I spent many years performing in night club bands and wedding bands. Choosing the right material throughout the performance is a science. Once you got a crowd going, you don’t want them to stop. One song will never be enough. A band needs at least ten great classic rock party songs to play in a row until people start passing out on the floor. Once you got that happening , you know you have done your job. So, our list below is not just a list of the top 10 Classic Rock Party songs, it’s also in the order you should play them. That is key to keeping your party rocking hard without losing a single set of feet. We hope this helps you out. If there is any one who knows how to pick out a set of classic rock party songs, it’s a classic rock party band musician that can set you straight.
This top 10 list sticks to Classic Rock Party songs. There are other songs that light up parties like “Happy,” by Pharrell, “Good Times,” by Chic or “Let’s Get This Party Started,” by Pink for example. However, those songs are not typically classified as Classic Rock songs. This list sticks to the classic rock stuff because in the end, Classic Rock will always be the greatest way to get everyone on board.
# 10 – We’re Having A Party
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ anthem “We’re Having A Party,” is the perfect song to get the party started. The song’s opening bass line is such an invitation to get out of your seat, while the song’s opening vocal line will seal the deal.
# 9 – Louie Louie
The Kingsmens’s “Louie Louie,” is the perfect song to segue into from Southsides Johnny’s song. The groove to “Louie Louie,” is so classic, people will start screaming the second they hear the band begin to play it. (please tell me you hired an band, not a dj)
# 8 – Runaround Sue
If you want to get people singing along while they dance out of control, that opening line, “Hey Hey, hey whoa oh whoa oh,” will do the trick. This great song was released by Dion in 1961. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It was big!
# 7 – Love Shack
While most of theses classic rock party songs come out of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s the B-52’s “Love Shack,” was released in 1989. It is probably the last great Classic Rock Party song ever released.
# 6 – Sweet Child of Mine
The sound of that opening guitar lick will always send your audience into a frenzy. There was not a night we spent in the 80’s playing clubs without hearing someone yell out “play some Guns N’ Roses.” It even came close to the Lynyrd Skynyrd “Free Bird,” chants that never seemed to go away.
# 5 – Brown Eyed Girl
The Van Morrison classic “Brown Eyed Girl,” song never fails to keep them dancing. The song was released in 1967 and remains one of the most popular classic rock songs of all time.
# 4 – 1999
Prince has written so many classic songs, but this one has always stood out to be his biggest party number. The song was written and released many years before the year 1999, but it became the party anthem at the turn of the century almost twenty years ago.
# 3 – Twist and Shout
This great Isley Brothers song has become a party staple for the past 50 years. The Beatles version retained the same party vibe that fueled The Isley Brothers original.
# 2 – Money Money
It seems that some of the best Classic Rock Party songs have had at least two great versions of the song recorded by different artists. “Twist and Shout,” was defined by both The Beatles and The Isley Brothers. Tommy James and the Shondells had recorded what was thought of as the definite version. However, in the 1980s, Billy Idol delivered a version of “Mony Mony,” that was just as exciting. It doesn’t matter which version you choose, they are both spectacular.
# 1 – Shout
“Shout,” should always be the last song of the night. It the most powerful party song ever written . If it’s done right, it should induce a party fever that gets so out of control it become legendary. It’s perfect. If you have any doubts check out the version of “Shout,” in Animal House. It will inspire you, and change your life forever.