With everyone releasing their “Top New Year’s Eve tracks” playlists, we figured we should get in on the action. Because, well, they can suck it and we are better. There’s a few on our list that you might expect, and a few that you won’t (Spoiler: That Mariah Carey “Auld Lang Syne” techno-BS is NOT on this list).
10. U2 | “New Year’s Day”
Is this song about changes to come in the New Year? Is it about a soldier trying to get home during WWII? Does anyone really care what Bono is talking about? Who knows. Take whatever meaning you want from the song, but it’s a great rock tune, and it’s been a classic New Year’s song for years. I think everybody forgets that U2 used to play some good rock (a long, long, long time ago).
9. Snoop Dogg feat. Marty James | “New Year’s Eve”
It wouldn’t be a proper song list if there wasn’t a “It’s so bad, it’s good” entry. “New Year’s Eve” is a half-assed attempt at modern hip hop NYE anthem. It has a dumb chorus, and even worse rhymes by Snoop like “11:59 and not a second later// She’s stayin’ in the mix like a crossfader.” Thanks to Snoop Dogg for constantly making terrible songs that we love.
8. Death Cab for Cutie | “The New Year”
I will probably get some shit because Death Cab are not necessarily known for their upbeat songs, or the fact this song was on the “O.C,” but the idea of grabbing this moment and making it what you want is something to be admired. Actually, this is probably one of the most upbeat Death Cab songs ever.
7. Madonna | “Holiday”
I know it’s hard to imagine that there was a time when Madonna made great pop hits and was slutting it up as a hot 20-something (as opposed to slutting it up like a 55-year-old mother of 4). A feel-good dance track about just dropping everything to take a holiday is perfect for NYE. This song is forever a reminder of what Madonna has done for Pop music.
6. Michael Jackson | “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
Though almost any song from Jackson’s Off the Wall would make for a good NYE jam, the infectious groove from “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” springs it past all other New Year’s Eve-worthy MJ tracks. I mean, if you had to pick a song to dance to in a sparkly tuxedo, this is THAT song.
5. Daft Punk | “One More Time”
I’m sad that this song doesn’t show up on more NYE party lists. It’s a techno-pop classic, everyone knows the words (there’s only like 3 lines), it’s about dancing and celebrating, what else could make it a more worthy entry? Nothing. So make sure this is on your playlist come midnight!
4. REM | “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”
Half the fun of this apocalyptic rock classic is trying to sing along with it. Make sure to watch everyone attempt a drunken mumble through the spit-fire, nonsensical verses. Nobody will care because it’s New Year’s Eve and they’re all drunk, but God help you if you miss the “Leonard Bernstein” moment.
3. Earth, Wind & Fire | “September”
This is a perfect NYE jam because it not only encompasses reflecting upon fond memories, but it’s also one of the greatest funk songs ever. When this song kicks on, you better be dancing in a stupid hat with a bottle of cheap champagne in your hand.
2. Kool & The Gang | “Celebration”
Probably the #1 choice for NYE party-goers over the age of 50, and for good reason. It’s got a funky groove, an easy to sing chorus, and a part where you can seriously just yell “Ya-hoo!” It’s called “Celebration,” for crying out loud. It may be cheesy, but come 12:01am, you’ll be singing along just like everyone else.
1. Prince | “1999”
Because I will use any excuse to listen to Prince. End of the old year? Prince. Beginning of the New Year? Prince. If Prince is playing in the background as the world come to a firey end, I will go out with a smile on my face.