Choosing a list of the 10 best electro songs ever could easily feel like a trip down memory lane for many a listener. The genre was a rich proving ground for the drum machines, synthesizers and computer controlled musical production devices that dominate the airwaves. For a peek into the electronic music past, and perhaps a hint of its future, have a listen to this list.
- "Scorpio" Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Long before the overuse of Auto-tune, the robot inspired vocals of this song could be heard coming from boomboxes and ghetto blasters everywhere. Flash and the Furious’s rap easily make this one of the best electro songs from the golden age of the genre.
- "Pack Jam" Jonsun Crew. Handclaps and break beats are the backbone of one of this track; one of best electro songs ever. This is the song that used to cause traffic jams in the 1980’s and have kids running from miles around to dance battle each other in the city streets.
- "Looking for the Perfect Beat" Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force. If 1980’s breakdance crews would have had marching bands, this is the song they would have been playing. The precise synth work at sections of this song lent itself to being the perfect backing music for many a breakdance/pop-lock battle.
- "Clear" Cybotron. The drum machines and synthesizers run amuck on this electro dream. If computers were alive this is the kind of music they would be listening to.
- "Numbers" Kraftwerk. This industrial electro track from the German super production team is both beautiful and baffling at the same time. If computers could talk, this is almost certainly what they would sound like. For those that enjoy math, the sound is a orgasmic algorithm.
- "Jam On It” Newcleus. There’s no denying the influence of this electro dance hit. On the first few hundred listening it sound like the best electro song ever, then falls off sharply as the “wiki,wiki,wiki” verse gets downright annoying. Still, it’s place in the pantheon of electro music, as well as hip hop, is solid.
- “Tour De France” Kraftwerk. This sweeping electro anthem is timeless and serves as a fine example of the musicality of the electro music genre. It’s hard to argue against this being one of the best electro instrumental compositions ever made. In the spirit of classical European compositions the song is spun of into four different version with varying movements all tied together by a single theme.
- “Egypt, Egypt” Egyptian Lover. The heavy breathing at the beginning of this track makes it immediately identifiable. That’s because it is a sample of Kraftwerk’s” Tour De France.” An early forerunner of hip hop and a favorite of breakdancers, the only think “whack” about this song was the so-called Egyptian sounded break in the middle of the number.
- “19” Paul Hardcastle. This reactionary song samples newscasters as they relate details of the U.S. militaries exploits in the Vietnam War. Visionary at the time, but dated outside of the decade it was made, it is an example of the overproduction that plagued electro music as it blended with pop in the mid to late 1980’s.
- “White Horse” Laid Back. This funky electro track remains a dance floor favorite around the world. A veiled warning against the use of heroin, aka the “white horse,” it alternately suggests the use of the “white pony,” aka cocaine. Gotta love those 80’s.
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