10 Tracks That Define House

Saturday, 13 May 2017
Genre-defining house tracks from some of the earliest pioneers...

So the story goes, the term "house music" originated from groundbreaking Chicago club The Warehouse in the early eighties. Strongly influenced by elements of 70s soul and funk infused disco, house music proved an instant hit, and soon spread to Detroit, New York, and eventually Europe. Not long after and house music had infiltrated the mainstream, with many DJs worldwide having been presented with major label deals and becoming household names.

Here at Groove Odyssey, we’ve taken the time to look back over some of the biggest early house tracks that helped define the genre.

‘To Be In Love’, Masters At Work featuring India (1996)
This track combines smooth house beats with the unmistakable vocals of singer-songwriter India.


‘Keep On Jumpin’, Todd Terry (1996)
Featuring the vocals of Martha Wash and Jocelyn Brown, this reworked former disco track from Todd Terry is a huge house hit.


‘Deep Inside’, Hardrive (1993)
This classic club anthem bears all the musical trademarks of Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, aka Masters at Work.


‘Can You Feel It?’, Mr Fingers (1986)
Released in 1986, this record by Larry Heard, under the alias “Mr Fingers”, is widely regarded as one of the first deep house records to define the genre.


‘Your Love’, Frankie Knuckles (1986)
Knuckles’ track features the vocals recorded for Jamie Principle’s original version; despite being covered and reworked time and time again, Knuckle’s record has gone down in history as an early example of house music.


‘Love Don’t Live Here’, The Basement Boys (1988)
The Basement Boys produced a number of underground classics in the late eighties, including this massive track in 1988.


‘Beautiful People’, Barbara Tucker (1994)
Featuring the songwriting talents of India and “Little” Louie Vega, who co-produced the track with Masters At Work partner Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, this early-nineties single is immediately recognisable as a house classic.


‘Pacific State’, 808 State (1989)
A British contribution to the Chicago house sound, ‘Pacific State’ by Manchester band 808 State made its mark on the genre defined by American beats.


‘Love Can’t Turn Around’, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk (1986)
This club hit crossed over into the mainstream UK singles chart and holds an important place in the history of house music as the first record in the genre to do so.


‘Good Life’, Inner City (1988)
Featuring the vocals of Paris Grey, Inner City’s ‘Good Life’ reached number 4 in the United Kingdom in January 1989 and proved a huge hit at rave and acid house parties across the globe.