The Ultimate All-Decades Dance Party Playlist

Music has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but some things always stay the same.

Music has almost always been about people in love. And if you know anything about people falling in love, you know that dancing is far and away one of humans’ most popular ways to get down to it.

A good danceable beat covers many flaws in music, and the dancefloor has been one place where I’ve learned that music needs all kinds of kinds. The culture of dance unites artists as diverse as 1950s rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson’s “Let’s Have a Party” and early 2000s pop boy band NSync’s “I Want It That Way”.

The novice music fan might be jarred to hear tracks from both alongside each other. Fair enough. But if you’ve had to chance to dance to both, you’ll see that the principle is the same. This music celebrates the culture of youth. It celebrates moving your body. It celebrates having a good time. And for all the critics’ moaning about commercialization, these popular artists are actually quite clever and talented to make music that sticks in our minds for so long.

Once you start dancing, you come to love music and dancing in all their twists and variations. I’ve created a dance party playlist which I think captures a snapshot of those twists and variations – and one which will get all your party guests up out of their chairs and dancing.

I’ve pulled on the musical riches of every era of popular music. If you play this at your next party, expect to get a little bit of everything:

  • The 50s: Wanda Jackson, Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry
  • The 60s: The Monkees, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • The 70s: The Jackson 5, Bee Gees, Aretha Franklin
  • The 80s: Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Toto
  • The 90s: Backstreet Boys, Will Smith, Ricky Martin
  • The 00s: Shakira, Kings of Leon, Coldplay
  • The 10s: Taylor Swift (lots), Bruno Mars,, Carly Rae Jepsen

Ready to get started? Just plug this thing into your loudest set of speakers available and prepare for uncontrollable dancing urges.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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