Top 50 Party Songs: Timeless Gems or Just Overplayed?

Here are last year’s most played party and wedding reception songs as compiled by Intelligence, Inc., a software service provider used by many D.J.’s around the world, myself included.  The list is dynamically updated and based on the number of times the song is requested to be played at a wedding or party event.

After hearing these songs countless times as wedding D.J. and observing how guests respond to them, clearly I’ve developed my own thoughts about this list.   Some of the songs I don’t have any thoughts about, and that’s OK with me.  Feel free to add your own comments at the end.

At number 1 is:

1
Black Eyed Peas
I Gotta Feeling

This song didn’t exist just a couple short years ago.  And here it is at the top of the party list.  College age types really enjoy this song and it always packs the dance floor.  That wasn’t the case when it first came out.  The first times I played it people didn’t seem to respond, but I guess it was just too new.  It’s typical Black Eyed Peas style.  It has a really catchy tune and lots of interesting rhythm changes. 

2
Journey
Don’t Stop Believin’

This song by Journey is really excellent when played at the end of the evening.  People enjoy standing on the dance floor and singing at the top of their lungs.  Also brings out the air guitarist in a lot of people.  It’s definitely a timeless gem.

Journey's Greatest Hits

3
Lady Gaga Feat. Colby O’donis
Just Dance

Lady Gaga just seems too weird for me.  But I do love her music.

4
Beyonce
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

“Single Ladies” obviously gets used as a bouquet toss song all the time.  One of my clients introduced me to a mash up version that mixes the theme from the Andy Griffith show into the song.  I REALLY like that version.

5
AC/DC
You Shook Me All Night Long

A real rock and roll classic.  Again, you can expect Uncle Jim to break out his air guitar on this one.

6
Bon Jovi
Livin’ On A Prayer

Another good closer (term borrowed from the world of baseball).  I always hear a lot of good singing during this.  This song mixes well after a slow song and really is a great feel-good rock anthem that leaves everyone in a good mood.  I love it!

7
Morrison, Van
Brown Eyed Girl

I insist that the Jimmy Buffet version of “Brown Eyed Girl” is much better than the Van Morrison recording.  Jimmy Buffet’s got the steel drums, a tropical feel and just sounds bigger.  I don’t get to be right all the time as evidenced by the fact that more people will dance to the Van Morrison version.  So be it.

8
Diamond, Neil
Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)

Always liked Sweet Caroline ever since my younger days.  I choose to play the live version of this song at wedding receptions.  It is slightly slower, paced better, has a stronger instrumental track and that wonderful, live audience sound in the background.  This is and always will be a real gem.

9
Cupid
Cupid Shuffle

The most popular line dance of the last couple years.  More interesting and more fun to do than most line dances. 

10
Def Leppard
Pour Some Sugar On Me

Rounding out the top ten is a classic rocker.  This song packs the dance floor at the end of a night and I’ll have to say I haven’t grown tired of listening to it yet.

11
B-52’s
Love Shack

My wife loves this song!  I really like the sound of the B-52’s.  Once in a while I will substitute “Roam” in place of “Love Shack”.  I tend to like “Roam” a little better.

12
Black Eyed Peas
Boom Boom Pow

13
Jackson, Michael
Billie Jean

When you hear this song it’s hard to not recall watching Michael Jackson on that Motown TV special where he electrified us with the hat, glove and the seemingly impossible moonwalk.  Baby boomers love this song.  It’s not overplayed.

14
Lady Gaga
Poker Face

Again, Lady Gaga is just so weird.  Love this song though. 

15
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sweet Home Alabama

Sheer genius of Lynyrd Skynyrd to cleverly add the words “Turn It Up” at the beginning of this song.  The song is recognized with the very first four notes of the guitar and people start heading for the dance floor.  Kid Rock was pretty shrewd to capitalize on that years later, don’t you think?

16
DJ Casper
Cha Cha Slide

17
ABBA
Dancing Queen

I have never understood the popularity of this song.  I don’t know why it’s number 17 on the list, or even on the list.  Maybe someone can help me out with this.  Abba has done much better material than “Dancing Queen”.

18
Timberlake, Justin
Sexyback

19
Outkast
Hey Ya!

20
Usher Feat. Ludacris & Lil’ Jon
Yeah

This song has a great melody.  It’s a good transition song towards the beginning of a wedding reception that doesn’t offend or bother the older folks. 

21
Clapton, Eric
Wonderful Tonight

Hey, here’s the first slow song on the list.  Very romantic.  I like to use it towards the end of the night because of the lyrics’ mention of “time to go home now”, etc.  One of Eric Clapton’s best.

22
Rihanna
Don’t Stop The Music

23
Kool & The Gang
Celebration

Without question, the most overplayed and worn out song on the list.  But people never seem to grow tired of it and always ask for it.  So I usually get the obligatory airing out of the way at the beginning of an event.  I think that a much better song is “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.  It’s impossible to be in a bad mood during that song, it’s just so incredibly happy sounding!  But that song is number 77 on the list so we don’t get to talk about it here.  Oh wait, I just did.

24
Usher Feat. Will.I.Am
Omg

25
Sister Sledge
We Are Family

An excellent wedding song!  Perfect lyrics for the occasion.  Women love it!  This is an all time wedding classic.  Probably impossible to overplay.

26
Sir Mix-A-Lot
Baby Got Back

Oh boy.

27
Beatles
Twist And Shout

This song will remain an all time classic.  It’s easy and fun to dance to, and, of course, it’s the Beatles.

28
Ke$Ha
Tik Tok

29
Jackson, Michael
Thriller

Everyone wants to hear this song because they like to do the dance moves from the classic video.  Unfortunately, very few people can do all the moves in the proper sequence and the song is 6 minutes long. But every once in a while I run into a group of people that have it mastered.  It’s a timeless gem.

30
Lady Gaga
Bad Romance

Here’s Lady Gaga again, for the third time.  Still weird, but I think I like this song best of all the LG songs.  The lyrics could be considered inappropriate for the typical wedding reception but the song is so well written and catchy that I find myself humming it on the way home.  Go figure.

31
Mraz, Jason
I’m Yours

An awesome song.  Destined to be a timeless gem.

32
Brown, Chris
Forever

33
Black Eyed Peas
Let’s Get It Started

This song remains interesting primarily due to BEP’s amazing ability to keep the beat of the song ever changing.  I think their best song, which did not make the top 50 this year, is “Imma Be”.  Very fun to listen to. 

34
Brooks, Garth
Friends In Low Places

Always a wedding classic.  The line about showing up in boots and ruining your black tie affair is perfect.  Sometimes I like to use this song for the traditional “Circle of Love” near the end of a wedding reception.

35
Isley Brothers
Shout

A perfect party song as made popular from “Animal House”.  I prefer the Lloyd Williams (Otis Day) version from the movie.

36
Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain
Low

Apple Bottom Jeans, boots with the fur…etc.

37
James, Etta
At Last

A timeless gem, without out a doubt.  A perfect wedding song and I never grow tired of hearing it. 

38
Sinatra, Frank
The Way You Look Tonight

Already a classic and will always be.  It’s great to watch people enjoy dancing to this song. 

39
Temptations
My Girl

A perfect timeless gem. 

40
Foundations
Build Me Up Buttercup

This song has become way more popular in the past few years.  I never used to play it but now it’s guaranteed to put a smile on people’s faces.  A gem for sure.

41
Vanilla Ice
Ice Ice Baby

42
Jackson, Michael
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

43
Commodores
Brick House

44
Seger, Bob & The Silver Bullet Band
Old Time Rock & Roll

As good as Bob Seger was, it’s time to retire this song.  I like to substitute a similar song when possible.  Unless, of course, someone absolutely insists that it be played.  This one is on the overplayed list.

45
Loggins, Kenny
Footloose

46
Village People
Y.M.C.A.

Overplayed, definitely.  But kids seem to like it and it’s always nice to make kids happy.

47
Bee Gees
Stayin’ Alive

There are other songs from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that I prefer playing.  “Night Fever”, “You Should Be Dancing” and “How Deep Is Your Love” come to mind.  But people need to keep this song alive because you need to know it when administering CPR. 

48
Armstrong, Louis
What A Wonderful World

This song is a gem.  Impossible to overplay.  Great lyrics and the immortal voice of Louis Armstrong is a perfect combination.

49
Taio Cruz
Dynamite

This song is too new to be overplayed.  It’s a great song to get the dance floor warmed up with and I really like it.  It only took a little less than a year to make it to the top 50 party list.

Unchained Melody

50
Righteous Brothers
Unchained Melody

“Unchained Melody” is the most romantic song on the list.  Most people can never remember the title of the song and don’t know how to request it without singing it.  Fortunately they don’t have to ask because I almost always include it on my special D.J. must play list. 

Well, there you have it.  The top party song play list of 2010.  Just missing the top 50 at position 51 was the timeless classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley.  The list is constantly updated and can be viewed on our website at http://www.weddingsbyblacktie.com/search/.

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3 thoughts on “Top 50 Party Songs: Timeless Gems or Just Overplayed?

  1. I loved reading this entry!! So fun. I am relieved to see we are already on the same page with many of these songs – namely, Celebration!! I have definitely heard that song enough :) To each his own, but that is already on our do not play list!

    Also, knowing the number of “college-ish” friends who will be at our wedding, I know many of these will be much appreciated on the dance floor! :)

  2. Thanks for your comment Jessica. Your “college-ish” friends are going to have a great time at your reception. We’re looking forward to it!

  3. Here’s my list:

    Get The Party Started – Pink
    The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
    Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
    Cha Cha Slide – Mr. C The Slide Man
    Rolling In The Deep – Adele
    Yeah – Usher
    Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
    I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
    Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) – Big & Rich
    Low – Flo Rida
    Celebration – Kool & The Gang
    Bust A Move – Young MC
    Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
    Y.M.C.A. – Village People
    Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
    Shout – Isley Brothers
    Just Dance – Lady Gaga
    Hot In Herre – Nelly
    It’s The End Of The World – R.E.M.
    Dynamite – Taio Cruz
    Tik Tok – KeSHa
    Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
    Whip It – Devo
    Old Time Rock And Roll – Bob Seger
    Like A Prayer – Madonna
    Footloose – Kenny Loggins
    Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot
    California Girls – Katy Perry
    Fire Burning – Sean Kingston
    Single Ladies – Beyonce
    Hot N Cold – Katy Perry
    The Twist – Chubby Checker
    London Bridge – Fergie
    Gonna Make You Sweat – C&C Music Factory
    Brick House – Commodores
    Get Low – Lil’ Jon
    Macarena – Los Del Rio
    Raise Your Glass – Pink
    Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
    American Boy – Kanye West
    Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
    The Time (Dirty Bit) – Black Eyed Peas
    Poker Face – Lady Gaga
    All Star – Smash Mouth
    I Love Rock And Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
    La Bamba – Los Lobos
    Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida
    Dancing Queen – ABBA
    It Takes Two – Rob Base
    Barbie Girl – Aqua
    Get Down Tonight – KC & The Sunshine Band
    Forever – Chris Brown
    Tootsie Roll – 69 Boyz
    Sandstorm – Darude
    Walk This Way – Aerosmith
    Good Feeling – Flo Rida
    All Summer Long – Kid Rock
    My Humps – Black Eyed Peas
    Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
    Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor) – Pitbull
    Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
    Family Tradition – Hank Williams Jr.
    Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
    Teach Me How To Dougie – California Swag District
    Electric Boogie – Marcia Griffiths
    On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez
    Vogue – Madonna
    1, 2, Step – Ciara
    S.O.S. – Rihanna
    Brass Monkey – Beastie Boys
    Funkytown – Lipps Inc
    DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher
    Womanizer – Britney Spears
    Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    So What – Pink
    Thriller – Michael Jackson
    I Feel Good – James Brown
    Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
    Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
    Hey Ya – Outkast
    We No Speak Americano – Yolanda Be Cool
    Right Round – Flo Rida
    Jump On It – Sir Mix A Lot
    Party Up – DMX
    Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
    Twist And Shout – Beatles
    Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
    Sweet Child Of Mine – Guns & Roses
    Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
    I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
    Beat It – Michael Jackson
    Some Kind Of Wonderful – Grand Funk Railroad
    One More Time – Daft Punk
    Shots – LMFAO
    1999 – Prince
    This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
    In Da Club – 50 Cent
    Disturbia – Rihanna
    Love Shack – B-52’s
    4 Minutes – Madonna
    Firework – Katy Perry
    The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
    Milkshake – Kelis
    Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz
    Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf
    The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats
    Stronger – Kanye West
    In The Ayer – Flo Rida
    Glamorous – Fergie
    C’mon & Ride It – Quad City DJ’s
    Music – Madonna
    Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
    Boom Boom Boom Boom – Vengaboys
    We Are Family – Sister Sledge
    Down – Jay Sean
    Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
    Give Me Everything – Pitbull
    Believe – Cher
    I Like It – Enrique Iglesias
    Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
    OMG – Usher
    Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
    Live Your Life – Rihanna
    You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
    Give It To Me – Timbaland
    Dead & Gone – T.I.
    I Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones
    Yeah 3x – Chris Brown
    Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
    Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
    September – Earth Wind & Fire
    Tequila – Champs
    Evacuate The Dancefloor – Cascada
    Wild Thing – Tone Loc
    Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
    Smack That – Akon
    I Like To Move It – Reel 2 Real
    Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira
    Conga – Miami Sound Machine
    Kiss – Prince
    Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
    Hung Up – Madonna
    Run It – Chris Brown
    Circus – Britney Spears
    Better Off Alone – Alice Deejay
    Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega
    Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
    Shake It – Metro Station
    Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter
    Crazy In Love – Beyonce
    Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon
    U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
    Jump Around – House Of Pain
    Takin’ Care Of Business – BTO
    I’m A Believer – Smash Mouth
    Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
    Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
    Fergalicious – Fergie
    What I Like About You – Romantics
    Run This Town – Jay-Z
    Don’t Cha – Pussycat Dolls
    Who Let The Dogs Out – Baha Men
    The Way I Are – Timbaland
    Mony Mony – Billy Idol
    Take On Me – A-Ha
    Disco Inferno – Trammps
    Bailamos – Enrique Iglesias
    I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry
    Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
    Holiday – Madonna
    Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
    Use Somebody – Kings Of Leon
    Temperature – Sean Paul
    Blue – Eiffel 65
    Swing The Mood – Jive Bunny
    Pon De Replay – Rihanna
    Chicken Dance – Emeralds
    Mamma Mia – ABBA
    Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
    Push It – Salt N Pepa
    Everytime We Touch – Cascada
    Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham
    Sexy Bitch – David Guetta
    Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez
    Keeps Getting Better – Christina Aguilera
    I Know You Want Me – Pitbull
    Telephone – Lady Gaga
    I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
    Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
    Closer – Ne-Yo
    Super Freak – Rick James
    Heartless – Kanye West
    We Like To Party – Vengaboys
    Your Love – The Outfield
    That’s The Way I Like It – KC & The Sunshine Band
    Hella Good – No Doubt
    You Dropped A Bomb On Me – Gap Band
    Carry Out – Timbaland
    Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado
    Grease Megamix – Grease Soundtrack
    You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
    We Found Love – Rihanna
    Good Times – Chic
    Da Dip – Freak Nasty
    Last Dance – Donna Summer

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