Spotify Throwback Thursday: Let’s Dance

by Bob Schwartz

Burn, baby, burn
Burn the mother down.
The Trammps

This week’s Spotify Throwback Thursday playlist isn’t hard to figure out: the theme is dancing.

Those raised on EDM may find these classic dance tracks a little slow on the BPM and a little light on the electronics. But if it means anything that the D stands for Dance and M stands for Music, this is the stuff.

Not all of this music was the greatest. But some of the artists are masters and some of the tracks are the mountaintop. An annotated selection from this playlist:

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (plus one other track), Michael Jackson
It’s so confusing to think about Michael Jackson, in terms of the way his life and his music went. But Off the Wall is one of the major dance albums ever. Yes, the guy on the cover is Michael Jackson.

Let’s Dance, David Bowie
Bowie being Bowie, he couldn’t make dance music like everybody else. He had to Bowieize it.

Take a Chance On Me (plus four other tracks), ABBA
One time I drove almost a thousand miles with ABBA Greatest Hits as my primary soundtrack. I don’t regret it, and would do it again.

I’m Every Woman, Chakha Khan
Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan. If you don’t know that music is magic and Chaka Khan is magic, you don’t know. Also, for those into woman-type statements, this is a goddess singing about being a goddess.

Disco Inferno, The Trammps
People getting loose, y’all. Getting loose to burn the mother down. Is this about dancing?

It’s Raining Men, The Weather Girls
Did you not want to have fun? And depending on your inclinations, not want to see what happens at 10:30 to get absolutely soaking wet?

Le Freak, CHIC
From small things big things come. Here Nile Rogers invents an entire piece of dance pop music.

I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
Women have been singing this message forever, on record and off. But never quite like this, before or since. I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give. You’re not welcome any more.

September, Earth Wind & Fire
It’s Earth Wind & Fire.

Last Dance (plus two other tracks), Donna Summer
The story of how the night ends at the club. Go home with the one who brought you. Go home with the one you met. Go home with the one you dance with last. It may not be Donna Summer. It can’t be.