Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean has been voted the greatest dance record of all time.
The classic 1983 single pipped Donna Summer’s I Feel Love and James Brown’s Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine into second and third place respectively.
BBC Radio 2 listeners were invited to vote for their favourite song from a shortlist of 20 tracks selected by a panel of experts including Norman Jay, Trevor Nelson and Danny Rampling.
Zoe Ball – who unveiled the list on a three-part radio programme, The Greatest Dance Records Of All Time – said: “I’m delighted that Billie Jean has been voted the greatest dance record ever made. This is Jackson at his best.
“This track is way up there for me – Jacko’s rendition of it at the Motown 25th anniversary show has got to be one of the great live performances of all time.
“I can remember hearing this at the Boutique club night in Brighton and the place would go crazy. The bassline is awesome, the production is killer. It’s just perfect.”
Written by Jackson and co-produced by Quincy Jones, Billie Jean went to the top of the UK charts in 1983 and is taken from Thriller, one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.
The track won two Grammy awards in 1984, for Best Male R’n’B Vocal Performance and Best New Rhythm and Blues song. Disco classic I Feel Love topped the charts in 1977.
Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine was released as a two-part funk track in 1970.
Shortlisted songs in the poll were selected for their musical merit and importance in the progression of UK dance music. They had to have been released between 1966 and 2001.
BBC Radio 2 top 10 Greatest Dance Records Of All Time:
1. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
2. I Feel Love – Donna Summer
3. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine – James Brown
4. Strings Of Life – Rhythim Is Rhythim
5. Where Love Lives – Alison Limerick
6. Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul
7. Can You Feel It – Fingers Inc.
8. Big Fun – Inner City
9. Theme From S-Express – S-Express
10. Key To My Happiness – The Charades