Michael Jackson singing backup!
9. Clap For The Wolfman – Guess Who (1974) -The Guess Who, and for that matter, Wolfman Jack will certainly appeal to mature audiences. But the slow, groovy rhythm and the clap, clap, clap make it an instant favorite for those hearing it for the first time.
8. The Time Warp-‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Soundtrack – (1975) Actually, anything from this soundtrack will be a success, but you have to play the Time Warp because every party needs an easy group dance. And someone is sure to say, “Let’s do the Time Warp again!”
7. Nightmare On My Street – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – (1988) – Any excuse to infuse Will Smith, nee The Fresh Prince, is a good one.
6. Devil Inside – INXS (1987) – You rarely miss with any INXS song, as most of their hits were intended to be dance numbers. Devil Inside is no exception
5. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads – (1977) – Qu’est-ce que c’est? Remember this is a slower one, but psycho killers will fit in quite well with the ghosts and goblins.
4. I’m Your Boogie Man – What’s the median age of your audience? If they are mid thirties and under, go with the White Zombie (1996) version. If they are older, stick with K.C. and the Sunshine Band (1977) original
3. Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo (1985) Weird Science was actually Oingo Boingo’s biggest hit, and Halloween-appropriate as well. Dead Man’s Party is even better, and at 6:23 long its perfect for an extended dance or costume contest.
2. Ghost Busters – Ray Parker Jr. – Who you gonna call? Never mind that the movie is a little old, the upbeat bass riff and fun lyrics are always a winner.
1. Thriller – Michael Jackson – (1982) – It was an instant hit the day it was released, then reborn in the movie 13 going on 30 with Jennifer Garner teaching a new generation of fans one more time. With the passing of the King of Pop, this song is as popular today as ever. Do your party-goers a favor, rent the movie or download the video from YouTube and learn the dance yourself and demonstrate it for the crowd. .
Of course, there are many others, like Monster Mash, Purple People Eater, Haunted House, and Frankenstein. Many of these are classics, and you must play them. But for a number of reasons, they just aren’t good dancing songs for all audiences. The best thing to do is play these older standards early as guests arrive and are heading straight for the bar. Then hit them with the list above.