MikeHad a Karaoke session last Saturday that included two other DailySpec contributors, whose names I shall graciously not disclose.

The singular fact of karaoke that all will acknowledge is that a song's suitability for karaoke has no relationship to the song's merit in general. So in karaoke, the names that rise to the top include Bon Jovi, Wham, Bread, Bolton, Manilow…

Duran Duran is one of the best. Not only is the pitch usually a little too high for card carrying males, but the lyrics also pose a challenge. Consider these:

"The Reflex is an only child he's waiting in the park."

"Two of a billion stars, it means so much to me–like a birthday or a pretty view."

"I sold the Renoir and the T.V. set–don't want to be around when this gets out"

"Telegram force and ready–I knew this was a big mistake."

The Bee Gees are another fine choice, whether one goes with the Beatles-era Bee Gees, something like "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", or with the disco Bee Gees. For the latter, "Tragedy" is the default choice, but also consider "Fanny be Tender" if you really want to test your falsetto. For early Bee Gees, the emotions brought out on the karaoke stage can be overwhelming. Consider this:

"I started a joke, which started the whole world crying. Oh but I didn't see that the joke was on me."

Or to really liven the evening, you might try their "I've Got to Get a Message to You", apparently about a murderer awaiting the Chair.

I also recommend the early 70s stadium bands, Three Dog Night, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Grand Funk Railroad. For Three Dog Night, go with "Eli's Coming", or perhaps "Liar". I would never think to recommend "And When I Die" by Blood Sweat and Tears, which has way too many key changes and syncopations, but on Saturday one of my anonymous associates pulled it off very credibly.

You should test yourself with a 70s soul number, like an Al Wilson "Show and Tell", or relatedly, a beach music number like "Give Me Just a Little More Time" by the Chairmen of the Board. The latter is at the very top of my range, and the struggle to stay up there adds to the drama of the moment.

Finally, my other anonymous associate tested the low end of the range with "Ol' Man River". Whenever I hear it, I can't help but want to correct him in the fashion of "Elderly Man River", who "must know something, but he doesn't say anything".


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