From an old-fashioned kness-up around a piano to a campfire singalong or imaginary band practice with the guitar and your best mates, singing together is a thing we’re always into. You’re only going to need this playlist of top karaoke songs we’ve put together.
10 ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ – The Rolling Stones
That riff, a cross between a sitar and a revving dirt bike, is the most recognisable thing about the song. For such a ubiquitous hit, the lyrics continually surprise beyond the titular chorus. If you need another reason to sing to it, this is first rock band to develop a brand logo, a pair of juicy red lips.
9 ‘Someone Like You’ – Adele
This track is guaranteed to make the crowd deeply uncomfortable, especially if you sing from the heart. Don’t worry if you don’t have Adele’s vocal chops – the tears streaming down your face will distract everyone from the high notes you’re mangling.
8 ‘Billie Jean’ – Michael Jackson
You want to sing some Michael Jackson, of course, but which Michael Jackson? It has to be Billie Jean. Fully expect your audience to join in on the ‘heeeeeeeee-eeeeeeee’s that build up to the chorus. Exit the floor moonwalking, with your shiny jacket slung over one shoulder. This is your moment to shine. Don’t think twice.
7 ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ – Wheatus
6 ‘What’s Up’ – 4 Non Blondes
Linda Perry is best known today as a hit songwriter for artists like Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani, but back in 1992, she was the lead singer of 4 Non Blondes, the one-hit wonder behind this enduring favourite. Give yourself over to attitude as you belt out the powerful, confrontational lyrics.
5 ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ – AC/DC
For us rock snobs, Bon Scott will always be the definitive AC/DC singer, the metaphorical back patch sewn into our denim-clad hearts. But only a cloth-eared fool would turn their nose up at Brian Johnson’s sandpaper-throated rock yowl and this irresistible cut from the superhit Back in Black album.
4 ‘Call Me Maybe’ – Carly Rae Jepsen
Eight out of ten audio boffins agree: the only way to stop Carly Rae Jepsen’s catchy megahit from pin-balling around your head is to quite literally sing it free. Adorable head tilts and cutesy talking-Barbie delivery, optional.
3 ‘Happy’ – Pharrell Williams
There are about 80 unique words in the lyrics to Pharrell’s feelgood smash, but it feels like about 10. Let’s be honest, when you pick this ditty, you’re looking for minimal effort and maximum crowd-pleasing. It’s the Macarena for your mouth. Wrap a heavy coat around your head, jump up there, clap and sing, Because I’m happy! about 56 times. Walk off stage a lazy champion.
2 ‘Stand by Me’ – Ben E. King
No karaoke outing is complete without a teary moment, and here’s yours, courtesy of the 1961 classic Stand by Me, which has been covered more than 400 times (no, we’re not including your karaoke version in that count). Its reach goes beyond regular pop romance – as evidenced by its inclusion in the 1986 rites of passage movie Stand by Me. Watch, listen, sing, cry – oh, and enjoy.
1 ‘Killing Me Softly’ – The Fugees
When karaoke comes to an end, as all karaoke eventually must, a decision needs to be made as to how to mark the finale. With a whimper? With a bang? Or with the perfect combination of the two: The Fugees’ 1996 remake of Roberta Flack’s soulful 1973 hit? Mellow yet funky, sad yet strong, retro yet modern, and pitched in a range that everyone can hit, Killing Me Softly is the ideal group fade-out for a night well sung.