Well it looks like this writer may have taken on a seemingly impossible task. As part of EDM Tunes’ continuing editorial series on inductees into the fictitious ‘EDM Hall of Fame,’ I was asked to cover this week’s feature on Armin van Buuren’s ascension and illustrious career. Clearly this was a daunting task (seriously, I might prefer to take on the Hungarian Horntail).

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There may not be an artist in electronic music today that has a discography as rich and distinguished as Armin van Buuren. DJ Mag ‘s ‘#1 DJ’ is certainly worthy of a ‘Hall of Fame’ induction. He’s arguably the king of the trance genre; his radio show A State of Trance trends weekly on Twitter as the world tunes in to hear and discuss the latest tracks dropped during each weekly episode. Armin is known for a plethora of achievements; these include spinning record breaking sets (the longest of which was over 12 hours long) and composing trance hits that become instant classics. Harnessing these talents, and many others, Armin has garnered a respectable longevity in the electronic music world – one which spans nearly two decades.

Top 5 Tracks from Armin van Buuren

How to narrow down over twenty years of music to five songs? After a ton of internal struggle, input from fellow writers, and research it became clear that even some of my favorites wouldn’t make the cut. The following five tracks are all standouts from Armin van Buuren’s discography and played a unique role in catapulting him to the level of fame he has generated today.

Communication

You don’t get to be the number one DJ in the world without starting somewhere. ‘Communication’ was released in the year 2000 and debuted at number 18 on the UK charts. While it wasn’t his very first single, and isn’t necessarily the most popular track in his discography (too early in his career), ‘Communication’ provides context and lays the groundwork for looking at his future success. Remember, we’re trying to span nearly two decades of music here. ‘Communication’ was one of the first tracks that helped Armin van Buuren get that proverbial foot through the front door of the electronic dance community. Shortly after this, in 2001, Armin van Buuren made it onto DJ Mag’s top 100 list for the first time at number 27.

Burned with Desire feat. Justine Suissa

Burned with Desire was released as a single on March 8th in the year 2004 and was a huge hit. It’s one of the songs that is at the forefront of your mind when you think of Armin van Buuren and is a classic trance hit. It was also featured on his first full length studio album, 76. By then his radio show had been running for approximately four years and had solidly landed on Sirius XM radio, drawing an international audience. Thereafter, in 2004 and 2005 Armin held the number 3 spot two years in a row on DJ Mag’s top 100 list.

In and Out of Love

Released as a single off of Imagine on August 6th, 2008 ‘In and Out of Love’ is quite possibly Armin van Buuren’s biggest hit and most popular track to date. By this point, he’s proved to be an established and well respected artist in the electronic music community. In 2007 and 2008 he held the number 1 spot as the top DJ in the world. The single, ‘In and Out of Love’ at present has more than 137,000,000 views on YouTube making it one of his most popular tracks on YouTube by far. It’s also one of his most recognizable tunes; that sweeping female vocal is still shiver inducing five years later.

We Are Here to Make Some Noise

Released in May of 2012, We Are Here to Make Some Noise is a track that stands out in Armin van Buuren’s discography as one of the first that steps outside of trance. It drew him an unprecedented amount of attention from other genres, opening up his discography to new fans, particularly for those who listen to house music. ‘We Are Here to Make Some Noise’ helps bridge the divide between genres and is one of his most popular tracks.

D # Fat (collaboration with W & W)

If you’ve made it to any electronic music festival this year you are pretty much guaranteed to have heard this collaboration track with W & W at some point. Officially released in February earlier this year, ‘D # Fat’ is an epic track that many other artists have incorporated as a vital part of their sets. It really brings a look back at Armin’s discography full circle. The festival circuit for the summer is nowhere near finished, although EDC is over, so if you’ve yet to hear this one live somewhere there is a chance you still might. Personally, I heard it as recently as EDC Las Vegas during the beginning of Knife Party’s set and it was an epic moment.

Editor’s Choice Set – A State of Trance 600 at Madison Square Garden

Armin van Buuren has been popular for years but nothing solidifies one’s place in music like headlining Madison Square Garden as part of his A State of Trance tour commemorating the 600th episode. This may not be his longest set, or even his best set, but you cannot deny the magic and history of the arena. This set also highlights all of his more recent hits, tracks that up until this point have gone previously unmentioned in this article (because they were released while he was already insanely popular). Armin incorporated hits from other genres, such as Zedd’s Clarity, with his current trance hits such as Waiting for the Night, Forever is Ours, and that epic collaboration with W and W you’ve been hearing everywhere D # Fat. The Expedition was the flagship track for the entire A State of Trance 600 tour.

Say what you will about this list but one thing is certain: Armin van Buuren isn’t going anywhere any time soon. He’s one of the most influential and respected names in electronic music, in trance, and he’s going to continue to take the world by storm.