You may be familiar with this scenario: You’re in a bar and have been subjected to a rendition of Don McLean’s “American Pie” that just won’t end. Or to an Adele tune sung by someone who just can’t reach those high notes. It’s karaoke at its worst.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. To keep you from being the singer fellow karaoke patrons are eager to boot off stage, and in honor of National Karaoke Week, we’ve partnered with District Karaoke to bring you the five best and worst songs to karaoke. And, some District performers weigh on why:
1 – “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. District performer Melanie Cohen: This one made the list “because of the buildup, and because it sounds impressive even though it’s pretty easy to sing (the long last note at the end makes it sound amazing).”
2 – “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. Emily Diamond-Falk: “Preferred by some over acid rain, and who doesn’t like a sea of dancing umbrellas?”
3 – “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-lot. District performer Connie Jorstad: “Everyone knows and secretly loves it.”
4 – “ABC” by the Jackson 5. District performer Mikaela Lefrak: “It’s a great song to sing with a group of friends, everyone in the bar always knows the words, and I get to bust out my weird dance moves.”
5 – “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams. District performer Catherine Solomon: “Pretty much any pop or rock song from the ‘80s is a good karaoke song. Everyone knows them and they are usually pretty feel good or bring back good childhood memories!”
1 – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. District performer Faith Hayden: “Not every popular and fantastic song makes for good karaoke, and this is the quintessential example. Bohemian Rhapsody is everything you should not do because it's more than 4 minutes long; includes a very long and awkward musical interlude; and contains notes that, unless you're Freddie Mercury, you can't hit. And guess what? You're not Freddie Mercury.”
2 – “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. District performer Faith Hayden: “As much as I love Hey Jude, I don't recommend it for karaoke because it goes on forever and is repetitive. Those ‘na na na na-na-na-na's’ at the end won't quit and it gets extremely awkward.”
3 – “La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. District performer Jodi Tirengel: “Because it’s terrible.”
4 – “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond . District performer Mikaela Lefrak: “There is such a thing as being over-played.”
5 – “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. Distrcit performer Faith Hayden: “This is a polarizing choice, I’m sure. But it’s on my banned list because it’s so high risk. If you’re going to attempt this song, you have to kill it. It has to be so good that you could replace Adele herself and no one would notice. 99 percent of karaoke singers out there aren’t that good.”
Bonus: Rock it or Toss it? “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
Rock it – District performer Jeff Marsten: “If it’s played at the right time of night, everyone will sing along.”
Toss it – Rob Sale: “I know, I know. This is probably on everyone’s go-to list. But I think it’s outplayed, especially since it’s associated with the machine that’s Glee. I’m just sort of sick of it and quite frankly, I’ve never seen it done well.”
Let us know if you agree or disagree with our lists, and what you would add to them, in the comments section.
And don’t forget to add your favorite karaoke selections (and see what other users have added) to our Karaoke Week Spotify list.