10 Rock Songs Guaranteed To Make Everyone Hit The Dance Floor
Let Your Inner Dancer Come Alive
These are the stuff you play when you’re caught between rocking out and dancing. Why not have both, right? You see, some hardcore rockers may cringe when they hear the word “disco” but the following songs prove that a crossover isn’t just possible but it can sound really good too.
From musical experimentation to massive hits – who’s ready to shake that booty?
10. David Bowie – “Let’s Dance”
David Bowie’s one of the few people who, when he tells you to dance, you do it just because. It’s one of his biggest hits (and fastest selling single too) and a little musical surprise comes at the end with Stevie Ray Vaughan playing the solo – just when you thought it can’t get any better.
“The combination of Bowie and Rodgers on the title track was perfect – Bowie’s epic lyric about dancing under ‘serious moonlight’ and the brilliant filching of the crescendo ‘ahh!’s from the Beatles’ version of the Isley Brothers’ ‘Twist and Shout’ were masterstrokes, each welded to a loud, stadium-ised drum and bass sound.” – David Quantick for BBC
It’s hard to dislike this jam even if funky songs aren’t your thing. If by any chance you find yourself not enjoying the track, you may want to get your hearing checked. There’s a reason why David Bowie’s a legend, buddy.
9. Wings – “Goodnight Tonight”
The first time you heard it on the radio, you probably didn’t think this was Macca’s work with his band Wings. Who can blame you? But keep in mind that he never shied away from pushing boundaries (well, he did collaborate with Kanye West right?) so it’s not really surprising that he’d dish out this groovy disco rock song. And the flamenco guitar break is a real stroke of genius!
“Some rock fans turned up their nose at it as a result but a close listen to the song reveals it is not the sell-out that these fans claimed. In fact, “Goodnight Tonight” is a good example of Paul McCartney’s ability to incorporate the sounds of the day into his usual blend of pop and rock elements without ever losing his unique musical personality.” – AllMusic’s Donald A. Guarisco
It might sound a tad cheesy at first but it’s actually an epic masterpiece. If you don’t believe us, just listen to that bass line.
8. The Beatles – “Twist and Shout”
Not exactly a disco-inflected sound but anyone who says they don’t hit the dance floor the moment this comes on is a big fat liar. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, when “Twist and Shout” plays, you HAVE to get your groove on. It’s The Fab Four at their absolute rock ‘n roll best but still something you can shake your booty too!
“The last song nearly killed me. My voice wasn’t the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed it was like sandpaper. I was always bitterly ashamed of it, because I could sing it better than that; but now it doesn’t bother me. You can hear that I’m just a frantic guy doing his best.” – John Lennon on singing “Twist and Shout”
It has a catchy tune, John Lennon’s vocal performance is hands-down incredible so really, it’s no wonder why it was such a huge hit.
7. Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
The question remains: what can Freddie Mercury not do? The man could sing opera, hard rock and now, disco. Of course the credit doesn’t just go to him. There’s also John Deacon who wrote this hit after being inspired by Chic’s “Good Times” because he was hanging out with the band in the studio. And it was Michael Jackson who convinced Mercury to release the track as a single.
“I’d been wanting to do a track like ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ for a while, but originally all I had was the line and the bass riff. Gradually, I filled it in and the band added ideas. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did. The song got picked up off our album and some of the black radio stations in the US started playing it, which we’ve never had before.” – John Deacon
The beat is so good it doesn’t really matter how you dance to it because it’s illegal not to move around when this plays.
6. KISS – “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”
KISS and disco music are supposed to be on the opposite sides of the spectrum, right? So when they decided on a little musical experiment and do a crossover, it’s going to be a musical disaster right? Well, to the disappointment of all the haters, it actually works. And the proof is in the numbers – it’s KISS’ second GOLD single after it sold more than 1 million copies.
The title alone is filled with cheesy goodness – so corny in fact that it was used in James Franco’s movie “Why Him?”
“Paul wanted to write a good disco song and I decided to help him with that. Paul started to write lyrics and chords then I played the song on the guitar and said ‘OK, we’ll do something to improve this and make it really a good song.’” – Desmond Child
The band took a risk and well, it paid off nicely.
5. Electric Light Orchestra – “Shine a Little Love”
They were and they will always be one of the criminally underrated rock bands of all time. It’s trippy and it sounds great – even decades later. Everything about this screams disco and as classic rock fans, we just love it. Oh and that bass line is probably the best part of this song.
“A bit of a disco beat on this one, and quite a lot of things going on, forty piece string section and all. It’s very jolly and bouncy and I must have been in a very good mood when I wrote it!” – Jeff Lynne
Jeff Lynne’s a genius in case you still haven’t figured it out. The man deserved more appreciation and he should easily be up there among rock’s finest artists. To be fair, not everyone can pull it off the way they did. It works incredibly and that makes it unsurprising that the single eventually achieved massive success.
4. Grateful Dead – “Shakedown Street”
This often triggers debates among Deadheads – is this disco or funk? We think that barely matters because let’s just go ahead and talk how it’s impossible not to dance to this. We dare you, we double dare you. Singing about inner-city urban decay, this was co-written by Jerry Garcia but the lyrics were solely by Robert Hunter.
“This is a song that wants us to listen, to give things a minute before we pass judgment on them, to check our negativity. I find it a nice pair, thematically, with “Eyes of the World” — it’s telling us to wake up, and consider the possibility that our perception may be as much at fault as the world, when we see only darkness.” – David Dodd
It had its fair share of criticism but Grateful Dead emerged victorious – they would even extend the ending during live performances. Interestingly, the Deadheads would refer to vending areas in the concert grounds as “Shakedown Street.”
3. The Kinks – “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman”
This is the song that deserves more airplay that it actually got. You can probably tell this was inspired by Superman: The Movie and it’s one of those times when we should let the music do the talking. If anyone dares to question the possibility of fusing disco and rock, make them listen to this.
The thing is, Ray Davies wasn’t a huge fan of disco music but he eventually gave in (mostly as a joke) because Arista Records founder Clive Davis wanted “a club-friendly record.”
“I’ve always admired Superman comics. I went to see the film when it came out at Christmas – that Christmas was three years ago – I was overwhelmed … I thought it was so true to the comic books and I wanted to write kind of a rock disco cause I hate disco music as a rule … but now we’ve got a sort of mix with a rock and roll backbeat and it works real well.” – Ray Davies
Not every risk pays off but this one definitely did.
2. The Eagles – “One Of These Nights”
Who would have thought? The Eagles might not have done anything disco per se but you can’t deny that this rock song is extremely danceable. It awakens the unexplored dancer in you, seriously. So bust out those moves you’ve been hiding and hit it. And here’s the big bonus – Don Felder’s bluesy guitar solo.
“It’s like, puttin’ things off… Everybody I’m sure has said, ‘One of these nights I’m gonna…’ Gonna drive back to that restaurant an’ take that waitress in my arms, whatever. Find that girl, make that money, buy that house. Move to that country. Any of that stuff. Everyone’s got his ultimate dream, savin’ it for ‘someday.’ And ‘someday’ is up to you.” – Glenn Frey
That intro is more than enough to make every fan fall in love with the song – even Frey admitted it was his favorite Eagles record. It was commercially successful and it’s not hard to see why.
1. Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”
Most people would agree that Pink Floyd and disco are two things which shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath. Fans listen to their music to rock and well, not exactly to dance. But guess what? You get the best of both worlds and with no less than one of Pink Floyd’s timeless classics. Besides, if you don’t like this, you’re not gonna have any pudding.
“It wasn’t my idea to do disco music, it was Bob’s. He said to me, “Go to a couple of clubs and listen to what’s happening with disco music,” so I forced myself out and listened to loud, four-to-the-bar bass drums and stuff and thought, Gawd, awful! Then we went back and tried to turn one of the [song’s] parts into one of those so it would be catchy.” – David Gilmour
If you still have lingering doubts about whether this worked or not, Roger Waters thought the collaboration was “great.” So….