10 Essential Karaoke Songs From The 80’s

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(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

So Jack FM’s Flashback Prom is only a few days away, and yeah, The Romantics and Tommy Tutone are playing, but what happens if some crazed attendee (*cough* Jack Stickerpimps *cough*) decides that it’s time for them to rock the mic? And then before you know it, everyone one is taking turns onstage, belting out 80’s tunes.

Well with this list, you’ll be prepared to bring the crowd to its feet with these all-time best 80’s karaoke classics. Hell, if you sing these songs at any karaoke bar, you’ll be an instant hero. Trust us.

10. Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes (1981): Karaoke often comes down to one or two lines that the audience loves to sing. For this one, it’s “And she’ll tease you/She’ll unease you” followed by the sweet release of “Bette Davis Eyes.”

9. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (1983): Because every now and then even Jack falls apart. But then you turn around, bright eyes.

8. A-ha – Take on Me (1985): If you can pull this off, your either a girl or a castrato. You’re also a bar legend. And in case you haven’t seen it, the video is pretty cool too.

7. Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980): Go ahead, fire away.

6. U2 – With or Without You (1987): During the 80’s U2 virtually ruled the world, with this song leading the way. To this day, you’ll still hear a drunken buffoon trying to hit Bono’s ridiculously high notes.

5. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell (1983): Sing along: In the midnight hour/She cries more! More! More!/With a rebel yell!/More! More! More! That’s what karaoke is all about.

4. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me (1987): Or maybe karaoke is about an entire bar singing in unison: Pour some sugar on me!

3. White Snake – Here I Go Again (1982): The ballad of the loner. Get drunk enough, and this suddenly becomes your song, since, you know, you’re a lone wolf yourself.

2. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ (1981): Is this the greatest karaoke song of all time? This was a tough call, because who doesn’t absolutely love to sing this classic? As soon as that piano hits, people go NUTS. The only thing that kept from #1 was that the hook, “Don’t stop believin,'” is sung only at the end of the song, while our #1 let’s you spout off the riff continuously throughout. And that song is…

1. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer (1986): Multiple singings of the chorus puts this song at the top of ANY karaoke list. That and the word “whoa.” Seriously epic stuff you’re dealing with here.

Honorable Mention R.E.M. – It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (1988): Because if you can sing this all the way through without screwing up, people will love you.


- Carlos Delgado, CBS Radio

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