This Top 10 Drinking Songs lists looks at the best Drinking songs while staying focused mostly on the classic rock format of songs.There are many songs people can drink to as there are more than enough reasons why to enjoy some bubbly while cranking up the volume to take in the full experience. Aside from folk songs that are notorious picks for drinking songs, what about songs that talk about drinking but not in a bad way? With so many drinking songs to choose from that have something to do with a beverage of some kind, how do we know which ones are the best? This is subject to opinion as not everybody will share the same taste. As there are many versions to some of the classic cocktails known to exist so are there rock songs that focus on the subject matter of drinking either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.
Top 10 Drinking Songs
#10 – Go for Soda – Kim Mitchell
Released in 1984 as the lead single from his album, Akimbo Alogo, “Go for Soda” peaked at number twenty two on the Canada Top Singles chart and a number twelve hit on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks. It was also the one and only time Kim Mitchell charted a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 as it peaked at number eighty-six. Instead of going for a beer, Mitchell opted for a soft drink instead as he felt it had less social consequences than consuming something that had alcoholic content in it.
#9 – Have a Drink on Me
From the album, Back in Black, AC/DC released the ironic drinking song “Have a Drink on Me” five months after the former frontman of the band, Bon Scott, literally drank himself to death, according to the official cause of death report of acute alcohol poisoning. Stories have it the Royal Marines used this AC/DC song as part of a drinking game seeing who among the drinkers can still walk a straight line after a series of various liquor shots was taken. While the song itself did not chart still serves up one mean drinking song that’s worth raising a glass to.
#8 – Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) – The Doors
In 1966, Jim Morrison and The Doors recorded “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” as a rock-carnival quest to find a liquor establishment where they could drink the night away and have some fun doing it. The inspiration behind the recording of this song came from the 1930 opera, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahoganny. The Doors use of psychedelic and ska influences into “Alabama Song” served as a somewhat comedic approach to finding a whiskey bar while the keyboard bass, organ, and marxophone played on in the background. There is also a 1979 David Bowie version that peaked as high as number twenty-three on the UK Singles Chart that had a stripped down version of his hit, “Space Oddity” serve as background music while he sang his desire to find a whiskey bar.
#7 – Kiss the Bottle – Jawbreaker
Jawbreaker’s “Kiss the Bottle” was a 1992 punk rock performance featuring Blake Schwarzenbach’s raspy vocals as he and the group lyrically discuss the topic of alcohol. In this classic and unique song, the three-man band made living under a bridge with liquor and smokes as the way to live seem like fun. “Kiss the Bottle” can be found on Jawbreaker’s compilation album, Etc., which was released on July 23, 2002. For a song out of the ordinary but still suited to theme, “Kiss the Bottle” definitely fits the bill.
#6 – Have Another Drink – The Kinks
Ray Davies of The Kinks suggested to “Have Another Drink” as a means to cure the blues away. From the 1975 album, Soap Opera, The Kinks made the lyrical suggestion a few good drinks may help wash away the problems and make a person feel alright. “Have Another Drink” witnessed Davies and the rest of his group seem to agree this was a better alternative from drowning in despair and sorrow. As a song, the suggestion was sound enough to certainly have a drink to.
#5 – Wasn’t That a Party – The Irish Rovers
Recorded and released by The Irish Rovers in 1980, “Wasn’t That a Party” came as an inspiration after the group held an after-show party. For the group otherwise known as The Rovers, it was their first hit since 1974 and remains to this day as their signature song. No drinking song list would be complete without someone singing about three or four or six-pack of whatever it was that caused him to lose count. We can assume it was the beer but it was also stated it could have also been the whiskey or the gin. Comedic and boisterous from start to finish, the highlight may have been the sound of a siren in the middle of the song that suggested perhaps the big party went a little too far. They did admit at one point they thought they weren’t going to survive the hangover experience.
#4 – Tequila – The Champs
“Tequila” is a 1958 classic performed by the Champs, along with the surf-style Mexicana flavor the instrumentals jazzed its way clean through the entire song. It became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The development of this song was technically just a jam session by the Flores Trio of Danny Flores, Gene Alden and Buddy Bruce, basing the music on a Cuban mambo beat. “Tequila” is the only word spoken in the song.
It was not intended to be released as a hit as it was on the “B” side for “Train to Nowhere.” However, an Ohio-based DJ flipped the record and played “Tequila” on the air. It quickly became a number one hit and an all-time cult favorite. In addition to the original 1958 “Tequila,” there is a sequel song titled “Too Much Tequila” and it became a number thirty hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2020, Dave Burgess and his fellow The Champs group recorded a partied up version of “Tequila” that still pays homage to that one drink that has been known to put many drinkers under the table.
#3 – Whiskey in the Jar – Thin Lizzy
“Whiskey in the Jar” saw a 1972 recorded version by Thin Lizzy that was decent enough as his version of a traditional Irish drinking song. However, 1998’s Metallica’s amped up version was good enough to win a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy Award in 2000. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart it peaked at number seven and it was a number one hit on the UK Rock & Metal chart. Globally, it was at least a top forty hit among the nations of Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, and Sweden. Who says traditional drinking songs can’t rock it up? Thin Lizzy made a good start in 1972 but Metallica brought that “Whiskey in the Jar” single home as a genuine smash. Still we will always prefer the Thin Lizzy original.
#2 – Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers – ZZ Top
In 1973, ZZ Top released the album, Tres Hombres. From it, “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” was a song that featured Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill trade vocal lines as they praise the culture of beer-loving people who love to raise a little hell from time to time. Although the song was not released as a single, it has become a cult favorite and still holds a special place in the hearts of “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers.”
#1 – Burn It to the Ground – Nickelback
Opening with an aggressive guitar riff Nickelback’s “Burn It to the Ground” was released as a party-style single from their 2009 album, Dark Horse. According to the lead singer, Chad Kroeger, he becomes a certain kind of crazy each time he’s liquored up whiskey. Before the song is over, he warned the bar staff it is not officially last call unless he says so. When “Burn It to the Ground” was played during the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic games held in Vancouver, British Columbia, that performance spiked the popularity of the song at a global scale. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart it was a number three hit and it was a number five hit in Nickelback’s Canadian nation.
In Finland, “Burn It to the Ground” peaked at number seven and the UK’s official Rock & Metal chart peaked it at number seventeen. It became certified gold in Denmark and certified silver with the UK’s British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The song’s popularity often saw it played for promotional purposes at sporting events, including a run as a theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night RAW from November 2009 until July 2012. When it comes to a good drinking song that focuses squarely on partying it up like there’s no tomorrow, “Burn It to the Ground” is it.
Legal notice: This article does in no way promote drinking but just looks at the way musical artists have responded to drinking culture. The information and material contained in this article is for entertainment information purposes only and does not constitute advice and does not promote drinking.
Top 10 Drinking Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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