The Late Movies: Karaoke Songs

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While I don't consider myself a shy person, one thing I've never had the guts to do is sing my heart out in public. It's a personal goal, one I constantly remind myself of by keeping a running list of songs I'd like to sing if I ever work up the nerve. Here's my dream karaoke set list, complete with video of the lyrics so you can practice at home.

"Sussudio"

The first track from Phil Collins' third album, No Jacket Required, "Sussudio"hit the airwaves in 1985. The odd names comes from the lyrics, which Collins improvised to fit with a beat that had been programmed into a drum machine. The video was filmed in a pub owned by Virgin mogul Richard Branson.

"If I Could Turn Back Time"

Written by famed songwriter Diane Warren, "If I Could Turn Back Time" was performed by Cher. The song gained notoriety for its scandalous video, which was shot aboard the USS Missouri. Though a censored video was later released, the original remains iconic. Cher's son, only 12 at the time, makes an appearance in the video.

"Forever In Blue Jeans"

Released by Columbia Records in 1979, this upbeat song by Neil Diamond has been used to promote denim sales, most notably in a commercial for The Gap featuring Will Ferrell.  Ten years before the song was written, Diamond did radio spots for H.I.S. jeans.

"9 to 5"

Dolly Parton wrote and originally performed this song in the 1980s for the soundtrack to Nine to Five, a film starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Parton made her film debut in this movie and the song went on to hit the number one spot on the Billboard charts and win a Grammy. "9 to 5" found rare success, hitting the number one spot, being replaced by another song and then returning to the top position. Parton's song has been covered by many artists, including Swedish punk band Millencolin.

"Private Eyes"

This hit by Philadelphia duo Hall and Oates is the title track from their 1981 release. It's one of two number hits from the album. (The other was "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)."

"Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Bonnie Tyler's biggest hit, "Total Eclipse of the Heart," has made the rounds in films—including a profanity-laced version in Old School—and has been covered by countless artists. Though the radio edit of the tune is four-and-a-half minutes long, the original version runs seven minutes.

"Mamma Mia"

This song is credited by some as "the song that saved ABBA." Despite having success throughout Europe, ABBA's band members were concerned about being regarded as one-hit wonders since the success of "Waterloo." "Mamma Mia" went on to reach the number one spot on the British Billboard charts and led the way for 16 other consecutive hits.

Hound Dog

Originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thorton in 1952, "Hound Dog" didn't become a hit until Elvis Presley sang it four years later. In 2004, Rolling Stone named Presley's version number 19 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Tell us in the comments: What are your favorite karaoke songs?

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April 6, 2010 - 6:15pm
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