"Classic" "Must-have" Dance Music

#1
I attempted to search DF for what I'm about to ask and was unsuccessful. So, my apologies in advance if this is an old topic and/or if I've posted in the wrong forum.

I assume that for each of the major smooth and rhythm ballroom dances, there are a number of "classic" tunes that are considered to be authentic-sounding "standards" for the dance and which almost any collector of dance music would want to have in his/her music library. But my lovely wife and I have not been dancing long enough to have developed this knowledge on our own. What I've learned so far is that, for example, "La Cumparsita" and "Por Una Cabeza" are probably among the top Tango standards, but beyond that, I don't know much.

Hence, the question: For each of the dances below (and feel free to add any dances I haven't listed), what are the top five or so clasisc, standard, authentic-style tunes for the dance that I might want to collect for our music library? To clarify, I'm not at this time seeking "unconventional" music to which one could dance a particular dance, but the true "standards" for each dance (the ones of which you experienced dancers might even have tired). Your opinion on the matter is just fine. If you prefer to cite a reference, that's cool too. I appreciate your input!
  • Waltz
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Cha-cha
  • Rumba
  • East Coast Swing
  • Merengue
  • Samba
  • Mambo
  • Bolero
  • West Coast Swing
  • Hustle
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#2
Indiana_Jay said:
I attempted to search DF for what I'm about to ask and was unsuccessful. So, my apologies in advance if this is an old topic and/or if I've posted in the wrong forum.

I assume that for each of the major smooth and rhythm ballroom dances, there are a number of "classic" tunes that are considered to be authentic-sounding "standards" for the dance and which almost any collector of dance music would want to have in his/her music library. But my lovely wife and I have not been dancing long enough to have developed this knowledge on our own. What I've learned so far is that, for example, "La Cumparsita" and "Por Una Cabeza" are probably among the top Tango standards, but beyond that, I don't know much.

Hence, the question: For each of the dances below (and feel free to add any dances I haven't listed), what are the top five or so clasisc, standard, authentic-style tunes for the dance that I might want to collect for our music library? To clarify, I'm not at this time seeking "unconventional" music to which one could dance a particular dance, but the true "standards" for each dance (the ones of which you experienced dancers might even have tired). Your opinion on the matter is just fine. If you prefer to cite a reference, that's cool too. I appreciate your input!
  • Waltz
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Cha-cha
  • Rumba
  • East Coast Swing
  • Merengue
  • Samba
  • Mambo
  • Bolero
  • West Coast Swing
  • Hustle
another fine reason to go to the indiana challenge....good music vendors....ahem, sometimes if you exercise your flirting skills properly, you can get your studio to burn you a CD or two:rolleyes:
 
#3
fascination said:
another fine reason to go to the indiana challenge....good music vendors....ahem, sometimes if you exercise your flirting skills properly, you can get your studio to burn you a CD or two:rolleyes:
One must first have flirting skills! But then, perhaps, if I plead, the master from the Chicago area would teach me.

Our broadband internet service comes with access to Rhapsody (Real Networks' answer to iTunes) as part of the package, so once I know what the tunes are, they should be pretty easy to collect.

BTW, we are, ATTM, planning to attend Indiana Challenge, to shop for shoes and cheer on Fascination. (So, friend, we're still waiting to hear from you about that one issue we discussed in PMs!).

-IJ
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#4
Indiana_Jay said:
One must first have flirting skills! But then, perhaps, if I plead, the master from the Chicago area would teach me.

Our broadband internet service comes with access to Rhapsody (Real Networks' answer to iTunes) as part of the package, so one I know what the tunes are, they should be pretty easy to collect.

BTW, we are, ATTM, planning to attend Indiana Challenge, to shop for shoes and cheer on Fascination. (So, friend, we're still waiting to hear from you about that one issue we discussed in PMs!).

-IJ
oh geez...I am a total space....I have a lesson at two and will ask....please be a pest and keep hounding me......
 
#5
Indiana_Jay said:
Hence, the question: For each of the dances below (and feel free to add any dances I haven't listed), what are the top five or so clasisc, standard, authentic-style tunes for the dance that I might want to collect for our music library? To clarify, I'm not at this time seeking "unconventional" music to which one could dance a particular dance, but the true "standards" for each dance (the ones of which you experienced dancers might even have tired). Your opinion on the matter is just fine. If you prefer to cite a reference, that's cool too. I appreciate your input!
  • Waltz
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Cha-cha
  • Rumba
  • East Coast Swing
  • Merengue
  • Samba
  • Mambo
  • Bolero
  • West Coast Swing
  • Hustle
Well, I haven't been dancing all that long either, but I'll give you some input on stuff I've noticed.

WALTZ:
"Moon River"

VIENNESE WALTZ:
"River Danube"

CHA-CHA:
"Oye Como Va" in its various incarnations

ECS:
I don't know if it's a "standard," but one of my favorites is "Sweet Home Chicago"
Since I'm from South Carolina, I also know how to shag (same steps as ECS, but much slower), so I like "Shagging On The Boulevard" by Alabama too, and of course "Sweet Carolina Girls" by James Taylor

MERENGUE:
"Suavemente"

MAMBO:
You should be pretty safe with most anything by Tito Puentes

I think that's all I'm sure about re: standard songs. Hope I helped!
 

Medira

New Member
#7
Hi Jay!

Let's see if I can do this without booching the tags here... *crosses fingers*

Indiana_Jay said:
  • Waltz
    • Fascination - Nat King Cole
    • Moon River - Henry Mancini
    • Anniversary Song - Pat Boone
    • Last Waltz - Engelbert Humperdinck
    • You Light up my Life - Debby Boone
    • Tennesse Waltz - Anne Murray
    • Could I Have this Dance - Anne Murray
  • Tango
    • Hernando's Hideaway
    • La Cumparsita
    • Por Una Cabeza
    • Volver
  • Foxtrot
    • Fever - Peggy Lee, Michael Buble...
    • Let there be Love - Nat King Cole (though my favourite version by far is a duet by Chris Botti and Michael Buble)
    • Ain't that a Kick in the Head - Dean Martin
    • Singin' in the Rain - Gene Kelly
    • A Wink and a Smile - Harry Connick Jr. (most recently)
    • Walkin' my Baby Back Home - Nat King Cole
  • Viennese Waltz
    • Morning has Broken - Cat Stevens
    • Valse: Allegro - Tchaikovsky's "The Sleeping Beauty" (which Disney later added lyrics to, to become "Once Upon a Dream" in the animated movie - I have heard a strict tempo version of this as well...it may take some searching though)
    • Waltz of the Flowers - Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" (long intro, but holds a pretty steady beat after the intro...also can be found in a strict tempo format with some searching)
    • Lough Erin Shore - The Corrs (I don't know if it's considered a standard, but I've heard it played a lot in a number of different venues)
    • Meet Me in St. Louis - Judy Garland, from the musical of the same name
    • Harry Potter Theme - If you want something a little different. ;)
  • Cha-cha
    • Guantanamera - Celia Cruz
    • Sway - So many artists have done this song, it's ridiculous...Michael Buble is one of the more recent ones, Dean Martin one of the not-so-recent ones
    • Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Quizás, Quizás, Quizás) - Doris Day, Nat King Cole, a whole bunch of artists...it's been covered almost as much as Sway
    • Oye Como Va - Santana
    • Pa' Gozar - Spanish Harlem Orchestra
  • Rumba
    • Besame Mucho - Luis Miguel (Diana Krall also does an english version...I believe The Beatles did one as well. It's another one that gets covered a fair bit)
    • Just My Imagination - The Temptations
    • I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
    • Quando, Quando, Quando - Pick an artist, any artist...so many covers, so little time
  • East Coast Swing
    • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
    • Tonight is a Wonderful Time (To Fall in Love) - April Wine
    • Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel
    • Nowhere to Run - Martha and the Vandellas
    • Five O'Clock World - The Vogues
  • Merengue
    • Suavemente - Elvis Crespo
    • Uno, Dos, Tres
    • Azul
    • El Tiburon
  • Samba
    • Wherever, Whenever - Shakira
    • La Isla Bonita - Madonna
    • Bailamos - Enrique Iglesias
    • Quimbara - Celia Cruz
    • La Candela - Yerba Buena
  • Mambo
    • Ran Kan Kan - Tito Puente
    • Aprende a Querer - Spanish Harlem Orchestra
    • Tequila!
  • Bolero
    • I'll have to get back to this one...I have my bolero music at home for the most part
  • West Coast Swing
    • All Right Now - Free (maybe not a standard, but great fun)
    • Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
    • In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
    • Roll With it - Steve Winwood
    • Kiss - Prince (Tom Jones did a hilarious cover of this song that makes a good cha cha)
  • Hustle
    • Shake your Groove Thing - Peaches and Herb
    • Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind and Fire
    • Rock With You - Michael Jackson
    • Jive Talkin' - Bee Gees
    • Canned Heat - Jamiroquai (it's a fast one though!)
I'll get back to bolero when I get a chance, but I hope this is a good start. :)
 
#10
Indiana_Jay said:
Thanks for the extensive contribution, Medira, m'dear!
You're welcome. Glad I could help! :) It was hard narrowing most of them down to 5 or 6 though. :tongue: If you need others/more, let me know. I've got a ton of stuff at home to work from. Much more than I have here at work.
 
#11
Medira said:
You're welcome. Glad I could help! :) It was hard narrowing most of them down to 5 or 6 though. :tongue: If you need others/more, let me know. I've got a ton of stuff at home to work from. Much more than I have here at work.
I think what you've done, in combination with whatever others have and will contribute, will be more than adequate! I actually have a fair collection of jazz and swing recordings for foxtrot and ECS, but am less knowledgable about the truly authentic cha-cha, tango, samba and rumba music. And as you'll understand when you read about our dance weekend, I just need to put together a disk of a few in each category for when we return to a local social, where the DJ is happy to play dancer-contributed music.
 
#12
Indiana_Jay said:
Thanks for the extensive contribution, Medira, m'dear! And Wonderful, I should have thought of "Sing, Sing, Sing!" Boy, do I feel silly!
I agree with your thanks for Medira's fantastic contribution here. I think she's said it all.

Couldn't help smiling, though, at your pun on the good old British saying, "Have some Madeira, m'dear... " :D

Rosa :)
 
#13
Rosa said:
Couldn't help smiling, though, at your pun on the good old British saying, "Have some Madeira, m'dear... "
"Have some madeira, m'dear, I've got a small cask of it here
And once it's been opened, you know it won't keep
Do finish it up, it will help you to sleep
Have some madeira, m'dear, it's really an excellent year
Now if it were gin, you'd be wrong to say yes
The evil gin does would be hard to assess
Besides it's inclined to affect me prowess
Have some madeira, m'dear"
 

chachachacat

Well-Known Member
#14
These are a few of my favorite things...The Classics

BOLERO
Case' Un Bolero - Marc Anthony
Falling Into You - Celine Dion
Beautiful Maria of my Soul - Mambo Kings

WEST COAST SWING
Ability to Swing - Patty Austin
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Danny's All Star Joint - Rickie Lee Jones
Chuck E.'s in Love - Rickie Lee Jones

EAST COAST SWING
Mustang Sally - Commitments
Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats

MAMBO
Mambo #5 - Mambo All Stars
I Like It Like That - Tito Nieves

SAMBA
Bailamos - Enrique Inglesias
Tic Tic Tac -
Chiquitan -
Quand Tu Chantes - Nana Mouskouri

FOXTROT
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
Walkin' My Baby Back Home - Nat King Cole
Withcraft - Sinatra
There Will Never Be Another You - Andy Williams
Nightlights - Nat King Cole

WALTZ
Fascination - Nat King Cole
Crazy World - Henry Mancini
Charade - Andy Williams

TANGO
Blue Tango
Jalousie or Jealousy
Adios Muchachos

QUICKSTEP
Japanese Cars
I Wanna Be Like You - Lion King
Puttin' On the Ritz

CHA CHA
Smooth - Santana
Let's Get Loud - Jennifer Lopez
Love Potion #9 - Hansel Martinez

RUMBA
Fields of Gold - Sting
Happy Ever After - Julia Fordham
Perfidia
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#16
Medira said:
You're welcome. Glad I could help! :) It was hard narrowing most of them down to 5 or 6 though. :tongue: If you need others/more, let me know. I've got a ton of stuff at home to work from. Much more than I have here at work.
btw...medira...excellent first choice there on the waltzes:cool:
 
#17
fascination said:
btw...medira...excellent first choice there on the waltzes:cool:
Thanks darling! :) I thought you might appreciate it.

chachachacat said:
WEST COAST SWING
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Love it! Love it love it love it love it!


Okay...now that I'm at home...

  • Bolero
    • Chan Chan - Buena Vista Social Club
    • You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine - Michael Buble (reclassified from Rumba because I thought it was faster than it is)
    • Fuiste Mia - Rey Ruiz
    • Ese - Jerry Rivera
    • Lady in Red - Chris de Burgh
    • Un Siglo Sin Ti - Chayanne
  • Quickstep
    • Pet Me Papa - Rosemary Clooney (Papa is sometimes spelled Poppa)
    • Jump, Jive and Wail - Brian Setzer Orchestra
    • Let's Face the Music and Dance - Nat King Cole
    • Slap that Bass - (I have the version from the Crazy for You Original Broadway Cast, which I really like, but there are tons of versions out there)
    • Ooh Papa Do
  • Rumba (since I messed up the one above)
    • Let's Stay Together - Al Green (I LOVE dancing to this, especially with one specific friend of mine...)
    • Yo Si Me Enamore - Huey Dunbar
 
#18
A bit more extensive list, if you're interested...

Sorry if there's repeats. I'm not 100% sure what people have mentioned and what they haven't.

FOXTROT:
  • "A Foggy Day (In London Town)" - Michael Buble
  • "Come Fly With Me" - so many covers I can't name them all
  • "Dancing Cheek To Cheek" - Frank Sinatra (a bit fast, but I like it)
  • "Mack The Knife" - no explanation necessary
  • "I've Got You Under My Skin" - Michael Buble
  • "Moondance" - personally, I like Michael Buble's version, has more pep to it
  • "Summer Winds" - again, the version I have is Michael Buble, but there may be more out there

BOLERO:
  • "El Beso del Final" - Christina Aguilera, from the Dirty Dancing Havana Nights soundtrack
  • "Alejate" - Josh Groban
  • "Mi Morena" - Josh Groban

SAMBA:
  • "Bailamos" - Enrique Iglesias
  • "Ain't It Funny" - Jennifer Lopez

RUMBA:
  • "Corazon No Llores" - Marc Anthony
  • "De Nina A Mujer" - Julio Iglesias
  • "My Confession" - Josh Groban (not a "classic" but I love it and it's perfect for rumba)

VIENNESE WALTZ:
  • "Gira Con Me Questa Notte" - Josh Groban
  • "Si Volvieras A Mi" - Josh Groban (has a VW beat, but is very Spanish in flavor, I love it)
  • "Un Amore Per Sempre" - Josh Groban

SALSA/MAMBO:
  • "He Tratado" - Victor Manuelle
  • "Valio La Pena" - Marc Anthony

CHA-CHA:
  • "Smooth" - Santana
  • "Corazon Espinado" - Santana
  • "Maria" - Ricky Martin
  • "Sway" in its various covers
  • "Save The Last Dance For Me" - usually a rumba, but Michael Buble's version lends itself to cha-cha a bit more
  • "Waiting For Tonight" - Jennifer Lopez

WALTZ:
  • "Come Away With Me" - Norah Jones
  • "What The World Needs Now Is Love" - several different covers

QUICKSTEP:
  • "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" - too many covers to mention
  • "Gettin' In The Mood" - cover by Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • "In The Mood" - original by Glenn Miller
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#19
Pick up any Secret Garden CD and you'll find at least 3 gorgeous waltzes.

"Johnny's Mambo" from Dirty Dancing is also a good one to add for Mambo.

And how can you leave any one of a couple of dozen Frank Sinatra songs off the Foxtrot list?
 

Phil Owl

Well-Known Member
#20
Owl Picks

Waltz:
Seal - Kiss From A Rose

Tango:
Tony Bennett: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Foxtrot:
Frank Sinatra: Nice and Easy,
Tony Bennett: The Best Is Yet to Come
Ray Charles: Them That Got
Andy Williams: Call Me Irresponsible

Cha-cha:
Swing Out Sister: Twilight World
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - The Sinister Minister
Pat Boone: Smoke On The Water (HILARIOUS!)
Ray Charles: One Mint Julep

East Coast Swing:
Ray Charles: Smack Dab In The Middle

Rhumba:
Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass: Tangerine

Samba:
Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (works well as Hustle too)

West Coast Swing:
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Cold Shot

Hustle:
Deniece Williams: I've Got The Next Dance
Ananda Project: Big Boat
Hipnotic: Naima
Tangerine (cannot remember who did it though)
 

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