Rule One: Steer mostly toward “hits.” To me, this means most of the guests are familiar with the song. One party’s hit song is another party’s head-scratcher. Every single friend may know “Fox on the Run,” but I wouldn’t play that at a Christmas party at grandma’s house. Know your audience. Rule Two: Try to use only one song from a particular artist. The exceptions to this are: 1) You can reuse the same musician if he/she has been in multiple groups or bands (i.e., Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé or Wham! and George Michael), or 2) If the artist is a rapper/producer who guests on a lot of songs.
Below are three of my personal favorite songs I’ve included in an ever-growing list. Please share your favorite party songs, or a link to a Spotify playlist, or just share a story about a song you never, ever want to hear at a party again.
Earth, Wind and Fire, “September”
This song is included because I think it’s my favorite song in the world. You can’t argue with this song. You know who would argue with this song? People who go by “Ayatollah.”
George Michael, “Freedom! ’90”
Oh, I wasn’t kidding about George Michael. George Michael is great. I actually built the entire playlist around this song being the exact middle point: ‘60s-’90, George Michael, ’90-present day. See? It works.
Juvenile Feat. Mannie Fresh, “Back That Azz Up”
Every party needs dumb hip-hop. I’m not sure exactly what kind of dumb hip-hop I’d play at my grandma’s Christmas party, any ideas are appreciated.