Thursday, 17 May 2018

My Top Ten Karaoke Songs

I've never done karaoke. Not because of any muso-snobbery on my part, merely because I guess I hang out with people who wouldn't be seen dead in a karaoke contest. The frustrated pop star in me regrets this quite a lot. Maybe I ought to start a sad, middle-aged bucket-list and put karaoke at the top of the list, rather than sky diving or bungee jumping.

Anyway, here's ten songs about singing someone else's songs badly over a tinny backing track...

10. Maxïmo Park - Karaoke Plays

Someone gets run down
Karaoke plays somewhere in the background,
But there is no explanation
What makes a grown man cry?
Karaoke plays and someone gets run down

That's probably pretty deep if you think about it.

9. Tom McRae - Karaoke Soul

This guy was on the verge of making it big back in the early 00s. Not sure why he didn't.

8. Kate Nash - Karaoke Kiss

I got a renewed respect for Kate Nash following her performance in the Netflix show GLOW, so I was pleased to see she had a new record out. This is a pretty fine cut from that...

7. The Haywains - Kill Karaoke

I owe Brian a big thank you for introducing me to this lot.

6. Catatonia - Karaoke Queen

Whenever I listen to old Catatonia songs, I lament the fact that Cerys packed in the day job.

5. Jimmy Buffet & Toby Keith - Too Drunk To Karaoke

The very definition of a marmite song, depending entirely on whether you consider Jimmy Buffet a loveable old doofus... or just a doofus.

4. Bennet - Karaoke / Younger Younger 28's - Karaoke Queen / Speedy - Karaoke King

Three long-forgotten Britpop and post-Britpop bands for the price of one: all of them far more interesting than Oasis. Particularly Younger Younger 28's - why weren't they massive? All worth a listen if you dig that era.

3. Ben Folds - Hiro's Song

I wanna explode in
A karaoke supernova... much more interesting than a champagne one.

2. Elbow - Grounds For Divorce

Any excuse to play this, Elbow's rockiest moment... with a Costello-esque venom to the lyrics.

There's this whispering of jokers doing flesh by the pound
To a chorus of supposes from the little town whores
There'll be twisted karaoke at the Aniseed Lounge
And I'll bring you further roses
But it does you no good
And it does me no good
And it does you no good

1. Blur - The Universal

Gonna have to give the crown to Blur, for probably their finest hour after Song 2 (and certainly their most optimistic)... even though they disgraced themselves somewhat by letting it be used in a British Gas ad campaign. Surely you didn't need the money that much, Damon?

Every night we're gone
And to karaoke songs
How we like to sing a long
Although the words are wrong
It really, really, really could happen
Yes, it really, really, really could happen
When the days they seem to fall through you, well just let them go

Never really thought the Clockwork Orange video did the song justice, but here it is anyway...

Ever done karaoke? What did you sing?


  1. Two karaoke experiences. One, 15+ years ago, was terrible - an attempt to sing Roxanne at a party and realising, pretty quickly, that singing like Sting meant I couldn't reach the high notes, and if I dropped an octave then it just sounded like a dirge. Awful.

    The second, earlier this year, was very reluctant, probably as a consequence of the above. Eventually, under duress, I was persuaded onto the stage to do a duet of Losing My Religion with a good mate. And it was fine. Quite good, actually. Better than this, anyway.

  2. The closest I ever got to karaoke was 10 or so years ago during a Glasgow friend's birthday party. A bunch of us old fogies found ourselves sitting in the large high ceilinged hallway when the intro to Neil Young's "Out On The Weekend"*** blasted out.

    We quickly formed ourselves into Neil and The Stray Gators with air piano, air drums, air bass and air pedal-steel guitar as we all sang along......"Think I'll pack it in and buy a pick-up Take it down to L.A." While we may have looked (and sounded) like a bunch of sad old ba*t*r*s, we felt it was 4 and a half minutes of pure delight.

    *** The best track on the "Harvest" album.

  3. Thank you Rol for reminding me of Tom McRae. I had that Just Like Blood album at the time and loved it, I thought too he was destined for a long and interesting career but nothing happened - and the album gathered dust on the shelves and I traded it in for something else as I have always been wont to do. However, listening to Karaoke Soul again after all these years I get just why I liked him so much for that brief time.

    As for karaoke experiences, oh bloody hell, I've done it three times. And I'm an introvert - but with an inner extrovert tendency which can occasionally be encouraged to make a fool of itself. Can't remember much about any time except to say I've never done it on my own (either as a duo or part of group). Nor have I ever done it sober.

  4. As you probably would have expected, I quite enjoy karaoke, as my inner Karen Carpenter is released (although a pale imitation of course). Not ever partaken in a public place but when we've had house parties, DD's machine is set up and one by one we all have a bash. A few alcoholic drinks are a pre-requisite of course which could be a problem for you I now see. Important to find out once and for all though whether the frustrated pop star is actually in there, ready to burst forth - Once that little boy of yours is a bit older you could acquire a machine and sing duets for fun (whilst secretly ticking "karaoke" off the bucket list)!


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