With Birmingham's Karaoke Box having recently opened and the Christmas party season being in full swing, there's never been a better time to grab the mic and belt out a few tunes.
So, to save you some time flicking through a catalogue stuffed with tens of thousands of songs, here are 20 top karaoke hits that can boast a connection to Birmingham (or the Midlands).
Even if singing isn’t your bag, they make a pretty darn eclectic party playlist, too:
1. Slade: 'Merry Christmas Everyone'
Come on, it's December. We had to include the world's most popular band from Wolverhampton (are there any others?). The timing’s right, it’s a great sing-along tune and everybody loves Noddy. So much so that the group reportedly make over £500,000 every Christmas out of this little number.
2. Musical Youth: 'Pass The Dutchie'
A common karaoke favourite. The young (at the time) Birmingham band’s musical topic of choice brings a bit of edge to the karaoke room, and probably plenty of shimmying, hand gestures and casual head-bobbing at the same time.
3. Apache Indian: 'Boom Shack-A-lack'
Birmingham’s answer to Shaggy stormed the charts back in 1993 with this catchy number. Along with fellow playlist artist Jamelia, Apache (real name Steven Kapur) hails from Handsworth – who knew it was such a hotbed of musical talent?
4. Dexys Midnight Runners: 'Come On Eileen'
When Metallica headlined Glasto in 2014, we hotfooted it to another tent to see the Brum boys (these days prefer to be called simply Dexys). Thirty-seven years after the band formed, It's still sounding great and we like to recreate the Glasto magic in a small, enclosed room in front of a massive TV screen.
5. Dodgy: 'Good Enough'
Before moving to the bright lights of London the three original lads from Dodgy grew up in Redditch and Bromsgrove. To be fair ‘Staying Out For The Summer’ is also a decent track, but it’s winter now. So there.
6. Jamelia: 'Thank You'
Long before she became a 'Loose Woman' and 'Strictly' expert, this lady was a class pop act. Birmingham’s very own Beyonce brought fun and energy to the charts with hits like 'Superstar', gaining MOBO awards left, right and centre. If you're out with the girls, it's got to be ‘Thank You’ – sing it sisters!
7. Led Zeppelin: 'Whole Lotta Love'
You'll need some lungs if you're planning on taking on Zep, but at least there'll be some epic guitar riffs where you can get your breath back. Out of courtesy, it'll be best to pick a shorter version of 'Whole Lotta Love' as you probably won't have this video showcasing the contents of Robert's jeans to keep you occupied while you wait for your turn on the mic.
8. One Direction: 'What Makes You Beautiful'
No karaoke session is complete without a boyband tune. With Zayn gone, we reckon we can almost claim this group as being 50% Midlands – what with Liam from Wolverhampton and the cheeky Harry hailing from Redditch. As a veritable hit machine it’s hard to pick a single 1D karaoke classic but best to go for a crowd pleaser.
9. UB40: 'Red Red Wine'
You always need a few slow songs to allow for a potential Christmas smooch under the mistletoe right? And who better than Birmingham’s finest, UB40? Given the frankly overwhelming proliferation of mulled wine around at this time there was only one track we could go for, plus it gives you license to pour two glasses in preparation.
10. The Streets: 'Fit But You Know It'
Born in London, raised in West Heath, singer/rapper/producer/record owner Mike Skinner knows how to write a tune and his vocal style makes songs by The Streets a great choice for those who haven't quite got the capacity or inclination to tackle those high octave ballads.
11. Duran Duran: 'Hungry Like The Wolf'
Originating from Solihull, John Taylor and Moseley-ite Nick Rhodes were founders of the ultimate eighties pop band, which started plying its trade in the infamous Brum club The Rum Runner. It’s hard to choose from its greatest hits, but this tune allows you to channel your feelings when it gets to 3pm on Christmas Day, you’ve had too much Bucks Fizz and there’s still no sign of dinner.
12. Toyah Wilcox: 'It’s A Mystery'
In a bid to address the clear gender imbalance and to celebrate the fact she has a star on Broad Street’s Walk of Stars, Toyah just sneaks into the list. Not sure about the flame-haired songstress? Rock out to this corker on the mic and come back to us.
13. Beverley Knight: 'Made It Back'
Okay, she’s from Wolverhampton but a) see above, b) she has an MBE, c) she was great in 'The Bodyguard: The Musical', and d) she has serious pipes.
14. Fleetwood Mac: 'Little Lies'
Ok we’re stretching the rules but Christine McVie did grow up in Bearwood. It's a toughie to choose one for this playlist but we’re going with 'Little Lies' – on the condition you get someone good to sing the high harmonies, otherwise it'll be painful, frankly.
15. The Twang: 'Wide Awake'
This much underrated band is a worthy addition to any Brum inspired playlist. Our track of choice is taken from its 2007 album, ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’, but we’re also partial to another album track ‘Two Lovers’, which features the awesome Danny Dyer. This one should keep you going once the party moves into the early hours.
16. Ocean Colour Scene: 'The Riverboat Song'
Ocean Colour Scene started out in the pubs of its very own ‘Moseley Shoals’ and this song gained huge success after being popularised by Chris Evans’ 'TFI Friday' show. If you’re travelling home via flashy New Street station (never thought we’d say that) you could always swap in ‘The Day We Caught The Train’.
17. Fine Young Cannibals: 'She Drives Me Crazy'
It’s a little known fact that the beauteous Roland Gift was born in our very own Birmingham – Sparkhill, to be precise. With its 1989 album, ‘The Raw & The Cooked’, topping the UK and US Album charts, we had to include them on our hit list. Roland was also famed for his acting, including starring in a series with Helen Mirren. How's about that?
18. Stevie Winwood: Valerie
Youngsters will probably be more familiar with Eric Prydz's 'Call on Me', or instantly associate 'Valerie' with Amy Winehouse. However, it would criminal to overlook Steve and his two Grammy Awards, two Brit Award nominations and position as one of Rolling Stone’s Greatest Singers of All Time. And surely the best thing to ever come out of Great Barr.
19. Black Sabbath: 'Paranoid'
The crazy, long-haired screecher and lover of Shaz, Ozzy is arguably our most famous export. Sabbath had to make the list somewhere, particularly if you like your karaoke parties to involve some moshing during some point in the evening.
10: The Spencer Davis Group: 'Gimme Some Lovin’'
If you've watched a movie in the last 30 years, you're probably be familiar with this one: 'Days of Thunder', 'Notting Hill', 'The Blues Brothers', 'Good Morning, Vietnam', (*cough* 'Striptease' *cough*) – they've all featured 'Gimme Some Lovin''. So, if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.
Read more about Birmingham's new Karaoke bar.
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