Mr. Cheese (Nick Ortman) is a Graduate of Columbia University's MFA program. He's a drummer and frequently writes about the music industry.
I confess, I love every song on this list. I'm only human, so sometimes I want my music to have a fleeting message and to be full of irrational emotion. Why? Because, a little bit of over-the-top cheesy music is just good for the soul. I could have put a thousand songs on here, but these 30 really stand out to me. See if your favorite cheesy party song made the list (more info and music videos for each song appear below this list)!
Top 30 Cheesy Party Songs
- "Dragostea Din Tei"—O-Zone
- "The Final Countdown"—Europe
- "Putting on the Ritz"—Taco
- "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"—Cyndi Lauper
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's"—Deep Blue Something
- "Barbie Girl"—Aqua
- "Hello/You Mean More to Me"—Lionel Richie
- "Livin' la Vida Loca"—Ricky Martin
- "In the Navy"—Village People
- "Macho Man"—Village People
- "Walk Like an Egyptian"—The Bangles
- "Return of the Mack"—Mark Morrison
- "Karma Chameleon"—Culture Club
- "Love Shack"—B-52s
- "Hot in Herre"—Nelly
- "Maniac 2000"—Mark McCabe
- "We Like to Party!"—Vengaboys
- "Love Is All Around"—Wet Wet Wet
- "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"—Eiffel 65
- "True"—Spandau Ballet
- "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"—Cutting Crew
- "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"—Shania Twain
- "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"—Wham!
- "Who Let the Dogs Out"—Baha Men
- "Let's Get Ready to Rumble"—Michael Buffers
- "Everybody's Working for the Weekend"—Loverboy
- "What Is Love"—Haddaway
- "Ice Ice Baby"—Vanilla Ice
- "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I'm Dead"—Willie Nelson (Featuring Snoop Dogg)
1. "Dragostea Din Tei"—O-Zone
Album: Number 1
- O-Zone is a Moldovan pop group.
- The song received positive reviews from critics and shot to the number-one spot on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.
- It topped the single charts in France, Germany and Austria for over three months.
2. "The Final Countdown"—Europe
Album: The Final Countdown (Expanded Edition)
Genre: Hair metal
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- It was based on a keyboard riff he made in the early 1980s, with lyrics inspired by David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
- It was originally made to just be a concert opener, it is the first single and title track from the band's third studio album.
- The song reached number one in 25 countries.
- In the United States, the song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.
3. "Putting on the Ritz"—Taco
Album: After Eight
- Irving Berlin wrote the original in May 1927 and first published it on December 2, 1929.
- It was registered as an unpublished song August 24, 1927 and again on July 27, 1928.
- Taco's remake was his only major hit.
4. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"—Cyndi Lauper
Artist: Cyndi Lauper
Album: She's So Unusual
- The single was Lauper's breakthrough hit, reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming a worldwide hit throughout late 1983 and early 1984.
- It remains one of Lauper's signature songs.
5. "Breakfast at Tiffany's"—Deep Blue Something
Artist: Deep Blue Something
Album: 11th Song and Home
Released: July 4, 1995
Genre: Alternative rock , pop rock , jangle pop
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's" topped the UK Singles Chart and peaked within the top ten on the charts of Australia, Flanders, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.
- Follow-up singles failed to match the success of "Breakfast at Tiffany's", making the band a one-hit wonder.
6. "Barbie Girl"—Aqua
Genres: Bubblegum dance, Pop
- The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the United Kingdom, where it was a number-one hit for four weeks.
- It also reached number two in the group's homeland and peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100.
- It remains Aqua's biggest hit single and their only one to reach the top 20 of the Hot 100.
7. "Hello/You Mean More to Me"—Lionel Richie
Artist: Lionel Richie
Album: Can't Slow Down B-side"You Mean More to Me"
Released: February 13, 1984
Genre: R&B, pop, soft rock
- The song reached number one on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart, the R&B chart, and the adult contemporary chart.
- The song also went to number one in the UK Singles Chart.
- The song later inspired a lawsuit by songwriter Marjorie Hoffman White, who accused Richie of plagiarizing her 1978 composition "I'm Not Ready to Go".
8. "Livin' la Vida Loca"—Ricky Martin
Artist: Ricky Martin
Album: Ricky Martin
- "Livin' la Vida Loca" is generally seen as the song that began the Latin pop explosion.
- Ricky Martin helped bring Latin pop to the forefront of the U.S. music scene.
- "Livin' la Vida Loca" is certified platinum in the US and the UK and is one of the best selling singles of all time.
- The song received various Grammy Awards nominations.
9. "In the Navy"—Village People
Artist: Village People
Album: Go West
- "In the Navy" was the last Top 10 hit for the group.
- The Navy actually contacted group manager Henri Belolo to use the song in a recruiting advertising campaign for television and radio.
- Belolo gave the rights for free... on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video.
10. "Macho Man"—Village People
Artist: Village People
Album: San Francisco
- This song became the Village People's first charting hit in the United States.
- It peaked on the Hot 100 at number 25.
- Billboard Magazine generously described the song as a "spirited fast paced percussive track highlighted by multi -part harmonies and a rugged lead vocal."
11. "Walk Like an Egyptian"—The Bangles
Artist: The Bangles
Album: Different Light
Recorded: Sunset Sound Factory (1985)
- "Walk Like an Egyptian" was released as the third single from Different Light.
- It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1986.
- The song reached a peak of number three on the UK Singles Chart.
- It reached number one in the US on December 20, staying at the top of the Hot 100 for four weeks.
12. "Return of the Mack"—Mark Morrison
Artist: Mark Morrison
Album: Return of the Mack
- The video was released in the United Kingdom in March 1996 and in the United States in February 1997.
- After a decade lull, the song ended up attracting 117 million views on YouTube by December 2020.
- It topped the UK Singles Chart a month after its release, then became a European and Australian hit during the middle of the year.
- In the United States, it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and went Platinum.
13. "Karma Chameleon"—Culture Club
Artist: Culture Club
Album: Colour by Numbers
- The single spent three weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
- It become the group's biggest hit and only US number-one single among their many top 10 hits.
- The sleeve features work from the photographer David Levine.
14. "Love Shack"—B-52s
Artist: The B-52's
Album: Cosmic Thing
- The song was a comeback hit for the band (following their decline in popularity in the mid-1980s and the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985).
- "Love Shack" is considered the band's signature song.
- It has been a concert staple since its release.
- Commercially, the single topped the charts in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.
- It reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 (becoming their first top-forty hit).
15. "Hot in Herre"—Nelly
- The song was produced by The Neptunes.
- "Hot in Herre" incorporates the hook from go-go performer Chuck Brown's 1979 single "Bustin' Loose".
- "Hot in Herre" was the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards on February 23, 2003.
16. "Maniac 2000"—Mark McCabe
Artist: Michael Sembello
- The song was released in Ireland in February 2000 and reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.
- It is the fifth best-selling single in the history of the chart and has achieved cult status in Ireland.
- Despite the success the song experienced, it was not a hit in other countries, stalling at number 137 on the UK Singles Chart in late March.
- In 2015, Maniac 2000 re-entered the Irish Singles Chart at number 12.
17. "We Like to Party!"—Vengaboys
Album: The Party Album
Genre: Dance pop
- "We Like to Party!" became one of the band's most successful hits.
- It topped the charts in Flemish Belgium, reaching number two in Australia and the Netherlands, and becoming a top-five hit in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
- It is also the band's highest-charting song in the United States, climbing to number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
18. "Love Is All Around"—Wet Wet Wet
Artist: Wet Wet Wet
Album: Four Weddings and a Funeral: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genre: Adult contemporary
- Wet Wet Wet's romantic anthem was essentially the soundtrack of 1994, and is still one of their best love songs.
- The late Reg Presley wrote the love song, but it originally sounded very different.
- His band The Troggs first recorded the track, which reached number five in the UK in 1967.
- The song was inspired by a TV broadcast of the Joy Strings Salvation Army band's song "Love That's All Around".
- Director Richard Curtis approached Wet Wet Wet about recording a cover song to soundtrack his new film Four Weddings and a Funeral. The band were able to pick between three choices of songs. The other two were "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, and "Can't Smile Without You" by Barry Manilow. Singer Marti Pellow said the decision to pick 'Love is All Around' was an easy choice, "because we knew we could make it our own".
19. "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"—Eiffel 65
Artist: Eiffel 65
- The song is the group's most popular single.
- It reached number one in many countries' music charts, such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, New Zealand, Israel, Lebanon, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Australia, Austria, Greece, Germany, and Hungary, as well as reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
- In the United Kingdom, the song initially entered the top 40 purely on import sales.
- The song also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
20. "True"—Spandau Ballet
Artist: Spandau Ballet
Album: True (Special Edition)
Genres: New wave, Blue-eyed soul, Goth/industrial
- The song was a worldwide hit, peaking at number one in the UK Singles Chart, and becoming the sixth-biggest-selling single of the year.
- It reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the autumn of 1983.
- In 2011, it received a BMI award as one of the most played songs in US history with four million airplays.
21. "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"—Cutting Crew
Artist: Cutting Crew
Released: 25 July 1986 (UK); 1 January 1987 (US)
- "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" is the band's debut single.
- It's from their debut studio album, Broadcast (1986).
- The song was written by frontman Nick Van Eede, produced by Terry Brown, John Jansen and the band, and mixed at Utopia Studios in London by Tim Palmer.
- This power ballad is the band's biggest hit, peaking at number one in the United States, Canada, Norway, and Finland, and reaching the top five in the UK.
22. "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"—Shania Twain
Artist: Shania Twain
- Even songs about female empowerment can be cheesy (it's a good cheese, though).
- The song received generally favorable reviews from music critics.
- It was praised for its attitude and hook (as well as Twain's vocals).
- The song reached the top-ten in six countries, while reaching the top-twenty in Canada and number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
23. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"—Wham!
Album: Make It Big
- It was their first UK and US number one hit.
- The single was certified Platinum in the US, which at the time commemorated sales of over two million copies.
- The music video features Michael and Ridgeley wearing oversized message T-shirts ("CHOOSE LIFE") created by Katharine Hamnett. This started a craze, as the shirt became very popular with younger audiences.
- The song was ranked number 28 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s.
24. "Who Let the Dogs Out"—Baha Men
Artist: Baha Men
Album: Absolute Music 33
- The song is actually a cover.
- The song became the band's first and only hit in the United Kingdom and the United States.
- It gained popularity after appearing in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie and its soundtrack album.
25. "Let's Get Ready to Rumble"—Michael Buffers
Artist: Michael Buffer
Album: Jock Jams, Volume 1
- Michael Buffer is an American ring announcer or "MC" for boxing and professional wrestling matches.
- He is known for his trademarked catchphrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!"
- This is his only musical hit.
26. "Everybody's Working for the Weekend"—Loverboy
Album: Get Lucky
- the song was written by guitarist Paul Dean, vocalist Mike Reno and drummer Matt Frenette.
- It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn and Dean.
- It was the lead single from the album in October 1981.
- The song reached number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number two on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart in January 1982.
- "Working for the Weekend" is ranked number 100 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s.
27. "What Is Love"—Haddaway
Album: The Album
- It was a massive hit in Europe, becoming a number-one hit in at least 13 countries.
- Outside Europe, the single was also successful, reaching number 11 in the United States, number 12 in Australia, number 17 in Canada, and number 48 in New Zealand.
- The song earned Haddaway two awards at the German 1994 Echo Award ("Best National Single" and "Best National Dance Single").
Release date: May 3, 2011
Producer: Lucian Piane
- The song features the three finalists of the fourth season of Rupaul's Drag Race (Sharon Needles, Phi Phi O'Hara, and Chad Michaels) as giant glamazon characters in a retro-style video game in which they terrorize the Pyramids of Giza, the Palace of Westminster, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- The celebrities who were featured as guest judges over the course of the fourth season of Drag Race are seen in these places being stomped under the queens' heels.
29. "Ice Ice Baby"—Vanilla Ice
Album: The Party Album
Genre: Dance pop
- "Ice Ice Baby" was first released as the B-side to Vanilla Ice's cover of "Play That Funky Music"... but the single was not initially successful.
- When disc jockey David Morales played "Ice Ice Baby" instead, it gained success.
- "Ice Ice Baby" was the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard Hot 100.
- Outside of the United States, "Ice Ice Baby" topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
30. "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I'm Dead"—Willie Nelson (Featuring Snoop Dogg)
Artist: Willie Nelson
Featured artists: Snoop Dogg, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson
Genres: Country music, Country
- It was released on 420 day, a counterculture holiday in North America related to cannabis.
- It was the first released single from the Heroes album.
- Willie Nelson performed the song during the unveiling ceremony of his statue in Austin, Texas.