If disco died on Chicago’s infamous Disco Demolition Night, house music is its revenge. The genre that begat electronic dance music has its roots in the Windy City, so be sure to check out these tracks when you’re in town.
“On and On” by Jesse Saunders (1984)
Frankie Knuckles is considered the Godfather of house music for his work creating the genre while DJing at Warehouse. The first actual house record ever to be released, however, was “On and On” by Jesse Saunders, earning him the title of Originator.
“Can You Feel It?” by Mr. Fingers (1987)
Mr. Fingers is the super group alias of Larry Heard, Robert Owens and Ron Wilson. Their most seminal release has a jazzy, soulful sound that inspired the subgenre deep house.
“No Way Back” by Adonis (1987)
Trax Records released many Chicago house classics. One of its most iconic hits was “No Way Back,” which sold more than 100,000 copies, an impressive feat for an independent label.
“Love Can’t Turn Around” by Farley Jackmaster Funk & Jesse Saunders ft. Darryl Pandy (1986)
This crossover hit is a rework of a rework of Isaac Haye’s proto-house classic, “Love Can’t Turn Around.” Featuring the deep vocals of Darryl Pandy, it was the first house record to break into the U.K.’s singles chart.
“Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle (1987)
After perfecting his craft at Warehouse, where he often played tracks by Jamie Principle, Frankie Knuckles released this iconic track to much fanfare, getting remixed by a countless number of DJs over the years.
“Sensation” by Ron Hardy (1985)
Ron Hardy was more of a DJ than a producer, and a wild one at that. While Frankie Knuckles eschewed drugs and alcohol, Hardy liked to indulge (before he succumbed to heroin). His style was hard, maniacal and experimental, best exemplified by the most famous track of his limited discography, “Sensation.”
“Acid Tracks” by Phuture (1987)
This house music staple departed from the genre’s disco roots with its alien-like sound that can only be described as “acid,” beginning the growth and splintering of electronic music into its various modern styles.
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