10 Songs People Sing To (In No Order)

I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys)

backstreet jpg This song is from 1999 and I have never been in a store when this song is playing on the speakers, where I didn't find at least, not one, but two people singing along to this song. It is probably the best song by a "Boy Band."

Written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson, this song went to #1 on the A/C charts and on Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart it set a record at #1 - 40 weeks. However over on the Pop Charts it failed to crack the top 5, peaking at #6. In the UK it debuted at #1 and it set a record for most weeks on the chart.

It also spawned a very interesting Internet parody song called Which Backstreet Boy Is Gay?. "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied it in a song called Ebay

MmmBop (Hanson)

hanson jpg Whether or not you like these kids, this song is infectious. From 1996 this song is from their album Middle Of Nowhere. It was pretty much a #1 song in every nation in the world. It was the second song in history to debut at #1 on the Australian charts. It was #1 for 3 weeks in the United States. It was nominated for two Grammy awards but won neither.

I for one would like to know what the hell these kids are singing on the chorus. I have the lyrics but it doesn't match up to what they are singing. And I've never found a good explanation for just what Mmmbop means, if anything.

This song was originally a ballad. How that could be remains a mystery to me. Now to get this straight, follow along. The song you know, the up tempo fast song called MMMBop is off the album Middle Of Nowhere. But the slow, ballad version of MMMBop is off an earlier album, and that album is also called MMMBop. Make sense? If not well deal with it.

Upside DownTo You (Diana Ross)

ross jpg The thing I hate most about Diana Ross's songs is that they are so formulaic. They smack of effort and nothing is worse than a hit that is written for the sake of being a hit. (Think Touch Me In The Morning) But this song is quirky; it's fun and not Diana "Ross-like." It was Diana's last solo #1 hit.

Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the guys behind Chic, wrote this song from 1980. This song is off the album diana (yes it's spelled with a small letter "d"). And it was the last album for Motown before she moved to RCA records and that marked the decline of her career.

At the time this song went to #1 Ms Ross was 36 and she was, at the time, the oldest female to have a #1 hit. This record has since been beaten by Madonna, Tina Turner and Cher, who at 53 went to #1 with Believe. But that kind of shows you just how young Rock Music was even as late as 1980

Got To Be Real (Cheryl Lyn)

lynn jpg For those who don't know, Cheryl was the most famous person to win on The Gong Show. This show was the American Idol of the '70s. Although this disco classic stalled before hitting the Top 10, in 1978, peaking at #12 on the pop chart, it remains a favourite. It did go to #1 on the R&B charts.

Written by Cheryl Lynn, David Paich and David Foster, it was Foster who would go on to become one of the biggest names in the music business in the 80s, for writing and producing. Although Foster did have a minor hit, where he sang a duet with Olivia Newton-John called The Best Of Me.

When I was the revenue manager for a hotel, I had a reservationist who used to like to sing this song. And she had a nice voice. Unfortunately she was singing this song like Julie Andrews. It didn't quite work; I mean you have to be able to grind it. I especially like it when she grinds home the part...To Be REEEEEEEEAL. Not to mention "Zoo Hoo, Zoo Hoo, I got to have it baby"

Soak Up The Sun (Sheryl Crow)

crow jpg Written by Crow and Jeff Trott and peaking at #17 on the pop charts and going to #1 on the A/C charts in 2002 this is about the only song of Crow's I can stand. But this upbeat ditty is so much fun. It helps you celebrate if it is summer and remember the fun and warmth if it is winter.

I used to work in a hotel in Chicago and I happened to be downstairs working the desk (I was the Revenue Manger so I didn't usually do this), and I checked Sheryl into the hotel. She was all put off, because I never heard of her. Oh well. And though I love this song, Sheryl's attitude will always make me less than receptive to her music. Word to Sheryl..."Lighten up."

Best Of My Love (Emotions)

emotions jpg Whoa, whoa...Come on admit it, you were singing it as soon as you saw the title weren't you.

The Emotions, from Chicago, pushed this song to #1 in 1977. The trio consisting of Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila Hutchinson released their first album as "The Emotions" in 1968. Though throughout the years the group has had many personal changes.

The Sign (Ace Of Base)

sign jpg In 1993 this song set the record for the slowest climb to number one after which it sat atop the throne for six weeks. But it was worth it. Try NOT to bop along and sing with this song.

The group continues to have uneven success in Europe, mainly because the members like to try different sounds and with each new experimental sound they lose or gain fans.

Stayin' Alive (The Bee Gees)

alive jpg This song was written for the movie Saturday Night Fever. The producers loved it but had one problem, why wasn't it "Saturday Night, Saturday Night" instead of "Stayin' Alive". The Bee Gees told the producers it stays "Stayin' Alive" or we'll just keep the song. Wisely for everyone the producers agreed. I remember the trailer for the film. The entire audience was captivated by Travolta's strutting to this pounding beat. Great Stuff.

The second single released off the soundtrack it rocketed to #1 and held the spot for 4 weeks, after which it was replaced by Night Fever. It continued to fall but then in an unusual manner it climbed right back up to the #2 position behind the still #1 Night Fever. The single was not as popular overseas, for example it peaked at #4 in the UK.

The Bee Gees apparently have no sense of humour, as according to Jo Stafford, when she did a parody of the song, they reacted very poorly to her. Considering the status of an artist like Jo Stafford, the Bee Gees clearly have grown too big for their own britches.

Never Can Say Goodbye (Gloria Gaynor)

gaynor jpg Never realized how many songs people like to sing with are disco-centric. This song was written by Clifton Davis of the TV shows Amen and That's My Momma. This song established Gloria Gaynor as "Queen Of The Discos," according to "The Village Voice."

It is probably THE definitive song of the disco era. What is really odd is, I have heard many people cover this song and ALL of them do it well. If there was ever a song well written and easy to sing with, this is it. The song was the first song to top the new established Dance Chart in Billboard Magazine

While Gaynor took this song to #9, the Jackson 5 were first to make the song and in 1971 took the song to #2 on the Pop Chart and #1 on the R&B Chart.

Theme From The Andy Griffith Show (Earle Hagen)

griffith jpg OK technically not a song, but try to find one person in this world who isn't whistling along to the theme when it is on. I remember once I was on jury duty waiting to be called and WGN Channel 9 was rerunning the show and when this theme came on, everyone was whistling.