If you’re fortunate enough to visit some of Europe’s finest cities, ‘eurotrash’ music (or ‘europop’ and ‘eurodance’) will invariably be resonating from a nearby bar or club. The distinct sounds of quick tinny beats, euphoric melodies and obscure vocals, often reinforced with baffling lyrics, will either draw you to the closest dance floor or cause you to plough the hire car into an unsuspecting tree.
The first signs of eurotrash emerged throughout the late 70s, with France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia leading the way; notably a small Swedish band named ABBA. As Europop progressed over the next 20 years, so did its intent to dominate the music charts, and groups such as Eiffel 65 and Ace of Base were being played and sung to in bedrooms and clubs across the continent.
Today, pop music still prevails the commercial music scene, whether we like it or not; however it never forgets its trashy roots. So in testament to this persistent genre, here are the top 10 euro trash bands of our time, as we ask ourselves: are they euro trash or euro treasures?
How can anyone forget Aqua’s relentless hit ‘Barbie Girl’? Well, we do try. However, four-piece Danish-Norwegian outfit had undeniable success in the late 90s and sold a staggering 33 million albums worldwide.
There really were no limits for the techno-thumping Dutch duo 2 Unlimited during the early 90s. If you did own one of their 16 chart hits, including ‘Get ready for this’ and of course ‘No Limits’, then you were either perceived as very cool or very stupid.
The Grammy-nominated Eiffel 65 we one of Italy’s most successful music exports in the late 90s, with their biggest hit ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’ giving them global, if not brief, commercial recognition.
Latvian born DJ Bobo fused big bass lines and synth riffs, with his intriguing rapping and mysterious lyrics. He was also a big fan of leather and lycra. Enough said.
Infernal can proudly claim to winning a Danish Grammy, and since their inception in 1997 have enjoyed have enjoyed moderate success across Europe. Bizarrely, their record ‘From London to Berlin’ supported England during the 2006 Football World Cup!
As well as Europe, Swedish-born Alcazar were also popular in the US, Australia and Japan; selling over 12 million records between 2001 and 2004. Their biggest hit ‘Crying at the Discoteque’, apparently, was supposed to be ironic.
Sin with Sebastian
Controversial German Sin with Sebastian made one album in 1995, with the song ‘Fuck You (I am in Love)’, imparting him with brief notoriety in his native country and the rest of Europe. He released an album in 2008, but quickly disappeared without a trace.
One of the naive gimmicks of the mid 90’s, Captain Jack consisted of a black rapper with a gap between his front teeth, whilst performing military-themed dance numbers. Needless to say he was never flown out to motivate the troops during the Gulf War.
E-Rotic were a two-piece German eurodance ‘project’ launched in 1994 and were renowned for their risqué sexual lyrics and revealing outfits. Their target audiences were horny teenagers whose parents happily prohibited.
The biggest dance act to arrive out of Sweden since Ace of base, Rednex made their impact with the highly irritating hit ‘Cotton-Eye Joe’ in 1994. However, this overnight success was to be their downfall and the band was never to be seen again. Shame.