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10 of the biggest festival anthems from ‘98 - ‘08

The bangers and the belters that left their mark on an era of summertime music celebration

  • Jasmine Kent-Smith
  • 6 March 2018

Recently we’ve been taking a walk down memory lane, looking back at some of the highlights of raving's colourful history as we chat to music fans who made the trip to the greatest festival of all time, while taking a look at some trippy old-skool rave artwork. So then we thought, what about the tunes that brought it all together, the tracks that left their mark on a whole decade's worth of summers and festivals alike?

I mean, this is the part where we would usually say something about the sunny weather, festival season and all of the above. Alas, with the Beast from the East hitting us hard here in London this past week, (check our coat guide if you’re still after a new addition to help see you through the chill), our affinity for the warmer months may be more cruel than kind right about now, but what better time to look back, as we chart some of the top song selections from festival seasons ‘98 through to ‘08.

Jasmine Kent-Smith is Mixmag's Weekend Editor. Follow her on Twitter

1998
David Morales Presents The Face Feat. Juliet Rogers ‘Needin’ You’

Described by Mixmag’s Ibiza correspondent Johnny Lee as, “A massive house music anthem which scored serious airtime at Manumission, Pacha and all across San Antonio at the height of the big-room, Ibiza Uncovered era”, ‘Needin’ You’ an age-old classic that was guaranteed to send dancefloors wild after its release in 1998. Feel good music at its finest.

1999
Fatboy Slim ‘Praise You’

1999 was a great year for summertime dance anthems. With way too many to choose from, (Honorary shout out to Chicane ‘Saltwater’ and Sasha ‘Xpander’) the nod just had to go the the classic that is ‘Praise You’. The number one hit tune, and its accompanying video, delighted dancers around the world when the track first released, and it’s undeniable legacy today needn’t be queried.

2000
Sonique ‘It Feels So Good’

Once again, 2000 proved to be another big year for legendary dance music cuts. From ‘Sandstorm’ through to ‘Supersonic’, a slew of tracks were hitting the scene from all corners of the electronic music spectrum. A spine-tingling cut, complete with the catchiest chorus, when ‘It Feels So Good’ re-released back in 2003 it spent three weeks at #1 here in the UK, and can still be heard wheeled-up on the club circuit today.

2001
Ian Van Dahl ‘Castles in the Sky’

Trance. Love it or hate it, (it’s back in fashion in case you missed it…) the sound influenced generations of artists and festival-goers alike, who found their musical feet thanks to the euphoric power of the genre. Infectious track ‘Castles in the Sky’ is a clear-cut winner from the early 2000’s trance era, merging pop with hard trance to create a true anthemic record.

2002
Basement Jaxx ‘Where’s Your Head At?’

Do we really need to explore the fan-favourite capabilities of this hit track? Released back in 2001, London duo Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ is a true dance music classic, that helped define and shape a flourishing new era of electronic dance music back in the early noughties.

2003
Paul Oakenfold ‘Starry Eyed Surprise’

Ibiza icon Paul Oakenfold has a plethora of summer festival hits under his hardy belt, however his killer track ‘Starry Eyed Surprise’ saw the artist, alongside Crazy Town’s Shifty Shellshock, venture into newfound tech-pop territory, resulting in over three and a half minutes of truly memorable dance material.

2004
Shapeshifters ‘Lola's Theme’

This number one cut from British DJ duo Shapeshifters dominated the dancefloors and the charts in equal measures. Sending festivals into a frenzy, ‘Lola’s Theme’ also sent Shapeshifters sky-rocketing onto the scene, signalling the beginning of their long-running career in dance music. (For those who spent festival’s outside of the electronica bubble however, another honorary shout out – this time to The Killer’s and their karaoke anthem ‘Mr Brightside’).

2005
Chemical Brothers ‘Galvanize’

Now it’s no secret that here at Mixmag we’re pretty big fans of The Chems. We’ve interviewed them, charted their iconic moments, and even waxed on about the evolution of the iconic group via video. ‘Galvanize’ features vocals from America rapper Q-Tip, making it a timely fusion of transatlantic taste and traditional Chemical Brothers production prowess.

2006
Justice vs Simian ‘We Are Your Friends’

A mere twelve years ago, Justice offered up this iconic remix of Simian’s ‘Never Be Alone’. Suited for the party, the after-party, and of course after-after-party, this relentlessly uplifting electro banger is every bit as hypnotic today as it was back then.

2007
Axwell Feat. Max C ‘I Found U’

Once again, 2007 turned out to be another standout year for warm weather anthems. ‘I Found U’ is still one of Axwell’s best known tunes, reaching #6 in the UK Singles Chart. The track proved just how powerful dance music had become away from more mainstream radio sounds

2008
Utah Saints ‘Something Good ‘08’

Let’s end on yet another stone-cold classic. The ‘08 remix of Utah Saints ‘Something Good’ returned with bang near the end of the noughties. Thanks to it's memorable video, and of course that memorable Kate Bush sample, the tune captured hearts of ravers around the world when it hit the festival circuit that summer.

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