In the 2000s and present era, electronic dance music (EDM) has evolved from being a hard electro take on underground house music to being arguably the most popular of all global pop music sounds. At our club Decades, we celebrate this era on our 2000s floor. Therefore, prior to everyone coming out to the club or just settling in with some throwback hits, we decided to put together a list taken from a series of thoughts from leading DJs, writers, the Billboard charts and more to highlight the best 10 EDM hits of the 2000s and 2010s! Enjoy!
Though it’s one of the major hits from Daft Punk’s 2001 album Discovery, “One More Time” combines disco, house, and mainstream pop in a way that’s ultimately become Daft Punk’s signature sound. Voted by Mixmag Magazine readers as the number one dance song of all time, it set the expectation for all of the trance, electro house, and big room smash hits to come. Whether it’s the filtered synths, thumping bassline, or melodic lead vocal, it’s iconic.
Prior to 2006, Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford and James Shaw were half of English rock band Simian. As Simian Mobile Disco though, “We Are Your Friends” was their biggest hit. The song is a joint remix of SMD’s song “Never Be Alone” alongside Justice, the Ed Banger Records tandem that would go onto becoming major electro superstars. Soaring, booming, and banging its way into our collective eardrums, it’s a hit single that set the stage for so much more that followed.
UK-based electronica duo Bassment Jaxx’s 2001 album Rooty included pre-massive festival revival-era electro party starter “Where’s Your Head At?” The searing and razor-sharp sounding dance track had massive crossover success in the United States, where it was a hit on modern rock radio. Still a jam that gets dusted off not just at Decades here in DC but at massive parties worldwide, it’s more than earned its spot on this list.
Steve Winwood’s 1982 pop hit “Valerie” influenced the creation of Swedish house kingpin Eric Prydz’s 2004 smash “Call On Me.” Known just as much for its immediately connective sound as well as a video featuring scantily clad women in leotards doing aerobics, it’s the song that truly made Prydz a global household name. Impressively, when When Prydz presented the track to Winwood, he was so impressed with what Prydz had done, that he re-recorded the vocals to fit the track better.
Epic and swelling builds, John Martin’s massive vocals, and booming electro-pop melodies combined on Swedish House Mafia’s 2013 hit. A Grammy-nominated song for Best Dance Recording, it’s the last official hit released by Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello as a trio. A top 10 crossover pop hit in 30 countries, it’s sold seven million singles and has been streamed nearly eight million times.
One of the more instantaneously connective electro tracks of the EDM era is deadmau5’s 2008 banger “Ghosts N Stuff.” Alongside Rob Swire, the producer best known for performing while wearing a giant mouse-head mask originally made the song for his live DJ set on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 Essential Selection radio program. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t until nearly eight years later on Halloween 2016 that the song reached platinum-selling status.
“Yes, oh my gosh!”
Yes, oh my gosh indeed, as this 2010-released dubstep bomb from LA-based DJ/producer extraordinaire Skrillex ushered in an Americanized take on the long-dominant UK sound. This one isn’t necessarily dance-floor material, but if you’ve been to any festivals or massive EDM arena shows in the past half decade, the idea of moshing or shuffling instead of anything resembling busting a move to his music makes sense. Still, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” established not just Skrillex but heavy bass music in the United States for years to come.
In the past 10 years, Calvin Harris has released four top 10 albums, 22 top 10 singles, and worked with the likes of Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Kylie Minogue, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, plus more. However, it’s his solo-credited 2011 single “Feel So Close” that sold 10 million singles and was his breakout global smash. Still to this day, the trance-like vibes of the production stand out and alongside Harris’ vocal makes the track a standout heater.
Atlanta-based trap OG rapper/producer Lil Jon joined with instantaneous hit-making French trap producer DJ Snake for 2013 festival and top-40 radio anthem “Turn Down For What.” Following in the wake of the viral craze that surrounded Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” this wild trap anthem cemented rap’s most popular place for quite some time within the world of dance in the EDM era and beyond.
Nearly 10 million singles sold or streamed. Number one in 15 countries. Official remixes from Skrillex and Cazzette, unofficial remixes from what feels like an entire generation of EDM producers. Etta James’ 1962 single, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” is sampled here, and gives the song an overall soulful vibe that makes it truly stand out. Avicii could easily be the biggest star of the EDM era, and it’s a song like this that truly makes him a standout forever.