Ahead of ABGT250, there is no better way to get prepared than to take a journey through Above & Beyond’s greatest tracks of all time.
Above & Beyond is an act that exists in a class all their own. The collaboration between Tony, Jono, and Paavo is one for the ages, and the trio has been responsible for producing some of the most heartfelt and inspirational music and performances in the electronic music sphere over the years.
Their incredible talent coupled with their unique messaging has also spawned a following of dedicated fans, many of whom will travel literally across the world to see their favorite group. What more fitting way to get in the mood for the next landmark than by sifting through Above & Beyond’s discography and having a look at some of their best tunes?
#10: Peace of Mind
“Peace of Mind” is the fourth track on Above & Beyond’s fourth studio album, We Are All We Need, and a true testament to the profoundly distinct sound that Above & Beyond has molded throughout the seventeen years that they have been producing music. Featuring Grammy-nominated British songbird Zoe Johnston, the track dishes out a beautiful lesson about finding yourself and rebooting your life after tragic heartbreak. Or could the story of “Peace Of Mind” be a little something further outside the box?
In the video, Above & Beyond unveil a story of a man who is undergoing a complete memory erase. Every memory of the life he shared with his significant other is slowly being stripped away. But, love will always and forever prevail as he comes in contact with the girl that he has all but forgotten, signified by the soft loving glance that they exchange as they reunite beachside, reminding us that love will always find a way!
#9: You Got to Go
Next up on our list comes packed with an inspired message about holding tight to your dreams and waiting for just the right moment to drop everything. Far too often we get in the way of our own happiness, getting trapped among our mundane day to day responsibilities. “You Got To Go” reminds us that we should never allow anything or anyone to stand in the way of our own unique path when there is a whole world out there ready and waiting for you to arrive.
Staying true to delivering productions with a message that all of humanity can relate to, “You Got To Go” has a way of lighting up a drive for adventure. Released on Anjunabeats on September 18, 2011, “You Got To Go” sits nestled among some of the greatest Above & Beyond delicacies found on Group Therapy, an album with a history that would ultimately place Above & Beyond on the map as one of the most beloved dance music acts to ever emerge onto the scene.
#8: On My Way to Heaven
“On My Way To Heaven” just had to be included in our top picks as its ghostly melody and powerful rhythm continues to blow our minds, unleashing an electric response among the masses at Above & Beyond events across the globe. It has been said that the track was inspired by the restless, disjointed thoughts that race through the brain at 4 am in the morning, brought on by a divided love, almost like a rant of the subconscious. It is sung flawlessly by Richard Bedford, a staple vocalist on Above & Beyond’s Tristate and Group Therapy albums.
Staying true to the track’s storyline and inspiration, when it came time to cast for the music video it seemed only appropriate to include famed British actor Steven Berkoff as the tortured Shakespearean thespian that he has played so many times in his career. I don’t believe we have ever seen a story come to life quite like we have with “On My Way To Heaven” and I think it would be safe to say that nothing will ever even come close to the magical artistry that Above & Beyond developed for this piece.
#7: Can’t Sleep
Our next track takes it way back to Above & Beyond’s critically acclaimed debut artist album, 2006’s Tri-State. “Can’t Sleep” features the vocals of Ashley Tomberlin set over a dark, driving beat and minor-key synths, telling the story of a lost love, haunting the dreams of our protagonist with painful memories and a yearning for more. The interplay between the vocals and the music itself is flawless, perfectly paired to create a sense of longing and hopelessness.
The track was featured on A State of Trance’s episode 280 as the #3 best trance track of 2006 according to voters, and it’s not hard to see why. “Can’t Sleep” is one of the standouts from Above & Beyond’s early days, and has undoubtedly stood the test of time.
#6: Sun in Your Eyes
Coming in at #6 is “Sun in Your Eyes”, a sweeping, instrumental masterpiece from Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy. Unlike the other tracks on the list, there is little in the way of actual vocals or lyrics in this track – the main focus is on the delicately intertwined layers, which come together to create something that is more than the sum of its parts.
A staple of their sets during the Group Therapy era, “Sun in Your Eyes” also has a deep meaning for the members of the group. On episode 155 of their Group Therapy podcast, Paavo said:
I remember us writing this track when my son was born. Seeing him open his eyes and look straight into my soul, I felt like being showered with sunshine. I still can’t quite put it to words, but hey, who knows – maybe hearing this will transmit some of the joy of that moment.
#5: Alone Tonight
Nominated for best progressive house/trance track at the 22nd International Dance Music Awards and reaching #5 in on the UK dance charts, “Alone Tonight” is one of Above & Beyond’s early hits and is widely regarded by fans as one of the songs that put them on the map. The track again features the unmistakable vocals of Richard Bedford.
Like so many of their songs, “Alone Tonight” comes from a sorrowful place, telling the mournful story of a man who lost the person he loved as a result of his own inaction. Richard Bedford sings the song to perfection, conveying the grief evident in the lyrics flawlessly, his voice soaring into a near wail of desperation as he sings.
#4: On a Good Day
No top ten list of Above & Beyond tracks would be complete without at least one track by Oceanlab, the trio’s project with vocalist Justine Suissa. The 2009 release hits home with many listeners, as the lyrics speak to what it’s like to battle through difficult times.
The track received a number of remixes, but perhaps the most notable is a collaborative reboot with Gareth Emery in 2010, titled “On a Good Day (Metropolis)”. The group also released a music video in conjunction with director Steve Glashier about the Detroit Urban Farms project, perfectly framing the track’s message of overcoming adversity.
“Satellite” is another Oceanlab fan favorite and is widely considered to be the breakout success for the group. Released in May 2004, it reached #19 on the UK chart, higher than any other track released by Oceanlab or Above & Beyond at that time.
Notable perhaps for being one of the most haunting tracks in Above & Beyond’s discography, Suissa’s vocals hang in the air, vulnerable, before the urgent, euphoric chorus kicks in. It is simultaneously intensely sad and incredibly uplifting, bringing the listener on a journey through a sea of emotions.
#2: Sun & Moon
“Sun & Moon” was the first track released on Group Therapy, and some may say that it was this track alone that put Above & Beyond on the path to superstar status with a story of ultimate love lost. Designed with an infectious, energy-soaked rhythm and lyrics that have been known to send Above & Beyond fans into a tailspin every time they hear them, there may never come a time when “Sun & Moon” will lose the gravitational pull that it has on the trance family.
Focusing on the pain and emotional release of a couple’s break-up, “Sun & Moon” tells a true tale of how significant relationships will forever live on in the memory long after they come to an end. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Northern Soul era, the actor in the video is seen re-living the relationship and the ultimate disintegration of said love through a slew of flashback scenes paired with the very real scenario of escape through reflection, an appropriate drink, and yes, even a little bit of dancing to chase the awful pain away!
#1: Thing Called Love
As we take a look back, one thing that stands out and resonates louder than what any beat can is the divine power that is established by taking pen to paper and drawing up lyrics that can literally change the world. Above & Beyond has mastered this craft, delivering a message of love and delivering it on a platform that reaches far beyond the dance floor. This message holds just as much importance today as it did when it was the second single released on Group Therapy.
Once again, Richard Bedford delivers a stunning vocal performance, inspiring some of the greatest sing-along moments that I personally have ever had the opportunity to experience. United as one, as Above & Beyond stands upon the stage, “Thing Called Love” links individuals from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, igniting one massive celebration of love. As our voices resonate together, our differences are stripped away and we are bonded together in peace and harmony, even if only for a brief moment.