Get ready for it! …. here are 20 of our favoritesclassic trance anthemslate 90s...
When did trance music start?
Although it was not known as a type of dance untiloh early 1990s, trance music dates back to 1988,with the release of the album ''En=Trance'' by Klaus Schulze.
It originated in Germany from the techno and hardcore scenes and quickly flooded the dance floors of the rest of Europe, in places like Belgium and the Netherlands.
Given its instrumental nature and characterized by its repetitive melodic phrases, the genre has been seen as a more melodic variation on house and techno, with "uplifting trance" lending much of its influence to classical music.
Recommended by The DJ Revolution:
Before we get into the content, we thought we'd quickly show "Enchanted: A Journey Through Trance Music (1990-2005)'.
The encyclopedic 322-page book covers a near-complete discography of key albums, labels and releases, along with exclusive photography and in-depth interviews with major artists and label owners.
It's also the first (and only) book to cover the global trans movement during its most prolific years!
How would we define ''Classic Trance''
Every major genre has its golden age, which almost always occurs in the early years of its creation.
While the early 90s was the birth of trance music, producing some of the best trance anthems out there today, many would argue that the genre only peaked at the end of the decade, which we . !
How long did this "golden age" last? We would probably categorize"classic trance"as was the case during most of the 2000s, until about 2007.
Before we jump
This list was selected by our team here at The DJ Revolution, many of whom had these tracks in their vinyl collections as active DJs earlier in the decade. It features tracks from trance music legends such as Agnelli & Nelson, Paul Van Dyk, Mauro Picotto, William Orbit and Matt Darey to name but a few.
If you'd like to purchase any of the selections, we've made every effort to include the appropriate "buy" links for the digital and vinyl versions in each track's description.
Make no mistake, these records were a real bomb when they came out in the second half of the 90s and were further popularized by labels such as Gatecrasher and Godskitchen in superclubs across the UK and Ibiza.
Is here20 of the best classic trance anthems from the mid-90s!
1. Agnelli & Nelson – Every Day (Original Mix)
So let's not get into that. Starting with Agnelli & Nelson: a Trance duo from Northern Ireland, who also produced huge hits like "El Niño" and "Holding On To Nothing".
With her slow rise and strong euphoric highs, there's no doubt she deserves a spot on this list. Like many trance classics that emerged during this magical era, another version with additional female vocals was released later, although this original mix is definitely the right choice!
2. Solar Stone – Seven Cities (Mistura Atlantis da Solar Stone)
Lowering the energy level a bit, here we have another absolute classic from1999– that of Rich Mowatt and Andy Bury (aka Solar Stone). With its wonderful euphoric and nostalgic atmosphere, it is considered a "classic of Balearic trance".
The track contains a vocal sample from Miriam Stockley's 'Adiemus – Tintinnabulum', taken from her 1995 Venture Records album 'Adiemus – Songs Of Sanctuary'.
3. Witness Lost – Happiness Happening (Remix Lange)
Lost Witness is a British trance project led by Simon Paul who, in addition to Happiness Happening, also had the club smash "Red Sun Rising", both of which entered the top 40 in the UK charts.
Happiness Happening has a powerful and euphoric climax along with carefully tuned female vocals, making this 'Lange Remix' the right choice!
4. Starparty – I'm in Love (Ferry Corsten Remix)
"Starparty" was a pseudonym for Dutch DJs and producers Ferry Corsten and Robert Smit, and the track "I'm In Love" was first released on the German label "Go For It" in1997.
Ferry Corsten is of course the better known of the two, having produced countless classic trance tracks under his many aliases in the late 90's and early 00's...think 'System F','¡Moonman», «Pulp Victim» και «Gouryella»!
5. Veracocha – Carta Blanca (Original Blend)
'Veracocha' is another Ferry Corsten project, this time in collaboration with Dutch trance music producer Vincent De Moor.
'Carte Blanche' was originally released on the British label Manifesto in1998and then Positiva, among others, the following year in 1999, reaching number 22 in the UK Singles Chart.
6. Vincent De Moor – Fluxation
Continuing nicely with a song by the Dutch trance artist we just mentioned: Vincent De Moor. "Flowtation" was first released by a few different labels1996and then peaked at number 54 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1997.
Several versions of the song were made, including a 2002 remix with vocals, although the original is definitely the best in our opinion!
7. Paul Van Dyk – For An Angel (mezcla de E-Werk Club)
"For An Angel" enjoyed meteoric club and commercial success upon its release1998 ...technically, it was first released in 1994 as a track on their debut studio album '45 RPM'.
Paul Van Dyk is of course the German trance DJ and producer, who started his DJ career in 1991 playing in the Berlin clubs 'Tresor' and 'Turbine'. Van Dyk's studio albums at the time included 1996's "Seven Ways," 2000's "Out There and Back," and 2003's "Reflections."
Considering the song was criminally publicized for many years after its release, boy did it stick around for a long time! Get the EP on vinyl viaDiscoor consult different digital editions atJunoBajar.
8. Agnelli & Nelson – El Niño (Original Mix)
originally released in1998, 'El Niño' is again the work of Northern Irish duo Agnelli & Nelson, with Marcella Woods as vocal assistant on this one.
considered aclassic Balearic ecstasy, this was another big hit in Ibiza. After reaching number 21 in the UK charts, it was subsequently featured on many trance compilations over the next few years.
9. Art of Trance – Madagascar (Ferry Corsten Remix)
The track "Madagascar" was first released on1999on popular UK trance label 'Platipus' and reached #1 on the UK Dance Singles Chart.
"Art of Trance" was just one of the pseudonyms used by British trance producer Simon Berry. Berry's music has been remixed by artists such as Ferry Corsten (as in him), Cygnus X, Perfect Stranger, Michael Woods and others.
10. William's Orbit–Barbers Adagio for Strings (Ferry Corsten Remix)
Coming now to the darker side of euphoric ecstasy, with this known1999Classic by English dance music producer William Orbit.
"Barbers Adagio For Strings" is a reworking of Samuel Barber's 1936 orchestral piece entitled "Adagio for strings, which is arguably one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music in the world.
You can get the original release along with this Ferry Corsten Remix on vinyl atDisco. If you want a digital copy, you'll have to dig deeper.
11. Signum – What you get 4 ue
This next hit is from Dutch producer Signum, aka Ron Hagen (and officially Pascal Minnaard). 'What Ya Got 4 Me' was originally released on a few different labels1998, including the popular UK hard house and trance label,arranged chest.
With the kind of resume most trance producers could only dream of, in addition to his long list of original productions, Signum has remixed tracks for Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, ATB, Oceanlab and many more.
12. Bedrock – Heaven Scent (original mezcla)
Bedrock are a British electronic/progressive trance band consisting of John Digweed and Nick Muir. Prior to this track, the duo had their big break with "For What You Dream Of", which was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting.
Heaven Scent is another classic from1999, with this 'Original Mix' playing for over 10 minutes. An interesting fact: two years later, in 2001,DJ Magnamed Digweed the number one DJ in the world.
13. Binario Finario 1998 (Gouryella Remix)
Sure, it might be obvious, but idea”1998Binary Finary definitely deserves its place when it comes to classic trance anthems.
The British band (now based in Sydney, Australia) rose to prominence after the song became the first Trance song to enter the UK Top 30. It would also go on to become one of the most remixed trance tracks ever, releasing ' 1999' to top the original in the UK charts, reaching number 11!
14. BT – Junio llameante (Paul Van Dyk Remix)
Flaming June has a great melody and piano elements...definitely one of the best instrumental trance songs ever made!
It's by 'BT' (aka Brian Transeau), an American DJ/producer active in the scene since the early 90's.
15. Matt Darey – Deliverance
With a long list of trance credentials, Matt Darey is an English DJ, producer and remixer from Leicester. To give you an idea of his influence, Darey has sold over two million albums and singles, with several top 10 hits!
Definitely considered auplifting classic trance, 'Liberation' was first released on1999on some labels, with Marcella Woods providing the amazing vocals.
16. Mauro Picotto – Lizard
This was originally published on1997– and it's absolutely amazing! Mauro Picotto is, of course, the Italian DJ/producer, famous for other hits like "Komodo (Save a Soul)", "Pulsar" and "Iguana".
Picotto has released over 600 productions and remixes, selling over six million copies worldwide during his well-decorated production career!
17. Cascata – Transcend (Moonman Remix)
Subsequently, the song "Transcend" was first released on a white label in 1997, although until1998when he was signed to prominent trance labels 'Hook Recordings' in the UK and 'Initial' in Germany.
Interestingly, we're not too keen on the original mix on this one, but don't worry, the 'Moonman Remix' is an absolute beauty!
Cascade were a Scottish trance band formed by brothers Dave and Brendan Webster, active from 1997 to 2001. Check out this (dare we say it) uplifting "slightly alternative" trance classic on vinyl atDiscoor digitally throughBeatport.
18. Energia 52 – Cafe Del Mar (Three 'N One Blend)
Café Del Mar was one of the most remixed trance tracks ever created, appearing on hundreds of dance/trance compilations in the years since its release.
More importantly, in April 2011, the song was voted number one byBBC Radio 1listeners inPete Tong"The 20 best dance tracks of the last 20 years.
Although the first promo was released in 1993, this original "Three 'N One Mix" only appeared1998. If you want to buy it, get the 12-inch vinyl version atHu ChunthroughDiscoor get a digital copy atBeatport.
Energy 52 was a German trance music project formed by Paul Schmitz-Moormann and Harald Blüchel.
19. Gouriella – Gouriella
Another trance classic from Dutch maestro Ferry Corsten under one of his many aliases, 'Gouryella', this time in collaboration with DJ Tiesto. The white label appears to have first appeared in 1998, although the track is mostly credited1999.
Interesting fact: the word ''Gouryella'' apparently means "heaven" in the Australian Aboriginal language.
20. Sasha – Xpander
Let's wrap it up with this ultimate weapon from legendary Welsh DJ and producer Sasha! XPander released the1999aboutdeconstruction logsand won the "Best Techno/Trance 12" award at the 'International Dance Music Awards' of the same year.
In addition to his solo productions and live performances, Sasha is also famous for his collaborations with British DJ John Digweed and notably, he was also named the number one DJ in the world by DJ Mag the following year in 2000.
You can get the iconic Xpander EP, including 3 other tracks, atDisco. We couldn't easily find a digital copy of the full original version... Good looking!
More Classic Trance Anthems from the late 90's
21. Nalin and Kane – Beach Ball (1997)
22. Chicane - Offshore (Original 1996)
23. System F – Do Nothing (1998)
24. Moonman – Don't Be Afraid (1996)
25. Grécia 2000 – Three Drives (original mezcla)
26. The Thrill Seekers – Synesthesia (1999)
27. Johnny Shaker – Pearl River (Original 1997 Club Mix)
28. Marc Et Claude – La (Flashover Mix by Moonman – 1997)
What a great time it was to be on the clubbing scene in the late 90s for that magical, nostalgic era of classic trance...
If we talk about escapism in music, this period goes up against the best: yes, we did it!
Just when clubbers thought trance music wouldn't be able to maintain this level of quality into the new millennium... well... they couldn't be more wrong.
Related: 20 Best Classic Trance Anthems of the 2000s.
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Related: The history of electronic dance music..