The History of Pop-House Crossovers
by Barry Walters | June 28, 2013
Arising from the disco that was declared dead in the mainstream but never went away in the underground, house music as it was first known in Chicago and soon spread to New York, London and beyond was essentially pounding uptempo soul music created through largely electronic means. Originating in overlapping African American/gay/Latin urban scenes in the shadow of AIDS, it made its way around the globe in various combinations of four-to-the-floor drum beats, aggressive basslines, wailing divas, pre-litigation samplers, blue-eyed soul followers, genre-crossing remixers and freely freaky bursts of inspiration.
This playlist pays tribute to several kinds of crossovers: club hits that clicked with the R&B crowd; dancefloor smashes that went pop; underground American records that went mainstream in London; New Wavers and soul singers who scored dance music radio play with house remixes; freestyle acts and DJs who went house; and even an originally obscure gospel cut remixed into an international house anthem that eventually found its way into the finale of Sex in the City.
This list spans from the mid-'80s, when the phrase "house music" started reaching critical mass, to the mid-'90s, when competing trance and Eurodance scenes were generating their own crossover hits and nudging house off the airwaves. Some of these in hindsight have been reclassified as something else, but all of them were once hammered in clubs where house ruled and bodies jacked all night long.