In the 90s Happy Hardcore was a very popular music movement in Europe. The songs are the ‘happy’ variance of hardcore house. A typical Happy Hardcore songs features cheerful vocals (often ‘samples’ from other songs that have been accelerated), happy lyrics and a beat between 165 and 180 per minute.
The happy hardcore movement was particularly popular in the Netherlands and Germany. Many of the popular happy hardcore acts are from these countries. These are the ten most popular ones.
1. Flamman and Abraxas
Flamman & Abraxas were important producers in the genre. First they produced the songs from the Party Animals and later they started releasing music with their own names. The Flamman & Abraxas songs are a little bit harder than the Party Animals songs. There biggest hits are Good to go and I need love.
2. 4 Tune Fairytales
Dutch Happy Hardcore act 4 Tune Fairytales only had one big hit, this song “My Little Fantasy” however is one of the classics in the genre.
3. Mark Oh
German Mark ‘Oh was one of the first artists to release happy hardcore hits. Already in ’94 his single Tears Don’t Lie was released. He used the standard method to score a happy hardcore hit, speed up an old song with a high voice and throw a happy beat under it, success guaranteed!
4. Critical Mass
Like almost all Happy Hardcore acts, Critical Mass was also from the Netherland. They scored hits between ’94 and ’99. Burnin ‘Love is their biggest hit.
German group with big hits like “Can’t stop Raving”, “Hand in Hand” and of course “Hardcore Vibes”.
Nakatomi didn’t have a lot of hit songs, but Children of the Night remains one of the Happy Hardcore classics. “Sing a Song” was also a big hit.
Scooter is a German rave band that scores hits since 1994, they are actually a ‘rave band’ but have also released a large number of songs that deserve the label Happy Hardcore. The best songs are probably Nessaja and Friends. They still make music!
8. Party Animals
The Party Animals were shown for the first time in the clip of the British Happy Hardcore group “Technohead”. After this success, producers Flamman & Abraxas decided to set up the Party Animals.
9. DJ Paul Elstak
In the early 90s DJ Paul Elstak founded the first hardcore label: Rotterdam Records, their first big hit is “Poing” from the Rotterdam Termination Source. From 1995, DJ Paul has released Happy Hardcore albums under his own name with many success, first Luv U More followed by Rainbow in the Sky.
10. Charlie Lownoise and Metal Theo
The Dutch duo Charlie Lownoise & Mental Theo sold more than 3 million records worldwide. Their first hit was Wonderful Days that would become a worldwide success. In 1995, the year of their breakthrough, they perform 320 (!) Times. Up to the end of the 90s they released successful happy hardcore albums.