Karaoke allows us all to feel like rock stars for an evening. Yes, I know that’s cheesy, but there’s something about being the center of attention while no one has any expectations for you and singing whatever makes you happiest that just really works for me. So here I’ve compiled ten great karaoke songs. Add your own in the comments!
“Under Pressure” ““ Don’t let the first few measures fool you ““ this is not “Ice, Ice, Baby” and thank god for that. When you smash Queen and David Bowie together, of course you get a musical gem that shines with the brightness of a million sequin suits. The best part is the potential to really get your emotions into the songs. Heck, dance along. You know you want to.
“Ms. Fat Booty” ““ If you don’t have the chops for this, stick with Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls,” a classic in its own right. Mos Def’s 1999 Black on Both Sides brought a lot of great music to the world, but with the twisty, turny almost-love-story, better than the twee not-love story that is 500 Days of Summer is fun to sing either to celebrate secret tattoo-reveals or revel in love stories that weren’t.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” ““ You cannot have a list of karaoke songs and not include Journey. To quote GOB, “come on!!” A perfect outlet for faux-passion or true passion, this karaoke staple allows one to showcase vocal stylings and creased brows to adoring fans/other drunken patrons.
“Respect” ““ Yeah, OK, no one’s going to be another Otis Redding or Aretha Franklin, but it’s never a bad idea to try to channel these musical geniuses. You get to spell in this song! How exciting is that, am I right?! If only there were more songs that let you do complex math, then maybe this tune would have a competitor. As it is, embrace your inner diva and hit those high notes like a boss.
“Lookin’ Out My Back Door” ““ So this isn’t the most famous or popular Creedence Clearwater Revival song, but it’s the one on my list for one simple reason: The Big Lebowski. I can’t listen to the song without remembering that movie and if there’s one thing a good karaoke song should do, it’s capture the audience’s attention and transport them to a magical place. A place like The Big Lebowski. Let’s all have Dude-ular flashbacks together!
“Friends in Low Places” ““ Maybe this is the Kentucky talking, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a karaoke evening that ended without someone singing this song. I don’t know, Garth Brooks is maybe not the most popular dude around this part of the Internet, but with the weird almost yodeling and the joyous exclamations regarding the medicinal properties of alcoholic beverages, this song just fits the mood. Let me spell this out for you ““ when someone is singing this song, YOU are the friend in low places.
“Straight Edge” ““ If you’re feeling ironic, or if you want to passive-aggressively get back at the friends that dragged you out to the bars to sing like cats, this Minor Threat song is for you. It’s high octane! It’s Ian MacKaye at his best (if you forget Fugazi and Embrace)! So good for you! You have better things to do than sit around and fuck your head and hang out with the living dead”¦you got straight edge, indeed.
“Sexual Healing” ““ Do you have something you want to say to a special someone, but you just don’t have the words? Well, Marvin Gaye’s got you covered. Take the opportunity to pour your heart out through karaoke. You can either woo your love-bug, make people twist uncomfortably in their seats from the weight of innuendo, or lead everyone in a bawdy sing-along: it’s really all in how you deliver the words, you know.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” ““ I’ll be honest: I don’t know anything about Bonnie Tyler. But I do know a thing or two about this song. First, it brings people together. Everyone will sing this song, preferably in groups so as to maximize eye-gazing potential. Second, it really allows the overwrought emotion flow like so many tears in a Lifetime movie. So really, grab someone, gaze into their eyes, and let loose the emotion.
Any song by Bob Dylan ““ An unconventional choice to be sure, but sometimes, when it’s really late and when you’re very tired or maybe even somewhat under the influence of one thing or another, you might want to sing but you might not be fully capable of doing so. Why choose a song with well-articulated words when you can pick one with intentional mumbling? True, no one can mumble like Dylan, but you can sure as hell try.
What did I leave off my list? What do you love to belt out?