The Top 10 Dance Hits Of 1994

The Top 10 Dance Hits Of 1994

salt n pepa 90s club
Salt-N-Pepa, 1994 (Photo by Chris Carroll/Corbis via Getty Images)

Dance music was thriving in the mid-90s, with the ARIA singles top 50 playing host to a steady stream of floor-fillers. Whether you danced in clubs or just in your bedroom, you will no doubt recall these tracks – the 10 dance songs that ranked highest on the end-of-year chart 25 years ago. 
10. "Things Can Only Get Better” by D:Ream
Peak: number 9

Originally released in 1993, before being remixed and given a second shot, “Things Can Only Get Better” was the breakthrough hit for Peter Cunnah, who essentially was D:Ream at this point following the departure of Al Mackenzie. D:Ream returned to the number 9 spot with follow-up “U R The Best Thing”.

9. "Sing Hallelujah” by Dr Alban
Peak: number 5

The Nigerian-born, Swedish-based dentistry student-turned-music star had hit it big in Europe two years earlier with “It’s My Life” – a song Australia passed on then and on re-release in 1994. But we did go nuts for this gospel-infused party starter.

8. "Moving On Up” by M-People
Peak: number 4

Another act that took a while to catch on locally, Manchester’s M-People broke through with this second single from second album Elegant Slumming, which won that year’s Mercury Music Prize. In the UK, “Moving On Up” was part of a string of eight consecutive top 10 hits; in Australia, it was M-People’s only song to reach that part of the chart.

7. "Right In The Night (Fall In Love With Music)” by Jam & Spoon featuring Plavka
Peak: number 2

Based around a sample from "Asturias (Leyenda)” by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz, this trance classic was one of three top 10 hits in Australia for Germans Rolf Ellmer and Markus Löffel. The other two, however, were released under the unforgettable alias Tokyo Ghetto Pussy.

6. "Swamp Thing” by The Grid
Peak: number 3

What a difference banjos make! The British duo comprised of David Ball (formerly of Soft Cell) and Richard Norris had made a series of under-appreciated dance records earlier in the 90s, but they struck gold once they threw the stringed instrument into the mix.

5. "Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa
Peak: number 2

The hip-hop trio (which also included DJ Spinderella) were on fire in the early 90s, with smashes like number 1 “Let’s Talk About Sex” and back-to-back number 2 hits “Shoop” and “Whatta Man”. “Shoop” was the first hit written by Salt (Cheryl James) and Pepa (Sandy Denton) themselves, and came accompanied by a music video featuring Jodeci, A Tribe Called Quest, Blackstreet and a pre-controversy R. Kelly.

4. "Give It Up” By Cut ‘n’ Move
Peak: number 1

Originally a number 3 hit for KC & The Sunshine Band in 1983, “Give It Up” went all the way to the top of the chart thanks to this Eurodance remake by Danish group Cut ‘n’ Move. The chart-toppers didn’t have any such luck with their original tunes, with the follow-up, the title track of their Peace, Love & Harmony album, stalling at number 35.

3. "Slave To The Music” by Twenty 4 Seven featuring Stay-C & Nance
Peak: number 2

More Dutch Eurodance now – Twenty 4 Seven helped launch the early 90s he raps, she sings style that would be much imitated through the decade. But it took until December 1993 for the group, who were up to their second line-up, to connect with Australian dance fans with this song, which was kept from the number 1 spot by Cut ‘n’ Move and East 17’s “It’s Alright”.

2. "100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters
Peak: number 2

It just missed topping the ARIA chart – held off number 1 by “Love Is All Around” by Wet Wet Wet – and this second hit for the American singer had to settle for second place among the year’s top sellers. Unlike her 1991 hit, “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”, “100% Pure Love” traded in topical lyrics for something more straightforward.

1. “The Sign” by Ace Of Base

Peak: number 1

They’d made their mark with “All That She Wants” in 1993, but nothing else from the Swedish quartet’s European debut album had the same impact. Earmarked for their second album, “The Sign” was snapped up by their US record company, who were so impressed with the tune they brought the song forward and made it the title track of their American debut album. In Australia, it was the fifth highest-selling single of 1994; in America, it was the year’s biggest hit.

For more hits of the 90s, check out our playlists;

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