The ten best party songs

Suggs
Friday 30 July 2004 00:00
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1 COME ON EILEEN Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)

1 COME ON EILEEN Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)

You can't beat this singalong classic: it is impossible not to get up and dance to it. No matter where or when I hear the opening chords, it can't fail but put me in a good mood. The ultimate record to get the party started, it was number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

2 HEY YA! Outkast (2003)

The modern-day "Come on Eileen"?! It's an infectious record that swept the country last year and had everybody singing along in their cars. I love the way the lyrics meld with the music to become part of the song: this will be a party staple for years to come.

3 TOO MUCH TOO YOUNG The Specials (1980)

Something a bit different for a party, but one that will stir a few memories. It has tremendous energy: the fact that it was recorded live makes it really special. They were a band that produced some amazing records that defined their times. This song reminds me of touring the country and hanging out with The Specials and our other ska contemporaries. There were some great party nights.

4 LIVING FOR THE CITY Stevie Wonder (1974)

A hugely important record that was absolutely ground-breaking when released, it is, simply, seven minutes of pure heaven. The clavinet and drum intro always get me, and each time I hear it I realise what a genius Stevie Wonder is. I could have picked any number of his songs - the energy and positivity in his writing is simply infectious. I think he is hugely undervalued at the moment. Every parent should dust off their copy of Innervisions and play it to their kids.

5 YOU REALLY GOT ME The Kinks (1964)

I think Ray Davies is a genius, one of the country's most underrated songwriters. Just listening to "You Really Got Me" proves that a great song can stand the test of time, whenever it was written. Each time you hear it, it sounds different to before - an amazing record, fresh, vibrant, an absolute belter.

6 TAINTED LOVE Soft Cell (1981)

I don't think there has been a party in the past 20 years where this song hasn't been played and brought the house down. From the first note you know exactly what you are getting and I think that, accompanied with the fact that everyone knows the chorus, it makes it a sure-fire winner.

7 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (PART 3) Ian Dury and the Blockheads (1979)

Ian Dury was a true friend and an inspiration for me in my career. I could have picked almost any of his songs because lyrically and musically they're the best. This is in because of his sharp lyrics, the funky beat and the feeling it evokes. The man was a genius.

8 CAN YOU FEEL IT The Jacksons (1981)

In my opinion, the best thing that Michael Jackson has ever done. From the first beat this song has "magic" written all over it. You can sometimes forget what a talented artist he was, and the way in which his records defined their times. The early stuff with his brothers is packed full of party tunes but this is the one that stands out for me.

9 HOUSE OF FUN Madness (1982)

What a surprise. I don't often listen to our records, but this is the one I get the most requests for on my Virgin Radio show because it is the one that 45-year-old men and their sons both like. It appeals to everyone, including me, because we all are teenagers at heart.

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10 THEME FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK Frank Sinatra (1980)

When I was a lad at the local disco this is the one they always finished with, and I always finish my radio show with it. In fact, it is the only record that should finish any party. At the end, when the house lights come up, you can stumble home with Frank's beautiful voice echoing in your ears.

Suggs presents 'Virgin Party Classics' every Friday, 7-10pm, on Virgin Radio, 105.8FM in London, 1215AM nationwide

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