"On and On," Jesse Saunders (1985) - The rap is corny, and it sounds as if it was recorded in a primitive home studio. But "On and On" ranks as the first house record, selling out quickly at Importes Etc. and gaining a huge club following.
"Time to Jack," Chip E. (1985) - "Jacking" became a dance move unique to house, apparently established in Chicago clubs. Similar to today's "freaking," "jacking" involved one person bending over while the dance partner would grind against his/her bottom. Phrases such as "jack your body" were added to the vernacular, leading to a number of house tracks with "jack" in the title. "Time to Jack," however, remains the original, with Joe Smooth chanting the title phrase over the beat.
"Music Is The Key," JM Silk (1985) - This legendary DJ scored with this hit, heavily influenced by Kraftwerk and Afrika Bombata, among other artists. "Music Is The Key" exemplifies the Chicago house sound, a combination of disco with 80s techno.
"Move Your Body," Marshall Jefferson (1986) - Unofficially titled the "House National Anthem," this track cements house's new status as an indepdent genre. In the British documentary Pump Up the Volume: The History of House (2001), Jefferson stated that "Move Your Body" was his attempt at defining the sound, much like Bill Haley and the Comets established the term "rock and roll" with "Rock Around the Clock."
"Love Can't Turn Around," Farley "Jackmaster Funk" featuring Darryl Pandy (1986) - Pandy, an opera-trained singer, became a house superstar thanks to Farley "Jackmaster Funk's" production. At times campy but featuring a raucous piano break, it became one of the earliest house hits in the U.K.
"Can You Feel It," Mr. Fingers (1986) - Mr. Fingers was the alias of DJ Larry Heard, who created this precursor to other house subgenres like ambient and chillout music. The sermon in the middle preaching about the history of house shows the deep soul present in the music.
"Promised Land," Joe Smooth (1988) - Inspired by his stint on the highly successful DJ International tour of the U.K., Smooth penned this dance-take on Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. These two influences resulted in a house classic, to the point where the Style Council released their cover of "Promised Land" a week after the original was released.