A number of the folks who read this journal as dj’s, as am I. I have a question for those of you who are:

In anticipation of an upcoming gig I want to know what are your most fool-proof dance floor fillers? The song that will always generate a response – the song you reach for when things are flagging? Can be from any genre and any period.

For those of you who aren’t dj’s: what songs do you long most to dance to? The song that if you hear it will make you get over your inhibitions enough to stomp around and act silly, the song that spells relief for your evening.


  1. I just posted a song meme, so I guess I’m in music mode right now. My vote as a non-DJ:

    “It Takes Two” Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. Always seems to work.

  2. “I like the Whopper, -BLEEP- the Big Mac”

    A great one, but one that has been cannablized by commercials

    I used to love playing “Lust for Life” until fuckin Carribean cruise lines came along.

  3. Samantha Fox’s I SURRENDER(To the Spirit of the Night) and TOUCH ME
    (well this will most likely lead to sex)

    The alternative would be ROSES ARE RED by Aqua.

    Thank the Gods for the Anonymous Option, so we can admit the stranger truths about ourselves. 😛

    If you want mainstream, albeit very gay and old, IT’S RAINING MEN by the Weather Girls.

  4. -Metro Area – Miura
    -Black Leotard Front – Casual Friday (about 15 mins long, but you can break it up nicely into two distinct songs without much trouble, and they’d still be two great numbers)
    -Proper Filthy Naughty – Fascination (either Droyds Ghetto Mix or Droyds One Armed mix)
    -Savas Pascalidis – U Can Do It If U Dance
    -Tok Tok vs. Soffy O – Missy Queen’s Gonna Die
    -Scissor Sisters – Filty Gorgeous (extended mix)[sorry, but it works]
    -Chromeo – Me & My Man (Whitey vs Chromeo Fly Whitey mix)

  5. Hard to gauge the audience you’re playing to…I suppose it depends on your audience. Here’s a few genre biscuits I always think to have handy:

    Older House:
    Sandy B – “Make The World Go Round” (Deep Dish Remix)
    Danny Tenaglia – “Bottom Heavy” (Danny’s Ballroom Mix)
    “Some Lovin'” – MURK or Liberty City
    “Finally” – Cece Peniston

    New Wave Nostalgia:
    “Bizarre Love Triangle” or “True Faith” – New Order
    “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
    “If You Leave” – OMD
    “Rock Lobster” – The B-52s

    Newer House:
    “Lola’s Theme” – Shapeshifters
    “Flashdance” – Deep Dish
    “Lazy” – X-Press 2 feat. David Byrne
    “Filthy/Gorgeous” – Scissor Sisters
    “How Would U Feel?” – David Morales
    “Put ‘Em High” – Stonebridge

    Rock Out With Your Cock Out:
    “You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC
    “Been Caught Stealing” or “Stop” – Jane’s Addiction
    “She Sells Sanctuary” – The Cult
    “Blister In The Sun” or “Add It Up” – Violent Femmes

    R&B/Rap That Moves The Floor:
    “Hey Ya!”, “The Way You Move” – OutKast
    “Milkshake” – Kelis
    “In Da Club” – 50 Cent
    “Crazy In Love” – Beyonce

    Hope this helps a little.

  6. Well – you have to keep the crowd in mind. As I’m a child of the ’80s, there’s any number of songs from that era that will work:

    • The Politics of Dancing – ReFlex
    • Obsession – Animotion
    • Talk Talk – Talk Talk
    • The Reflex – Duran Duran
    • Church of the Poison Mind – Culture Club
    • San Say – Hiroshima
    • Delirious – ZZ Top
    • Don’t You Want Me – Human League
    • Little Lies (Dance Remix) – Fleetwood Mac
    • No More Words – Berlin
    • Heavy Water – Jethro Tull
    • Enter Sandman – Metallica
    • Wannabe – Spice Girls
    • On and On and On – ABBA
    • One Better World – ABC
    • Sex (I’m a…) – Berlin
    • Express Yourself – Madonna
    • Maria – Blondie
    • Let Go – Blue Oyster Cult
    • She Bop – Cyndi Lauper
    • Layin’ It On The Line – Jefferson Starship
    • Abadabadango – Kim Carnes
    • After The Fall – Klaus Nomi
    • Turn The Beat Around – Vicki Sue Robinson
    • Vertigo – Lene Lovich
    • Color In Your Life – Missing Persons
    • The Promise Of A New Day – Paula Abdul
    • Would I Lie To You – Eurythmics
    • Logic & Love – Wang Chung
    • Over My Head (Extended Mix) – Toni Basil
    • Bop ‘Til You Drop – The Nylons
    • Knock On Wood – Amii Stewart
    • Move To Memphis – a-Ha
    • If I’d Been The One – .38 Special
    • I Ran – A Flock Of Seagulls

    Oh my… that’s quite a lot. 😉 Hope it helps a little.

  7. Another child of the 80’s here…

    I remember these and I miss Sundays at Park Avenue in Milwaukee, which were GLBT dance nights (really freaky when you’re used to bars being closed on Sunday, like they are in Indiana):

    Pump Up the Volume by M.A.R.R.S.
    Andy and Marcia Baila, both by Les Rita Mitsouko
    Don Quichotte by Magazine 60
    Show Me by the Cover Girls
    Boom, Boom, Boom by Paul Lekakis
    In Love with Love and French Kissin (in the USA), both by Deborah Harry
    Walk Like a Man by Divine
    Hit That Perfect Beat by Bronski Beat
    Don’t Leave Me This Way by the Communards
    Sometimes by Erasure
    Respectable by Mel & Kim
    All Right Now by Pepsi & Shirlee

    And even though it was never played at Park Avenue, I include it Just Because: Jukebox by the Flirts.

  8. Re: Another child of the 80’s here…

    Jukebox! Oh yes!

    I’d maim for a really good copy of a song I only ever saw the video for – Gee Cute by The Seirens.

    You think you’re so sultry when you dance
    But I know you stuff socks into your pants!

  9. Babe Ruth: “Wells Fargo”
  10. Babe Ruth: “Lady”
  11. Camel: “Summer Lightning”
  12. Alec R. Costandinos & The Syncophonic Orchestra: “Romeo & Juliet”
  13. Joy Fleming: “I Only Wanna Get Up And Dance”
  14. Führs & Fröhling: “Roundabout”
  15. Nona Hendryx: “Transformation”
  16. Labelle: “A Man In A Trenchcoat (Voodoo)”
  17. Led Zeppelin: “Trampled Under Foot”
  18. MFSB: “Love Is The Message”
  19. Orange Juice: “Rip It Up”
  20. Randy Pie: “Microfilm”
  21. Scritti Politti: “Lions After Slumber”
  22. Style Council: “Speak Like A Child”
  23. Donna Summer: “Wasted”
  24. Mari Wilson: “Just What I Always Wanted”
  25. Oh, forgot to mention – never DJed in my life. That said – there’s a LOT of ZZ Top (and other Real Rock) that’s quite danceable; a shame that so many DJs seem utterly terrified of it.

  26. Glad to hear you’re an exception, then. 😉

    Ooh, can’t believe I forgot these:

    • Turning Japanese – The Vapors
    • Voices of Babylon – The Outfield
    • Don’t Fight It – Kenny Loggins & Steve Perry

    [Evil Grin]

  27. There’s a comp with it on Amazon (run a search for “Teenage Shutdown,” then scroll down to the volume called Jump, Jive & Harmonize). Looks like it’s out of print and pricey BUT you can listen to a snippet and if you like what you hear, I’ll be happy to send you an mp3 – once Johnny gets home and shows me how.

  28. Do with it what you will

    I’m no DJ and I just don’t go dancing, but these tend to get my butt wiggling around the apartment:

    (Good ol’ 80s) I can’t believe no one mentioned Prince… or does that say something dated & unsavory about me?
    Girls & Boys – Prince
    Now – Prince

    (For some swing)
    Hey Pachuco – The Royal Crown Revue
    Let The Good Times Roll – Fishbone

    Soul Sauce (Fila Brazillia Remix) – Cal Tjader (From the album Verve Remixed, Vol. 2)
    Manteca (The Funky Lowlives Remix) – Dizzy Gillespie (From the album Verve Remixed, Vol. 2)
    Supertropical – Señor Coconut
    Soul Salsa Soul – St. Germain

    (Funky 70s) Can’t go too wrong with some disco!
    Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
    Le Freak – Chic
    I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor (for that totally gay 70s thang)
    Brick House – The Commodores

    Straight Laid Out – Cirrus
    History Repeating – Propellerheads
    Rock And A Hard Place – Supreme Beings Of Leisure (it’s got a slower beat but feels really sexy)
    Love, Peace and Grease – BT

  29. all my secrets……

    bohannon- let’s get the dance started (everybody get out of your chairs and dance!)
    digital underground- the humpty dance (makes them nasty)
    mike jackson- workin’ day & night (uh huh)
    amii stewart- knock on wood
    mu- paris hilton (simple and wonderful…got crystal?)
    devo- peek-a-boo (I know what you do, ’cause I do it too)
    skatt bros.- walk the night (old queens will get out of their chairs)
    warren covington- the bunny hop (gets the punks on the floor)

  30. Re: all my secrets……

    “Ladies, I’m really sincere,
    ‘Cause in a 69 my Humpty nose will tickle your rear”

    Great minds think alike.

    Although these days I’m liking “Be Stiff” rather than Peek-a-boo

  31. Yikes!

    I’m a dork. My dancing has a two drink minumum. I must have two before losing enough of my inhibitions to allow me to approach the floor. In fact, if I’m going to dance, you should have a couple as well.

    The one song I can’t get over is Lady Marmalade. Patty makes me crazy. In fact, a few years ago when we were out, we started answering when she asks the question – “voulez vous couchez avec moi? ce soir?” We scream back, “yes!”

    But then I’m a dork who’s had a couple of drinks.

  32. They do, but I find it so frustrating, in part because like the commercial makers, I also want to do that thing of having people go “wait what is this? Oh yeah this is great!” But if they are thinking about the commercial it kinda kills it. Like for a while I would put on “Just what I Needed” by the Cars and people would go nuts. Now that Circuit City is playing it to death I feel like I can’t touch it for another few years.

  33. Very very thoughtful! Thanks

    I’m lucky because for the most part I play arty events where people are less demanding – they know the sort of stuff I play. Unlike playing a wedding where there are a lot of expectations and emotions are running high.

  34. Re: Do with it what you will

    Great Suggestions!

    The Problem I have with Prince is that I generally don’t like to play more than one song by someone in a set so how do you pick? These days I play
    Sexy Motherfucker, or D,M,S,R or get off or Erotic City but theres just about twenty other things that are as good.

  35. you mentioned Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 ‘Scorpio’ in an earlier post.
    And no party is complete without ‘It’s Just Begun’ The Jimmy Castor Bunch.
    oh – and ‘Human Fly’ The Cramps

  36. …or like when (whichever network it was) killed Orleans’ Still The One back in the ’70s. It’s a favorite song of mine, but a lot of people still cringe when they hear it.

  37. when i rock it, i play the following and bitches get all wet

    old stuff

    ac/dc – you shook me all night long
    cheap trick – she’s tight
    motley crue – looks that kill
    van halen – you really got me and/or ain’t talkin bout love
    boston – more than a feeling

    new stuff
    death from above 1979 – black history month and/or sexy results
    the hives – walk idiot walk and/or hate to say i told you so
    the darkness – i believe in a thing called love

    as for old house/disco/whatever, i’m a huge fan of:

    loose joints – is it all over my face
    jackie moore – this time baby
    noel – silent morning [cuz that fuckin’ latin freestyle still makes me super happy]

    do you dj off cds or vinyl?

  38. Re: all my secrets……

    My birthday is on Friday (the 24th). Due to PRIDE I have to gather friends a little early. I can’t do it the week after because of some holiday.

    It’s like this every year.

    I tried wine for the first time last night, woo hoo!

  39. keep singing

    Unlike playing a wedding where there are a lot of expectations and emotions are running high.

    “hey love, spare us your art”

    (how could I resist)

  40. to keep it funky

    Two songs that are good for sustaining the mood I think would be:

    1) Rufus w/Chaka: Do You Love What You Feel?
    2) Chaka Khan: I Feel For You

    and for the artsy crowd, very early am:

    Nina Hagen: New York, New York

    Maybe a little self-reflexive if you’re already there, but it was the JAM back in Greensboro, NC in 1984!

  41. Surefire….

    Without a doubt, Nayland, it’s Irving Aaronson and his Commanders’1928 cover of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave” from Porter’s show “Paris” of the same year.

    Do it here:

    Never fails to please.


    While Billy Murray’s 1911 recording of Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” is a sockdollager, the tempo seems to be a bit slowed down in this presentation…

    …Bessie Smith’s 1927 cover of same is THE one though:


    Unfortunately, I can’t quickly locate an online copy of Helen Kane’s splendid, 1929 rendition of “I Want To Be Bad” written by Ray Henderson, B. G. DeSylva & Lew Brown –-it can be obtained on CD with a little diligent research. (Helen Kane, if you recall, was the original voice of Betty Boop.)

    Though your jaw will drop –and stay there; drooling with pleasure as Zelma O’Neil belts it out to the accompaniment dancing-devil chorus girls, and flames shooting out of the band members’ trumpets in the legendary “lost” and found 1930 Technicolor film; “Follow Thru”…

    …I have not been successful in locating this version online for your drooling pleasure.
    So, a 1929 recording by issue by Annette Hanshaw issued on Harmony: 878-H will have to do as a inadequate stand-in:


    Apologies for the nasty Realplayer format –these are the only online recordings I could locate on short notice. For alternatives to installing the voluptuous horror of the Realplayer app on your system, read this:

    A pleasure running into you –-as always –on Sunday. Perhaps we can arrange chance events so that we run into you again at Storm King, or, at Wyndcliffe.,%20Mill%20Road,%20Rhinebeck%20vicinity,%20Dutchess%20County,%20NY&displayType=1&maxCols=2



  42. Re: Do with it what you will

    “Sign of the Times” is a great song for getting started. Funky enough to get people thinking about shaking it, not too demanding so they don’t get scared off.

  43. Re: Surefire….

    Oh boy, and how… Did I nearly forget…!

    Fletcher Henderson and his brilliant “Henderson Stomp” recorded 11/03/1926 –issued on Columbia:


    Henderson’s’ cover of Jelly Roll Morton’s “King Porter Stomp” recorded 03/14/1928 –issued on Columbia:

    Though Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra have more than their share of detractors, two recordings are particularly hot:

    The “Charleston” recorded 05/07/1925 –issued as: Victor 19671-B


    “Happy Feet” recorded 02/10/1930 –issued as: Columbia 2164-D

    –All guaranteed to put the live wires in an absolute panic.


    To make your hair stand up on end; Fats Waller at the organ…

    “Hog Maw Stomp” (2nd take) recorded in Camden NJ, 02/16/1927 and issued on Victor:

    “Lennox Avenue Blues” recorded in Camden NJ, 11/17/1922 and issued on Victor 20357-B:

    “Messin’ Around With The Blues Blues” (take 2) (take 3 is better, though) recorded in Camden NJ, 01/14/1927 and issued on Victor:


    …And finally, to curl it, anything from Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers Chicago tracks of 1926-27.


    Beale Street Blues

    Black Bottom Stomp

    Billy Goat Stomp

    Deadman Blues

    Doctor Jazz

    Grandpa’s Spells

    Hyena Stomp

    Jungle Blues

    Original Jelly-Roll Blues

    Sidewalk Blues

    Someday Sweetheart

    Steamboat Stomp

    The Chant

    The Pearls

    Wild Man Blues


  44. I also swiped “Magic Stick” from you.

    It’s all CDs these days – much easier to transport.

    This time baby is one of my all time favorite things –

    How about “Round and Round” by Ratt?

  45. Tons of amazing suggestions. I’m going to have to go digging for that Fletcher Henderson.

    Dunno what kind of musical background your normal crowd has, which makes all the difference. I don’t know any foolproof track for all occasions, but here’s some stuff I usually throw in the crate when I’m not sure who’ll be showing up and I want to make them move:

    EPMD – “The Crossover”
    Funkadelic – “One Nation Under a Groove”
    Teebee – “Let Go”
    Krome & Time – “The License”
    DJ Zinc – “Super Sharp Shooter”
    Wild Cherry – “Play That Funky Music”
    James Brown – geez, pick one
    Fela – “Nai Poi”
    Lady Fevah – “Battlecry”
    Artful Dodger – “Re-Rewind”
    Crystal Method – “Keep Hope Alive” or “Trip Like I Do”
    Chemical Brothers – “Loops of Fury” or “Block Rocking Beats”
    T99 – “Anasthasia”
    Slo Moshun – “Bells of New York”

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