Karaoking is essentially bathroom singing but in public. The water you bathe in becomes alcohol. You’re a karaoking Jesus– because JC turns water into wine.
Karaoke nights are an occasion in itself.
You’re headed to a party and the minute you find out that it is karaoke night, it’s a different ball-game for you that night. You eat a couple of lozenges, practice some notes (off-tune or not) and prepare yourself for a night full of singing.
What most of us don’t really do is; figure out what we want to sing? Now, if you’re a regular karaoke performer, you probably have a list of top 5 songs that you indefinitely sing. What’s the fun in playing this safe?
Let’s rollback. Most people born in the 80s are known for their unabashed goofiness and the rejection of self-consciousness. Some advice coming your way… we need to bring this back or else we’re going to die a boring generation with too many problems. That got too real.
My point is, there’s nothing like the 80s music that will make your hips swing and let your hair loose.
So, for your next karaoke session, I have prepared a list of the best 80s karaoke songs:
1. FOOTLOOSE – Kenny Loggins
Everybody’s dancing to footloose! You can’t go wrong with this song. The lyrics of the song will make you want to partner up and dance with someone. You need to remember as a karaoke performer that — apart from you enjoying the song, you must make sure everyone else is! This is the song for that; folks.
2. Another One Bites The Dust – QUEEN
The bass will remind everyone of the song.
You can’t help but tap your feet to the rhythm of the song. Also, Freddie Mercury is such a boss. Get your funkiest costume out, it’s time to perform like a legend.
Out of respect, you ought to pick this song, come on!
3. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Who doesn’t know this song? Bon Jovi really got us Livin’ on a Prayer with this one. Watch the whole crowd sing-along at the chorus. Nothing like an excited crowd; cheering you while you, confidently drunk (hopefully), sing your heart out.
4. Take On Me – a-ha
I have faith in you, you will hit that high note. Just trust your process. You salt-water gargle the night before, listen to the song before sleeping and eat strepsils. Don’t forget to practice! It’s a tough one but a crowd-pleaser; for sure.
5. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
You were singing this in your head. I was singing this in my head. Everybody in the crowd has got to be singing this with you.
This is such a classic but it’s always going to stay young!
Good choice, you’re on your way to becoming a karaoke star.
6. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
You don’t need my unsolicited advice if you’ve picked this classic. Did you know that Michael Jackson wrote this song after his stalker! Makes sense now!
The Pop King deserves multiple renderings and you have to provide that service. Do it for the 80s!
7. Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benetar
You’re in a battle with another karaoke singer. What’s the song you pick?
Of course, it’s going to be Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Why don’t you Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Sorry, I had to. In times like these, you got to pull the big guns out, am I right?
8. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndie Lauper
Where is the lie in that? Girls, if you’re out with your group, you know the song for you. Don’t even bother with anything else. Nothing like a bunch of besties singing a song that never left the charts.
9. Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
A song with this much grandeur needs to be performed time-and-time again. Did you know that; this song was thought to be about vampires! I see it, do you?
The point of a karaoke session is to get everybody going with your song; and this one will have everyone singing!
10. I Want To Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Told you, you can’t go wrong with 80s songs for karaoke. Can you imagine the crowd going wild; once you start singing? I can. Listen to Whitney and feel the heat with somebody, even if it’s between you and your drink.
11. Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
You got the whole crowd walking like an Egyptian with this song. It’s your very own Simon says. Control the crowd, you karaoking genius!
12. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
It’s getting hot in here with this song. You better practise this one before you take it on stage. I’m serious. Don’t mess this one up.
13. What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner
If you’re feeling rather annoyed by the lovey-dovey atmosphere, you’ve got to remind yourself how freely the word “love” is thrown around. Tina Turner even calls it a second-hand emotion. It either comes after lust or friendship… What’s love got to do with it?
Tina Turner giving some good advice. She sure knows how to win her crowd.
14. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
What are you doing if you’re not singing this song? I’ll tell you what you’re doing… you’re doing nothing right. The guitar riff ought to get the crowd going. Who doesn’t love Guns N’ Roses?
15. Summer of 69- Bryan Adams
Forget the crowd, you’re going to love performing this song. You probably won’t need the lyrics. The 80s kids learn to say ‘goo-goo,’ ‘gaa-gaa’ and ‘back in the summer of 69!
16. Wake Me Before You Go Go – George Michael and WHAM!
Forget the jitter-bugs, pick up the mic and sing your heart out. Super easy and fun to sing and a total crowd-pleaser. Did you know that jitterbugs are a kind of dance that got famous in America during the 80s. You could teach the crowd to jitterbug to this song!
17. What I Like About You – The Romantics
It’s in their name! Set the mood right with The Romantics. This is the perfect song to dedicate to your partner. Forget dancing like you’re at a ball. Slow dancing was so out during the 80s. It’s time to get groovy!
18. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
You’re probably going to need to use your coarse/rough voice for this one. If you think about it, the song is adorable. You will still want to head-bang to it. The crowd’s going to be clapping, it’s a good pick!
19. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Hold on to that feeling! It’s one of those songs that you can’t help but sing along to. This song got famous again, in 2007, because of a TV show called “Made In America.” Even the new generation couldn’t get over it!
20. Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions
Don’t drop the glass of whiskey while rocking-out to this song. It’s my all-time favorite. Somehow, all the chores get done faster with this song.
21. Africa – TOTO
Africa became the new Don’t Stop Believin’ in the 80s. It has found its way back in 2018. Shows like Stranger Things and South Park have played Africa in their episodes. Nobody will ever forget this song. It’s iconic!
22. Material Girl – Madonna
The queen is here! There is only one Madonna and she’s going to make the crowd go wild.
There’s such a cool message hidden behind a song that is such a bop.
Why do we care so much about the material things? We all know money can’t buy happiness. You may beg to differ but it’s true!
Okay, it’s getting too philosophical in here.
Madonna knows best. Don’t argue with that!
23. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
Super easy to sing and a complete crowd pleaser. Whether it’s a small party with karaoke or a whole event, you got your crowd walking on sunshine!
24. Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
We all know what this song is about. It’s best to keep it ambiguous. The crowd is going to sing along with you. All on top of their voices. So relax! Somebody is going to accompany you while singing this.
25. Whip it – Devo
Now, this is a song with a very intelligent message. Whip it was inspired by the novel Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. It satirizes America’s approach to violence and lack of individuality.
26. Every Breath You Take – The Police
Stalker alert. You can’t help but make that connection. Every breath You take… I’ll be watching you. Seriously now.
Nevertheless, this song is extremely easy to sing.
27. Under Pressure – David Bowie and Queen
Best collaboration ever! Don’t fight me on this. The world does not deserve this song. It’s a gem. You’ve got the crowd singing like-
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da, that’s okay!
28. You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record) – Dead or Alive
If you’re not as dramatic as the video, you don’t deserve to perform this song. Get whacky even if you’re dead or alive. One of the hard but fun songs to sing. You got to keep up with the pace!
29. When Doves Cry – Prince
It’s getting hot in here! The song is very far from what the title could suggest. Get your sexy pants out. It’s time to sing with Prince. By the way, you should go check out the video. He looks incredible!
30. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Who doesn’t know this song? I suggest that you leave the rock you’re living under and join the club. I can’t stop thinking about Rocky running up the stairs to Eye of the Tiger. Such a classic!
31. Mickey – Toni Basil
Mickey was originally called “Kitty” by a group called Racey. In the original lyric, kitty is supposed to be a girl. This changed because of a movie from Kitty to Mickey and the changed the gender from girl to boy.
Oh Mickey, you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind!
Now it’s a chirpy song about a girl who has a crush on a boy!
32. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
You would be crazy to not pick this song. It’s karaoke material! Super easy to sing and the lyrics are easy to pick up.
Did you know, this song was supposed to be a classical piece?
That’s insane. I can’t imagine it any other way.
33. The Tide Is High – Blondie
Do you and girlfriends never give up? Then this is the song for you! It’s the perfect song for a girls night out or in. You and your girlfriends can jam to this and end the night with some wine?
34. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince And The Revolution
You have to perform like Prince; if you’re singing this one! Don’t be shy and go crazy!
35. Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
How smooth of a singer are you? Don’t disappoint Michael. Practice before you go up on stage.
36. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Technically, everyone, there is watching you. Don’t be shy. This song is almost like talking, but with rhythm.
37. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
The King of Pop is back! You can always dedicate this song to your partner; to tell them how you feel. It’s always so romantic when someone dedicates a song to you.
38. On the Radio – Donna Summer
Don’t forget about this Disco hit! Donna Summer wrote this for a lover that she lost, and was hoping that the radio would reconnect her with him. Isn’t that cute?
39. We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewert
This song from the 80s was such a bop. No wonder why it returned in 2015. This can be a way of life… or a serious friendzone. We don’t have to take our clothes off, to have a good time. Where’s the lie in this?
40. Careless Whisper – George Michael, WHAM!
Here’s a song to slow dance to! This should be such a fun song to karaoke to. It’s so famous, even today. It’s currently a meme song but it only tells us how this song will never leave us.
41. Every Little Step – Bobby Brown
Get the crowd dancing like Bobby Brown! He’s so suave in the video. This song shows Bobby Brown’s uncredited vocals. He never got to finish his vocal training but look at him now, he’s a karaoke favorite.
42. Into The Groove – Madonna
Apparently, a few years after Madonna released the song, she forgot that this song existed!
Let’s remind the world what they’re missing out on! Here’s another song that’s perfect karaoke material.
43. La Bamba- Los Lobos
La Bamba has been remade multiple times but the most memorable one is Lobo’s. This Mexican folk song has found its way into the 80s and we absolutely love it. Rolling Stones Magazine put it under ‘500 Greatest Songs Of All Time’. Take their word for it, it’s the perfect karaoke song.
44. Dancin’ In the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
Practice your raspy voices! Bruce Springsteen’s songs are always so exciting to sing!
45. Bust A Move – Young MC
If you’re up for an upbeat, borderline rap song from the 80s, then this one’s for you! Everyone in the club can bust a move with you.
46. It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys
Drank too much on Karaoke night? We got the perfect song for you. Don’t guilt yourself over it, sing your heart out instead.
47. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s songs always put people in a great mood.
See what I mean? It’s just right for a karaoke party.
48. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
How could you ever say no to U2? The band, through this song, conveyed their hatred for violence. What’s better than showing the futility of war and violence in a world full of it. Get the crowd singing with you!
49. I Just Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew
Most of the classics, like this one, always make their way back. Like in GTA Vice City, the game.
The lead singer, Nick, confessed to a journalist that this song was for his ex.
The relationship was on and off for a while. Hence, the lyric “I should have walked away..” makes sense!
50. The Final Countdown – Europe
Running your last mile and you play this song?
I wouldn’t end on any other note.
You feel accomplished after singing this, just like I’m feeling right now; after curating this list. Phew!
It’s such a crowd-pleaser, for sure. You can never, and I mean, never go wrong with this one.
That’s it, folks. You and I both know that there won’t be another time like the good old 80s. Hope this list gets you karaoking till your heart’s content. You can connect your speakers and machine to your TV and karaoke at home using Youtube as well.
Pull out a piece of paper, make a list, setup your karaoke machine, call all your friends over and grab that microphone and sing your heart out. It’s time for karaoke night.