We Rave You’s 100 Greatest Anthems of the ‘EDM Golden Era’
Here at We Rave You, one of our most hotly discussed topics centres around the ‘golden era’ of EDM, a cluster of years when progressive house anthems from the likes of Alesso, Avicii, or Swedish House Mafia seemed to drop almost weekly, whilst artists such as Calvin Harris or David Guetta elevated dance music to a whole new level, bringing it to mainstream audiences as the new ‘pop music’.
Never ones to wince away from a hearty portion of nostalgia, a few of our writers got together to assemble the Top 100 greatest EDM anthems of this so-called ‘golden era’, with the following stipulations:
1. The tracks in question had to be released between the years 2009-2012. The lines on this blur powerfully as to when the ‘golden era’ started and ended, but we felt that by 2013, music was starting to head in a new direction thanks to the low-tempo trends of acts like Disclosure and the subsequent deep-house movement. Whilst by Autumn, artists such as Oliver Heldens and Tchami were beginning to breakthrough the pioneer the ‘future house’ sound.
2. The tracks had to be released ‘officially’ and available on Spotify worldwide. Which sadly means we had to say goodbye to a few of our favourite unreleased Avicii bootlegs, or iconic hits such as Otto Knows‘ ‘Million Voices’, with the latter not available towards more Middle Eastern territories on streaming services.
3. Our playlist has no particular order (it’s pretty tough to rank 100 of the best tunes ever made), so we’ve assembled the full list in alphabetical order, though our writers have picked out a few of their particular favourites to highlight below:
Basto – Gregory’s Theme
“It still amazes me that the name ‘Basto‘ doesn’t quite sit amongst the very upper echelons of producers mentioned when we discuss the greatest EDM tracks ever made. A true master of melodies, this sound typified the style we later became accustomed to from all those early Avicii anthems. Basto was, and is, a true pioneer of the EDM movement.” – Jake Gable
Bob Sinclar – New New New (Avicii Meets Yellow Remix)
“Long before his ‘Wake Me Up’ days, it was clear that Tim was destined for global domination. Though it would have been easy to pick out a track like ‘Levels’ (the greatest dance track ever made, in my opinion), I thought it may be more refreshing to draw attention to one of his earliest pieces of work, this superbly crafted remix for Bob Sinclar.” – Jake Gable
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
“This is one of those EDM tracks which soundtracked my high-school years and just gave me hope and a really positive outlook on life – exactly what dance music is all about! Everything from the lyrics to the beat in the drop just put me straight into a trance and such a euphoric state. I’ll forever be thankful to Calvin for this amazing record.” – Ellie Mullins
David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso & Dirty South – How Soon Is Now?
“Everything about this record embodies that rich house sound we were introduced to during the 2009/10 season of dance music, none more so than the iconic opening vocals of Julie McKnight – What a voice! David Guetta cops some flack from some fans but few can doubt what a massive impact he’s had on our industry. A truly timeless Ibiza anthem.” – Jake Gable
“I grew up playing video games such as F1 2010 and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. It opened up a new side to electronic music to me, and I became hooked on the drum and bass sound that the likes of Pendulum, DJ Fresh, and a little later, Wilkinson, used in their productions. Bucket loads of energy, insane Rob Swire vocals and a tidy 174BPM are enough to grant ‘Watercolour‘ God tier ranking amongst the early 2010’s releases.” – Lewis Partington
“A bold statement, but based on this era of the projects, Pryda > Eric Prydz. ‘Shadows‘, ‘You‘, and ‘Mirage‘ all dropped on the Eric Prydz presents Pryda album in 2012, but ‘Allein’ was certainly the pick of the bunch. There’s just something about those progressive sounds that hook you in, and chants of ‘Allein Allein, Allein Allein’ rang clear and true for good reason – this Pryda release is a top shelf banger!” – Lewis Partington
Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
“This was my first proper introduction to EDM and the whole dubstep world in general, at a time when that sub-genre was really booming like never before! I can mentally trace back my memories to the moment when I first heard this track and straight away, I knew that I had found something special. It truly sounded like something I’d never heard before.” – Ellie Mullins
Steve Angello & Third Party – Lights
“What happens when two legendary acts of dance music team up? Well usually, we get a timeless anthem like this! Back then, the Third Party boys were still emerging into the scene but their talent was clear, and it’s no surprise to have seen them dominate the prog-house scene ever since. This was such a huge collab that Steve soon invited Jonnie & Harry to support Swedish House Mafia during their Masquerade Motel show in Miami.” – Jake Gable
Tim Berg – Seek Bromance (Avicii’s Arena Vocal Mix)
“The song that kickstarted this whole obsession for me. I had heard a bootleg of the track played late on a Saturday night via Kiss FM’s freeview radio. The melody instantly captivated me and I spent the entire subsequent term at University essentially promoting the name ‘Tim Berg’ (Avicii) to everyone I met in an attempt for the masses to recognise his brilliance up until the official release of this track a few months later.” – Jake Gable
The Aston Shuffle Vs Tommy Trash – Sunrise (Won’t Get Lost) (Tommy Trash Version)
“A true Axtone weapon from the glory days of the EDM and progressive-house genres, this was a record heavily supported by Swedish House Mafia during their ‘One Last Tour’ schedule, and it’s easy to see why. Having already delivered tracks like ‘Cascade’ and his remix of Steve Aoki‘s ‘Ladi Dadi’ to us, (later teaming up with Sebastian Ingrosso on ‘Reload‘), there can be no doubt that Tommy Trash is one of dance music’s most criminally under-rated producers.” – Jake Gable
Tom Hangs & Shermanology – Blessed (Avicii Remix)
“Nothing says ‘peak 2011 EDM’ like an Avicii track, and of all his many remixes, for me, this one comes out on top. Not only is it another double whammy – Tom Hangs is another alias of Tim Bergling – but this emulates the true essence of the Swede’s production skill. With impeccable vocals, tight chords, and a melody that could be chanted in a muddy festival field, or equally in the shower at home, ‘Blessed‘ will always been one of Avicii’s finest EDM releases.” – Lewis Partington
You can catch our full Top 100 list below, with a Spotify playlist containing all the tracks available at the bottom of the page!