Beyond 'I Got You, Babe'
March 1, 2011 8:32 PM   Subscribe

What pre-1985 (approx) song can my husband and I perform on karaoke night?

My husband and I (female) are going to karaoke night at a local pub. Neither of us has ever done karaoke before though we both have lots of vocal background but we'd like to try to do a song together. He's a stronger and more confident singer but I do okay. If it matters, he's a tenor, I'm an alto. We want to practice just a little but before we go and are combing the internet for options. We'd both prefer something non-contemporary but beyond that, are pretty open: jazz, country, pop, rock, folk, show tunes..... assume Sonny and Cher is off the table though. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash? Louis Prima and Keely Smith? I guess I also don't really know how deep the catalog will go.

Of course, any tips would be appreciated. My only real strategy so far is to have a cocktail before we go up.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Media & Arts (49 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Islands in the Stream
posted by Felicity Rilke at 8:37 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Islands in the Stream is pretty fun to sing with a partner.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:38 PM on March 1, 2011

posted by peachfuzz at 8:38 PM on March 1, 2011

It's 1987, but The Pogues - Fairytale of New York.
posted by axiom at 8:39 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Love Is Strange by Mickey and Sylvia got a mid-80s boost thanks to Dirty Dancing.
posted by jquinby at 8:42 PM on March 1, 2011

Human League: Don't You Want Me Baby. Comes complete with a catchy chorus that everyone can sing along to and it recently got done on Glee (which may or may not influence your decision!)
posted by salishsea at 8:43 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Paul McCartney & Wings: 1985.
posted by ovvl at 8:45 PM on March 1, 2011

I was going to say "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," too. ^_^
posted by SMPA at 8:55 PM on March 1, 2011

Under Pressure, Queen & David Bowie, 1981
posted by fings at 8:56 PM on March 1, 2011

If I Fell - The Beatles
posted by John Cohen at 9:03 PM on March 1, 2011

Tom Waits and Bette Midler, "I Never Talk To Strangers."
posted by Marky at 9:05 PM on March 1, 2011

(We're Not) The Jet Set
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:05 PM on March 1, 2011

I'd think Guilty would be a super fun karaoke duet, but I'm partial to getting boozed up and doing Andy Gibb songs on karaoke night. Can't We Try would also be a fun one. Summer Nights would almost certainly get the whole pub singing along.
posted by Balonious Assault at 9:10 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Islands in the Stream

More of a challenge and less likely to be in their catalog: Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:11 PM on March 1, 2011

Afternoon Delight
posted by LionIndex at 9:13 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Let's add some more new-wavey stuff to the aforementioned "Don't You Want Me:"
(Keep Feeling) Fascination
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:41 PM on March 1, 2011

Oh, also - Video Killed the Radio Star, if one of you doesn't mind doing mostly owa oh!s
posted by peachfuzz at 9:42 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

"You're the One That I Want" seems to go over well, in my experience.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:51 PM on March 1, 2011

Bye Bye Love
posted by tristeza at 10:06 PM on March 1, 2011

Best answer: Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell did a lot of duets:

Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
You're All I Need to Get By
I'm Your Puppet
posted by marsha56 at 10:09 PM on March 1, 2011

Baby it's you. Shirelles, Beatles, Smith, more.....
posted by Taurid at 10:22 PM on March 1, 2011

Reunited by Peaches & Herb
posted by vespabelle at 10:28 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don't know if this old enough for you, but Total Eclipse of the Heart is always my goto karaoke song. It does have two pretty distinct parts too.
posted by bendy at 10:55 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

If your falsetto skills are good, I always loved the David Ruffin/Diana Ross version of I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.
posted by bakerina at 11:31 PM on March 1, 2011

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty - Stop Draggin' My Heart Around - 1981

Stevie Nicks and Don Henley - Leather and Lace - 1981
posted by amyms at 1:05 AM on March 2, 2011

Damn, Amyms, beat me to them. I was just getting ready to post both of those, as I used to to do those regularly at karaoke.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:07 AM on March 2, 2011

Best answer: Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand - You Don't Bring Me Flowers - 1978
posted by amyms at 1:08 AM on March 2, 2011

I was going to suggest "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League as well. That was the first song my friend got me to sing with her at karaoke many years ago (I sang the male part). By which she created a monster.

My husband and I had fun with Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" at my brother's wedding reception, me singing harmony on the chorus. (I don't remember which of us did the verses.) But then, I enjoy singing harmony as much as lead, if it's a remotely entertaining harmony, so that may not be at all what you're looking for.
posted by Because at 1:17 AM on March 2, 2011

Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle - Just You and I - 1982

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross - Endless Love - 1981
posted by amyms at 1:25 AM on March 2, 2011

DOnt have people suggest you a song. I go to karaoke a lot . You have to do a song you like and know. When you get to the pub get the book that goes by song title and just look through it till you find a song you know well. IT will sound way better.
posted by majortom1981 at 3:50 AM on March 2, 2011

I got you babe.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:03 AM on March 2, 2011

How about the Beatles' Her Majesty at a whopping 15 seconds long. I've used this to great effect when having to fulfill my quota of songs - if you get harassed for another performance!
posted by quaisi at 5:14 AM on March 2, 2011

In my opinion, "Summer Nights" from Grease is the quintessential karaoke duet. I've sung it many times, and it regularly brings the house down.

And, depending on the crowd's sensibilities (and yours), "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" can be pretty fun.
posted by Shohn at 5:35 AM on March 2, 2011

Best answer: - Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra - Some Velvet Morning
- Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra - Summer Wine
- Frank & Nancy Sinatra - Somethin' Stupid
- Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary
posted by MuffinMan at 5:36 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary (with all the talkey parts if you can!)

My sister and I love to do this one; she does Ike's part. As the alto, you could just be silly & do Ike's part and let your husband do Tina! We have a blast!!

On preview, MuffinMan beat me!
posted by Kronur at 5:39 AM on March 2, 2011

Also - without an awful lot of imagination, Bang Bang could be a duet.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:47 AM on March 2, 2011

Love Shack.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:35 AM on March 2, 2011

Cruisin'. Mrs. chaz and I sing this in the car all the time.
posted by chazlarson at 7:25 AM on March 2, 2011

Best answer: Eggs in the morning?
posted by chazlarson at 7:27 AM on March 2, 2011

Best answer: One more!

Hit The Road Jack is so, so fun to sing as a duet for a man and a woman. It's my dad's and my go-to partner song.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:55 AM on March 2, 2011

Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light can be a blast when performed by the right couple.
posted by rocket88 at 7:57 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh man, I was trying to remember Lee Hazlewood last night when my husband were talking about this. I can only hope they have Summer Wine. Some Velvet Morning is awesome but I'm not sure I can pull off the Nancy part in that one.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:27 AM on March 2, 2011

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - "Tramp"
posted by rfs at 9:35 AM on March 2, 2011

Mockingbird..........James Taylor and Carly Simon ( originally by Inez Fox and Charlie Fox)
posted by Taurid at 9:14 PM on March 2, 2011

No one's suggested "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" yet?
posted by SisterHavana at 9:54 PM on March 2, 2011

Nat & Natalie Cole - Unforgettable
posted by eamondaly at 4:53 PM on March 3, 2011

Response by poster: We ended up doing "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" since the other songs we liked weren't in the DJ's catalog. We did okay and I think we've both developed a taste for more. NOw if only we could find the karaoke version of "That's All it Took" in the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris version, we'd be set!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:14 AM on March 6, 2011

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