Songs With A Good Beat

Good beats make the foundation of music, from smash hits that bring the stadium down to grand folk songs that unite communities.

When you’re looking to shake a leg, nothing beats a song with a good beat. Songs with a steady beat let you go all out on the dance floor, tearing it up to your heart’s content.

“Super Freaky Girl” by Nicki Minaj

Song Year: 2022

Nicki Minaj has been dominating the music scene since her debut in the late 2000s, and this chart-topper has been no exception. Super Freaky Girl is a remix of the classic hit “Super Freak” by Rick James.

This heavily sampled track lays the groundwork for a funky bit with classic Minaj rapid-fire lyricism that creates an unstoppable, delicious track to groove to.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

Song Year: 2014

This emulation of 1980s funk pop topped charts for weeks, making a huge cultural splash. For much of the 2010s, “Uptown Funk” was the be-all and end-all of funky beats. Breaking records over and over again, catchy lyrics of partying and bravado overlay a jazzy, steady beat that can’t be resisted.

“Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira

Song Year: 2005

Reaching number one in 18 countries, this chart-topper by Shakira is a legend to this day. The hot Latin rhythm of this song makes it one with a beat that can’t be denied. At the time of its release, “Hips Don’t Lie” broke the record for most radio plays in a single week.

The legend goes that the phrase refers to the singer’s likelihood to dance in the studio. No song that couldn’t get her to dance was good enough to get on the album.

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Song Year: 2014

Originally written as part of the Illumination film Despicable Me, “Happy” was a strike of lightning. Narrowly losing an Oscar to “Let It Go” From Frozen, the song experienced great success on the Billboard charts.

This neo-soul hit describes the singer continuously rebuffing attempts of others to try to deliver bad news, as they and their good mood are unsinkable.

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

Song Year: 2011

One Direction was an English-Irish boy band that reached international fame following their appearance at the X Factor, a British reality television music competition. “What Makes You Beautiful” was their debut single, putting the young band on the map.

The song is a moving, iconic piece of pop that describes a beautiful young woman who is ignorant of her beauty. The band cheerily reminds her that she is wonderful, despite her lack of awareness.

“Mr. Brightside” by The Killers

Song Year: 2001

This haunting ballad was one of the first songs The Killers wrote and also their debut single. Driven by a great drumbeat, the lyrics delve into jealousy and broken hearts.

The song was an immediate commercial success worldwide. Moreover, it was the most streamed track released before 2010 and has earned countless accolades from notable radio stations and magazines.

“Betty (Get Money)” by Yung Gravy

Song Year: 2022

Yung Gravy rose to fame as a SoundCloud rapper in 2017 with the track “Mr. Clean.” Much of his signature style comes from the usage of vintage samples, such as sampling the use of Chrodette’s angelic vocalizing in “Mr. Sandman.”

“Betty (Get Money)” is his first Billboard hit, featuring another incredible classic. This time, Gravy sampled internet fiend “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. This bombastic track underlays a triumphant piece by Gravy that is sure to get people moving.

“Sugar” by Maroon 5

Song Year: 2014

“Sugar” was a fun single by the pop legend band Maroon 5. The song is inspired by disco and funk, giving it an unmistakable groove that can’t be beaten.

The music video for this song is a fun romp through the streets of Los Angeles. The band crashes weddings while singing this saccharine new single about loving someone with tooth-rotting intensity.

“Counting Stars” by One Republic

Song Year: 2013

“Counting Stars” is a song about the desperation of dreamers working to make ends meet and swearing to one another that they’ll make it happen. This fast, fiery track is one of One Republic’s best-performing songs of all time.

As a blend of folk-pop and dance-pop, it has a steady beat that makes it perfect for dances and gatherings. In addition, its moving chorus is a favorite to chant and scream in groups.

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

Song Year: 2018

Blinding Lights is a song about feeling alone even when you should feel surrounded by love and care. The vastness of a city that cares not for your struggles is emphasized in both the lyrics and the imagery of the music video.

“Vending Machine of Love” by The Stupendium

Song Year: 2021

“Vending Machine of Love” was an instant classic in roller rinks and arcades everywhere upon its release, making it one of the top bubble pop hits of 2021. A fun bop about whirling through life with various zany partners, it continues to effervescently delight listeners looking for a great beat to groove to.

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii

Song Year: 2013

This summer anthem of 2013 topped the charts and dominated the airwaves. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii was a moving, emotional song by a relatively unknown artist, who sadly passed just a handful of years later.

Avicii’s background as a DJ made this a perfect song to dance to, with long sections of electronic music to get a crowd pumped up before the final beat drop and chorus. This folktronica hit set the stage for smaller names to rise to popularity in the 2010s.

“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra

Song Year: 2011

The steady tapping of unique instruments in the background of this hit ballad gives it an enchanting beat that draws attention even after you’ve heard it a hundred times over. The accompanying music video made with stop-motion animation is equally engaging and intriguing.

“Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj

Song Year: 2011

A groundbreaking blend of bubblegum pop, rap, hip hop, and electronica, Nicki Minaj’s superstar hit burst onto the music scene with a beat that’s still heavily sampled over a decade later. The iconic “boom” of “Super Bass” is a hallmark of Minaj’s songwriting and composition skills.

“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

Song Year: 2009

This dance-pop classic heavily features electronic influences, giving it a strong, steady beat. Heavily inspired by techno music and German house music, “Bad Romance” tells the story of a toxic love affair that is, unfortunately, absolutely intoxicating.

“Dancing Queen” by ABBA

Song Year: 1984

As a European take on American disco music, this hit song by the Swedish pop band ABBA reigned supreme on music charts and dance floors alike all over the world. Over the years, it has solidified its spot among the greatest songs of all time. In great part, its lasting popularity can be attributed to its charming beat that’s perfect for a slow dance.

“Take On Me” by A-ha

Song Year: 1985

The iconic comic-book-style music video for “Take On Me” is a testament to the song’s upbeat, unstoppable energy. The lyrics describe a sort of wistful hope that entices generations. This 80’s classic has a fun pop beat that’s been pulling people to the dance floor for decades.

In addition, the band performed a more somber, slower version of this song for their MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice album in 2017.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Song Year: 1989

This hit song by Rick Astley is about loyalty and always being there for your loved one. However, the opening drum riff is so iconic that it forms the foundation for one of the oldest internet memes. Moreover, a bombastic drum line is present throughout this song that has remained a fan-favorite for decades.

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk

Song Year: 2013

This hit song by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk was made in collaboration with American musicians Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. What they’ve created is a song with a contagious beat that you can jive to for hours. The lyrics are about being lucky enough to connect with someone on an intimate level.

“Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry

Song Year: 2008

Katy Perry’s hit about mood swings has a steady beat that keeps people moving. Despite the flip-flop nature of the lyrics describing mood swings that threaten a relationship, the music itself is steady and fun.

“Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…)” by Lou Bega

Song Year: 1999

The original Mambo No. 5 was an instrumental mambo and jazz dance song recorded by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado. Lou Bega sampled the song to create a hit that invites you to dance from the first beat.

“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga

Song Year: 2008

Lady Gaga’s sultry bisexual anthem “Poker Face” hit the ground running in 2008, continuing to pull attention to the rising star that she was quickly becoming. The lyrics of this fast-paced song describe a woman’s relationship with a man and her trying to hide her true feelings for another woman.

“Every Breath You Take” by The Police

Song Year: 1979

The instantly recognizable steady beat marks one of the greatest songs produced by the English rock band the Police. Written by Sting at a tumultuous time in his love life, the lyrics are about a possessive lover and jealousy after breaking up with someone. As such, he considers the song to be sinister. However, many fans view it as a gentle love song.

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyonce

Song Year: 2008

A song with enormous cultural impact, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” is an anthem about freedom from men who choose to avoid commitment. With a mix of various influences, including disco, R&B, and bounce, the song also delivers an electrifying beat perfect for busting out your favorite moves on the dance floor.

“Beat It” by Michael Jackson

Song Year: 1983

“Beat It” is the result of Michael Jackson purposefully setting out to produce a rock song. The track features a beautifully composed strong beat and heavy instrumentals, as one would expect from the King of Pop, who was renowned for his work ethic and aim for perfection.

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Song Year: 1982

“Eye of the Tiger” was the theme of the film Rocky III. The director of the film originally wanted to use Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” in the film but was denied the rights. Instead, this rock hit was crafted with a heavy bass line featuring a steady beat. Interestingly, the film version of the song features real tiger growls.

“…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears

Song Year: 1998

Pop legend Britney Spears released this hit in 1998 that propelled her to stardom. It’s a dance-pop song about a girl begging her partner to come back. The creators have said the implication is that the girl wants, more than anything, to be contacted again by the person she cares about.

“Pompeii” by Bastille

Song Year: 2013

This tragic track by Bastille introduced the band to the world. What sets “Pompeii” apart from so many contemporary tracks is the way it opens.

The song begins with a chorus chanting in Latin. They repeat the word “eheu,” or “alas.” This signifies a great outcry of grief. The song’s lyrics depict the people of Pompeii recognizing that their death is upon them.

“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas

Song Year: 2009

Party hit “I Gotta Feeling” by the star-studded group The Black Eyed Peas has a steady electronic beat that raises the excitement level to its peak among partygoers. Despite being released over a decade ago, it has remained one of the favorite anthems among fans of nightlife and having a good time.

“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen

Song Year: 1978

This rock hit from Queen features a hard-hitting bass line sure to keep the building rocking. It was written by the group’s bassist John Deacon who drew inspiration for its recognizable bass line from another hit song, “Good Times” by the R&B band Chic.

“Hey Ya!” by Outkast

Song Year: 2002

Despite the upbeat nature of the song, the lyrics of “Hey Ya!” are pretty dark. Outkast makes it clear that the song is about the disintegration of love and how consumerism leaves little room to discuss the way that family is eroded under the indefatigable wheels of endless labor.

“YMCA” by the Village People

Song Year: 1978

Much of the YMCA’s modern popularity comes from the longevity of the easily learned dance associated with the chorus. The lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek call to action for young gay men to celebrate loving one another, though as the song became more mainstream, this meaning became lost.

“Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees

Song Year: 1977

“Stayin’ Alive” is a disco classic from the hit film Saturday Night Fever. This record-breaking, chart-topping hit has been a favorite for decades, still topping lists of the best music of all time.

It has a steady, undeniable disco beat perfect for strutting to. The content matter isn’t nearly as lighthearted as some may assume, as the lyrics themselves are actually about survival in New York City.

“SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland

Song Year: 2009

SexyBack has a strong, steady beat heavily reinforced by the vocal components of the track. The lyrics are overtly sexual, discussing sexual slavery and encouraging women to be promiscuous and return sexual advances. It’s a great song for dancing at clubs or late in the night at a wedding.

“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire

Song Year: 1972

“Let’s Groove” is a disco classic by the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire. Setting dance floors on fire with their hits, the group did much of the same with this track that combines disco, pop, and funk sounds.

“Cbat” by Hudson Mohawke

Song Year: 2011

Electronic music exploded in the 2010s, partially ushered in by legends like Cbat by musician Hudson Mohawke. Mohawke was looking to create a beat that could be used to set the pace of any activity, something motivating and uniquely exciting. His track has inspired millions since.

“Say So” by Doja Cat

Song Year: 2020

Doja Cat has exploded in popularity in the 2020s, dominating charts as her online persona continues to charm more and more fans. “Say So” became a favorite of the summer of 2020, its popularity continuing into the remainder of the year.

Songs With A Good Beat, Final Thoughts

Fans may associate great beats with a particular style, genre, or era, but the truth is that great beats have come from all corners of the music industry over time. If you’re hungry for steady beats, look no further than some of your favorite dance music and get moving.

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