Wedding Dance Floor Playlists
May 20, 2015 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Big Band/Motown/Modern Dance songs needed. More info and examples after the jump.

Hi Guys putting together a playlist for a wedding (Mix of all Ages).

Really striving for a Big Band, Motown songs that are upbeat and can dance to. I've asked friends and keep getting swing/jazz stuff (Sinatra etc) but I don't find them suitable for tempo and dance factor etc.

A few examples of what I currently have:

Whitney Houston - I wanna dance with somebody
Beyonce - Love on Top, Single Ladies, Crazy in love
Supremes - You can't hurry Love
Stevie Wonder - Signed Seal Delivered
Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
Prince - Raspberry Beret
Pharrel - Happy
Outkast - Hey Ya
Michael Jackson - Shake Your Body, I want you Back
Meghan Trainer - Lips don't lie, Dear Future Husband
Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk, Treasure, Locked Out of Heaven
Kanye - Gold Digger
Jimmy Barnes - Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher, River Deep Mountain High
Billy Ocean - Love really hurts without you
posted by thelloydshow to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I like anything that has a dedicated dance beat to it, such as the cha-cha, so:

Rubberband Man by the Spinners
September by Earth, Wind and Fire
Kokomo by the Beach Boys
posted by xingcat at 3:27 PM on May 20, 2015

Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines

Uh. This might not play well at a wedding…because…you know…all the rape vibes.

Does older soul work for your playlist? If so;

Marie Queenie Lyons- See and Don't See
Little Herman- One out of a hundred
Bobby Moore & The Rythm Aces- Searchin for My Baby
Vickie Baines- Sweeter than Sweet Things

There's a remarkable amount of old, not overplayed danceable soul out there that influences alot of what you've listed. Most of which, I've come across thanks to the wonderful DJ Beyondadoubt over at SUCH a good hour, and lots of great love songs.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:27 PM on May 20, 2015

One of my dreams is to dance to Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" at a wedding, though it might not be right thematically.
posted by kendrak at 3:35 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

sam cooke - twistin' the night away
stevie wonder - uptight (everything is all right)
maroon 5 - sugar
junior walker and the all stars - shotgun
the contours - do you love me?
martha and the vandellas - dancing in the streets
frank sinatra - at long last love
dean martin - ain't that a kick in the head, sway
bebel gilberto - aganjú [latin project remix]

i'll try to think of more.
posted by koroshiya at 3:38 PM on May 20, 2015

Some good pop options that have a good soul-like beat/swing to them:
All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
I Try - Macy Gray
Trouble - Iggy Azzlea
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

You should consider mixing in some slower songs. People get tired dancing to nonstop uptempo stuff!

Some slower suggestions:
Lake Street Dive's cover of I Want You Back
The Sun is Shining Down by JJ Grey and Mofro
Slow Dance - John Legend
Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop
Give Me one Reason - Tracy Chapman

More soul-like options:
There are tons of great songs for this purpose from lots of artists, but here are a few specific suggestions:
Booker T & the Mg's - Green Onions, or Sunday Sermon
Aretha Franklin - so many good ones! RESPECT, Spirit in the Dark, You Send Me
Etta James - At Last
Sam Cooke - Bring it on Home, lots of other options...
Dusty Springfield - Son of a Preacherman

Browse on Spotify for "best of" soul and oldies compilations and see what sounds good to you. Best-of compilations are good sources for ideas b/c they'll have hits and well-known songs on them. More familiar songs will probably work better at a wedding because people like dancing to stuff they know.
posted by aka burlap at 3:54 PM on May 20, 2015

Carl Carlton - Everlasting Love
Mel Carter - Hold me, thrill me, kiss me
Etta James - A Sunday Kind of Love
Lionel Richie - You Are
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:45 PM on May 20, 2015

Marvin Gaye has a LOT of songs that fit this. A few:

Little Darling (I Need You)
Ain't No Mountain High Enough
You Ain't Livin Until You're Lovin'
Pride and Joy
How Sweet It Is

Barbara Acklin:
I Call It Trouble
Love Makes a Woman
Am I The Same Girl
I Did It

Here's a few more I really like:

The Way You Do The Things You Do - The Temptations
Jimmy Mack - The Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Come And Go With Me - The Del-Vikings
Love That Girl - Raphael Saadiq
Shake That Thing - Wynonie Harris
Soothe Me - Sam & Dave
Would I Mind - The Red Caps
Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
I Want You To Know - Lloyd Price
Lose It - Ben L'Oncle Soul
Demain j'Arrete - Ben L'Oncle Soul
posted by BungaDunga at 6:51 PM on May 20, 2015

Junior Walker, Shotgun
Spencer Davis Group, Gimme Some Lovin'
Shirley Ellis' Clapping Song may be fun if you've got kids there and want to have a dance with them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 PM on May 20, 2015

Also, this isn't Motown, but y'all need a li'l gumbo in y'all's mix.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 PM on May 20, 2015

Man, you need some James Brown, Godfather of Soul. I never saw a dance floor populate instantly until I saw James Brown 's "Sex Machine" kicked in by the DJ. His body of work is amazing and you can always find something to fit your criteria. Michael Jackson or the Jackson 5 also provide rump shaking dance opportunities. Even a decent cover will work.
posted by jadepearl at 11:46 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

There was a ton of Motown/similar feeling stuff at a family wedding a few years back, which I happened to curate the playlist for. Here are some:

Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Chuck Berry - Teenage Wedding
James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
Elvis - Hound Dog
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - Heat Wave
The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart of Mine
Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again
Chuck Berry - Johnny B Goode
Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move
Little Richard - Land of a Thousand Dances
Elton John - Tiny Dancer
Stevie Wonder - For Once in My Life
Marvin Gaye - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
The Beatles - Eight Days a Week
Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want)
Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Lovin'
posted by rachaelfaith at 5:38 AM on May 21, 2015

Prince — I Wanna Be Your Lover
Prince — Uptown
Prince — P.Y.T.
Smokey Robinson — Second that Emotion
Hall & Oates — You Make my Dreams
Michael Jackson — Blame it on the Boogie
Deniece Williams — Let's Hear it for the Boy
Pointer Sisters — Automatic
Paula Abdul — Forever Your Girl
Shirley Ellis — The Clapping Song
Chaka Kahn — Ain't Nobody
Marvin Gaye — Got to Give it Up
Kool & the Gang — Get Down On It
Earth Wind & Fire — September

Pretty much all you need :)
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:02 PM on May 21, 2015

Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Rock With You
Brothers Johnson - Stomp!
Rihanna - Pon de Replay
Pointer Sisters - Goldmine, Jump (For My Love)
Gibson Brothers - Cuba, Que Sera Mi Vida
The Time - The Bird
Whitney Houston - How Will I Know
Janet Jackson - Control, Escapade, When I Think Of You
Lionel Richie - Dancing on the Ceiling

Everybody seems to get on the dance floor when these songs are played - even people who don't dance to anything else:
Marcia Griffiths - Electric Boogie
Mr. C the Slide Man - Cha-Cha Slide
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle
posted by SisterHavana at 3:35 PM on May 21, 2015

Really striving for a Big Band, Motown songs that are upbeat and can dance to. I've asked friends and keep getting swing/jazz stuff (Sinatra etc) but I don't find them suitable for tempo and dance factor etc.

"Big Band" music is swing/jazz music, so I'm a little confused. If you mean more that the suggestions you're getting aren't danceable enough, try Googling for "swing dance music", which should get you a bunch of suggestions for music that people into swing dancing like.

Some artists that'll probably be pretty prominent on those list will be Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman (these will all almost certainly be named as "The So-and-So Orchestra".)

You could also look into Jump Blues music, which tends to be a little faster and more energetic while still being having a swing/jazz/big band feel and sound, and is also popular with the current swing dance community.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:57 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Etta James, "In The Basement"
posted by koeselitz at 9:57 PM on March 16, 2016

« Older How to temporarily put a parking sticker on a car   |   Oh my god I'm finally going to Japan! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.