Last year, a glorious new tradition was born during Book Expo of America (BEA) 2014: BEA KARAOKE. To prepare ourselves for Round 2, Jennie and I have compiled a supersized playlist of our karaoke faves, organized alphabetically for better search and locate in the karaoke songbooks!
1. "Baby Got Back" - Sir Mix-A-Lot
Jennie: The ultimate crowd-pleaser.
Mandy W.: OH MY GOD, BECKY, LOOK AT THAT BUTT.
2. "Before He Cheats" - Carrie Underwood
Mandy W.: Property damage is, like, not cool, you guys! So we'll have to live vicariously through Carrie's musical revenge fantasy.
Jennie: You should see my husband belt this one out at our local dive bar.
Mandy W.: INVITING MYSELF TO SF TO WITNESS THIS GLORY.
3. "Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson
Jennie: Moonwalk your way to singalong victory.
4. "Buddy Holly" - Weezer
Jennie: What's with these homies, dissing my singing?
Mandy W.: OOOH WEE OOOH I look just like Buddy Holly! (I know I should provide an actual comment, but I can't help singing along.)
5. "Build Me Up Buttercup" - The Foundations
Jennie: Simple, short, sweet, easy to sing.
6. "Bye Bye Bye" - N Sync
Jennie: Bonus points if you do the hand gestures.
7. "Come On Eileen" - Dexys Midnight Runners
Jennie: As an adult, I was surprised at how dirty this song is.
8. "Danger Zone" - Kenny Loggins
Mandy W.: I could have easily gone with "Footloose" for my Kenny Loggins soundtrack song of choice, but I picked "Danger Zone" for SHEER DRAMATICS. High! Way! To! The! DANGA ZONE! Although be forewarned: it includes a guitar solo in the middle, so prepare for a dance break. Or a quick round of homerotic volleyball.
9. "Don't You Want Me" - The Human League
Mandy W.: I gravitate towards karaoke songs with catchy choruses (although don't we all?), so it's only when i really pay attention to the words -- as you'd have to when singing them -- that I notice, HOLY SHIZZ, something ain't right.
10. "Head Over Heels" - Tears for Fears
11. "Hey Ya!" - OutKast
Jennie: If you're the type of person who can command a crowd, this one is great because it comes in with built-in audience instructions. OKAY NOW LADIES! I WANT TO SEE YOU ALL ON YOUR BADDEST BEHAVIOR!
12. "Hold the Line" - Toto
Jennie: Love isn't always on time, oh whoa oh.
Mandy W.: Solid choice, although I'm partial to "Africa" myself.
Jennie: Same! But, not gonna lie, I also really like "Rosanna." I have found from experience, though, that my husband does not appreciate my acapella version. BUT ALL I WANNA DO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EVENING IS HOLD HIM TIGHT.
13. "I Ran" - A Flock of Seagulls
Mandy W.: Matching hairdo optional, but much appreciated.
14. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
Jennie: Every woman in the room will sing along, guaranteed.
Mandy W.: I was going to object that, "NO, I WOULDN'T", but I'd totally cave if everyone else was doing it because peer pressure.
Jennie: Hence the charm.
15. "Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
Mandy W.: I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH. (Although, to be honest, the version on my iPod is from Glee (RIP Cory Monteith).)
16. "Liquid Dreams" - O-Town
Mandy W: I know more words to this than I probably should, i.e., practically all of them.
Jennie: I vividly remember when this came out. (Heh.) How did this get on the radio?
Mandy W.: FEAR THE POWER OF DIDDY.
17. "Love Shack" - The B-52's
Jennie: TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN ROOF! Rusted. Is anyone old enough to remember that that line was widely speculated to mean "knocked up?" WTF? (Thank you for the education, Vh1.)
18. "Love Will Keep Us Together" - Captain & Tennille
Mandy W.: A bittersweet pick, since love did not actually keep the Captain and Tennille together.
19. "Private Eyes" - Hall & Oates
Mandy W.: Any song that invites audience participation is a winner. Private eyes -- *CLAP CLAP* -- are watching yoooou! Isn't that right, Vinnie Van Lowe?
20. "Respect" - Aretha Franklin
Jennie: One of the great group singalong songs.
21. "Secret Agent Man" - Johnny Rivers
Jennie: Sing thing, and odds are you won't live to see tomorrow.
22. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
Mandy W.: Apparently, I have a soft spot for breakup songs by American Idol alumnae.
23. "Stop" - Spice Girls
Mandy W.: The accompanying dance ('dance') moves are a MUST.
24. "That Don't Impress Me Much" - Shania Twain
Mandy W.: When Shania sings, she tells a STORY. So you think you've got a karaoke song? THAT DON'T IMPRESS HER MUCH. Plus, it's a bookend with "Before He Cheats" hating on girls who sing Shania karaoke. Choose your side, y'all.
25. "Tik Tok" - Ke$ha
Jennie: I might just be picturing the gentlemen of this video.
Mandy W.: THE PARTY DON'T START 'TIL I WALK IN... is a mantra that will never be my own.
Jennie: Pshaw, we're about to go to BEA with the rest of FYA HQ! We will own this mantra.
26. "To Be With You" - Mr. Big
Mandy W.: I've actually listened to the Westlife version many, many a time -- a love that was solidified by one of my favourite SNL recurring sketches, in which a group of dudes listen to an old song together and take turns sharing increasingly disturbing memories.
27. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Bonnie Tyler
Mandy W.: A duet option between someone with the flair for DRAMATICS, and someone who only wants to sing "Turn around, bright eyes" over and over.
Jennie: We might have found our BEA karaoke song, M-Dubs. (To be clear, I'm your bright eyes.)
28. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" - Wham!
Mandy W.: So happy! So cheerful! Orange mocha frappuccinos! (With bonus Baby Skarsgard!)
29. "We Will Rock You" - Queen
Jennie: Buddy, you're a young man, you have no inflection, and this song might save you at karaoke. Oh wait, those aren't the lyrics.
30. "Working for the Weekend" - Loverboy
Mandy W.: This song contains a few singing breaks, so excessive strutting and peacocking is most necessarily.
Jennie: I have seen Loverboy in concert. Not by choice.
31. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
Jennie: Perfect for when your worst ex frequents the same karaoke bars you do. This has never happened to me, but a girl can dream.
Those are our picks; what are your karaoke go-tos? Share them in the comments!