturday, 14 June 2014

90s Eurodance - The Rise and Fall of a Musical Sub-Genre






If you have heard of songs such as 'Another Night' by The Real McCoy, 'Mr Vain' by Culture Beat and Corona's 'Rhythm of the Night', then you would be somewhat familiar with or be interested to know they were part of the widely known Euro dance scene that took placed during the 90s. 

Great songs, timeless classics, huge dance anthems with catchy choruses, memorable instrumentals and sing-a-long lyrics. 

It was a great time for Euro dance music, and for fans and dance music enthusiasts to be bombarded with fun, good - feel records. 

If the 1980s was dominated by Stock Aitken Waterman European - style pop music, then Eurodance was the 1990s and successor to Italo dance and Hi-NRG & was Europe's take on dance music. 

Italo dance was hugely popular in the underground scene during the 1980s; the term Italo dance referred to a type of dance music originating in Italy. After the popularity of disco in the 1970s, it declined in the 1980s and was subsequently replaced by Italo dance. 

When Italo dance didn't take off in the same manner as disco did and became mainstream and commercial, Eurodance took its place. 

The 90s wasn't just the decade of boybands, Britney Spears and Max Martin, the golden age for R&B and hip hop - it also heralded the arrival of Eurodance. 

Growing up as a child of the 1980s in 1990s as a teenager, was a mixture of good and bad times for me. Mostly bad speaking from personal experiences and high school, but everything else, entertainment wise, music, movies, TV, video games were so much fun. Those were the good days. 

Eurodance introduced me to dance music; I grew up as a child listening to pop, but when the 90s arrived, I took an interest in other genres such as R&B and Euro dance. 

I enjoyed many of the records, I was attracted to the sound, but also how melodic and catchy the choruses, the lyrics and tunes of the songs were.

It was significant in a way - I don't care what people say. The same people who trashed Euro dance are the same people who slagged off Stock Aitken and Waterman pop music and 90s Max Martin records. I wished Euro dance was still current and dominant, as it was in the 90s. But music over time has changed.... and most of it isn't very good. 

The sorry state of Dance music today is as a result of the interpolation of rap, hip hop and euro dance into pop music, resulting in a sound that is convoluted, messy and thus, has lost a part of its identity that made it what it was in the 1990s. The influence of and impact of Electronic dance music (EDM) and progressive house music are partly the reasons why Euro dance rarely exists, - and those are the same reasons that pop music and R&B music have not so much evolved, but rather regressed as musical genres. 

The two couldn't be any more different; whereas R&B has been sucked up by the mainstream music industry and had its image and identity spat out and thrown in the trash, the former in dance underwent an assimilation into pop and R&B. When you take genres such as Euro dance and R&B and turn them into commercial entities, their importance and roots are stripped away, for good. 

I personally will say that Euro dance died during the early 00s- for me, that signalled the end of its dominance. 

Many will say Eurodance was and is commericalised, throwaway and disposable sub-genre of dance. It has its critics and as a musical style, gets a lot of flak - some of it is justified, some of it is harsh. There is good and bad Eurodance records. 

Either way, lets us reminisce on the good old days and the great Eurodance records, like these....







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