When you are going to the karaoke bar as a hard rock fan, sometimes it can be hard to figure out exactly what you want to sing. So we’ve made a list for you of the 22 best karaoke songs that will make sure your night is rocking, And it will also keep you out of an embarrassing moment of uncertainty.
Anything on this list can be replaced by a different song by the same artist, so if Sweet Child O’ Mine isn’t your cup of tea, you can swap that for Appetite for Destruction or maybe November Rain if you feel like singing for 10 minutes and then standing through a guitar solo for another three minutes. Either way, this should have you covered.
1. Queen: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You”
One of the hardest bands to imitate, Queen, with the best frontman for perhaps any genre, Freddie Mercury; anything by this band will allow you to show off your skills! If you’re looking for a shorter song, you might try out “Killer Queen,” but if singing isn’t your strong suit, Queen has got you covered.
We Will Rock You is a perfect song for someone who would maybe rather speak a lot of words at the same pitch and then work the crowd into a frenzy with clapping and stomping.
2. Guns N’ Roses: “Sweet Child of Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle”
Axl Rose is quite a good course, even if we might not be such big fans of his later work (Dreadlocks? Really? Come on dude), but Slash has always kept it real. Sweet Child O’ Mine is a great place to start if you are looking for something to bring the house down or to share a special moment, look out at your romantic partner and remind them why you love them so much.
Be aware, that a lot of this music is higher in your voice than you might remember, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.
3. Bon Jovi: “Livin’ on a Prayer”
Bon Jovi might not be your first choice when you think about heavy rock karaoke, but hear me out. These songs are catchy, and for people of a certain age, we’ve heard them every time we went to the store, or turned on the radio; and maybe Richie Sambora doesn’t get enough credit. Be careful; these melodies are high.
4. AC/DC: “Highway to Hell”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Thunderstruck”
I’ve got three choices for you here for AC/DC, and all three rock equally hard. You shook me all night long Doesn’t get the credit that it deserves, but there’s enough background harmony and chorus parts that everyone in the bar will sing along with you.
There’s enough romantic information that you can show off to your loved ones. And who can argue with Highway To Hell? And as a bonus, you get to swear on stage, which feels pretty great.
5. Journey: “Don’t Stop Believin'”
Perhaps the single most radio-played song in the world, sometimes when you are at a karaoke bar, you need to just not overthink it. Be careful. This song is probably a lot different in reality than in your memory. You don’t sing. Don’t stop believing until about two minutes in, and there are a lot of words before then! Not for the faint of heart, and you will certainly not be the only person to sing it that night.
6. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
It’s a classic for a reason, and frankly, it should be higher on this list. It’s so simple to sing, it’s so easy, plus you get to reference jukeboxes, which maybe a lot of people in the room won’t know what that is. Also gives you a chance to show off your dance moves,
7. Black Sabbath: “Paranoid”
The obvious choice here for Black Sabbath would be Iron Man. But, there’s not very much to sing, and apart from saying, “I am Ironman” (which is the coolest thing in all recorded rock music), Ozzy was pretty young when he recorded this. His voice is high! I’d stick with Paranoid. You get extra for deep-cut thread points, and it’s one of their best tunes.
8. Ozzy Osbourne: “Crazy Train”
I am a noted Randy Rhodes fan; he was my guitar idol when I was a kid, and I learned to play everything that he did. This riff specifically is a lot harder than you think, but the difficult part is the Verse, not the intro or the solo!
A great karaoke song has a lot of different interesting sections to keep the audience entertained and show off your dramatic skills, while also really kicking ass. It’s important to note the guitar solo is pretty short, so if you’re going to do some cool dance moves, get ready to come back in!
9. Aerosmith: “Sweet Emotion”
You could easily swap this with their collaboration with Run-DMC. Walk this way, but we prefer Sweet Emotion. It’s got a lot more killer guitar riffs by Joe Perry, And the vocal part is very talk-singy, so you won’t need a great sense of pitch. A great option if you don’t feel like singing a ton!
10. Judas Priest: “Living After Midnight”
Do not try to imitate Halford if you can’t do it. You know who I’m talking about. There is a reason why he is the Gold standard for all heavy-metal vocalists, and you know if you can do it or not.
But if you feel like being a little ornery, maybe try to convince one of your more confident friends, and enjoy watching them try to keep up with the great one.
11. KISS: “Rock and Roll All Nite”, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”
Crowd pleasers are called Crowd Pleasers for a reason. Sometimes, it’s just your job to play the hits, don’t overthink it, get on stage, call out rock ‘n’ roll all night, and go off with your head held high. Every party needs to go up a little bit, and you can do that by choosing a KISS song.
12. Def Leppard: “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
Be aware that if you start this on stage, you will have to do dance moves, but this can be a great couple song if you want to switch between parts, and one of you can pretend to be dancing on the top of a car, 80’s style.
Not the heaviest song on this list, but it’s important to mix it up, and if your number comes right after someone who is singing Meshuggah, you might need to bring the mood up a little bit.
13. Metallica: “Enter Sandman”
A theme of this list is making sure that you know your limitations. Singing karaoke is not just about making the right choice at the right time but knowing what you do best. This is a great song for people with low voices, with plenty of points for you to demonstrate how well you can do a James Hetfield impression during the talking points – Just to make sure that you don’t slip into a Dave Mustaine impression.
14. Iron Maiden: “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin”, “Run to the Hills”
You’ll have another thing coming after you crush a karaoke performance of some Iron Maiden Classics. These are songs most people might realize they know until the chorus kicks in. After that, you’ll have won the crowd over!
Remember to be careful about the vocal entrances, because they don’t all start in the same place, And part of what makes this band great is defying expectations, and they almost single-handedly solidified the genre.
15. AC/DC (Alternative): “Back in Black”
Akin, I will recognize that we have AC/DC on this list twice, and many of you will know this already, but I think it’s important to split up the eras. I am a Brian Johnson defender, and I love this era of AC/DC.
The production, the giant guitars, And the embracing of their positions as arena rock gods. If Bon Scott’s Vocal style is a little bit too high, This is a great alternative.
16. Billy Idol: “Rebel Yell”
The last one on our list could have easily been first on the list and may be one of the most popular karaoke songs, regardless of genre. But with great power comes great responsibility, so don’t sing this song too late in the night because there’s a good chance someone else will, and because it’s so popular, you know everyone else will expect a good performance. It might be popular, but at least you’re not going up there and choosing Jolene for the 15th time tonight.