Ever been in the pub on a karaoke night with your new crew of skate homies, frantically trying to think of a song that can simultaneously show off your karaoke prowess and knowledge of iconic skate videos? Me neither; but we've made this list anyway just in case.
Now, this isn't just a list of 'Best Skate Video Soundtracks', we're looking exclusively for certified karaoke bangers that are guaranteed to have Doris and Terry boogieing in their mobility scooters; think something along the lines of 'Sweet Caroline' or 'Mr Brightside'. The songs also have to be easy enough that anyone can give them a bash without needing a vocal coach beforehand, which unfortunately rules out Kate Bush, as well as being well-known enough that you'll actually be able to find the song on a karaoke machine, so no obscure indie or alternative rock a la Alien Workshop. Most importantly, the songs have to make you instantly think of the part they're from, so it can't just be a random song you like that's played for five seconds in an old Bronze video.
The Proclaimers - 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' [John Rattray - Dying To Live, 2002]
Out of all the songs on this list, this one might just be the outright best karaoke tune. It's guaranteed to get the whole pub bouncing. The steady rhythm of the song works well with the skating, and the pairing of flying Scotsman, John Rattray, with an equally Scottish band makes it work even better - singing it in a Scottish accent is, of course, optional. Pretty sure this song is deeply engrained into the minds of everyone in the world (well, maybe just the UK) so you shouldn't have to worry about messing up the lyrics, and it's sung in a pretty simple fashion so you don't even need to be any good at singing, which is always a massive bonus when it comes to karaoke.
Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) [Ronnie Creager - Trilogy, 1996]
Although Eurythmics probably isn't the first band that comes to mind when you think of 90's skating, it works surprisingly well here with Ronnie's flawless tech, and there's no doubt this song is a banger of the highest order. Ronnie Creager's up there with Ronnie O'Sullivan as one of the most talented Ronnie's of all time (although I'm not really sure how long that list is). This part still holds up 26 years after its release, even if it's probably one of the lesser-appreciated parts from Trilogy (I mean the competition's pretty tough). The song only has like 12 different lines, which just get repeated over and over, so this is definitely a nice and easy one to warm up with if you're not a seasoned karaoke veteran - even Lettuce could probably pull this one off - and who doesn't love a bit of 80's synth pop?
The Who - Baba O'Riley [Jamie Thomas - Misled Youth, 1999]
This is an epic song for epic skating. It's nice and short, with a fair few instrumental bits providing ample opportunity to show off your air guitar, and it's sung pretty slow so it's fairly manageable if you're not too confident; you don't wanna get to the first verse of an 8-minute Stevie Nicks power ballad just to realise you don't actually know the lyrics as well as you thought. Having heard countless renditions of 'My Generation' and 'Behind Blue Eyes' in various Cardiff pubs over the years, it's safe to say that old people love The Who, and none of their songs are more suited to being shouted out in a rundown public house after one too many sambucas than 'Baba O'Riley'.
New Order - True Faith [Nick Jensen - Vase, 2015]
Featuring several former members of Joy Division - a band beloved throughout skating - it's no surprise that New Order are also used heavily in a number of iconic skate videos. But, of all the people to skate to New Order over the years, few fit their music as well as Nick Jensen. The music perfectly compliments Nick's skating, as he weaves together intricate lines through the cobbled streets of London, providing some much-needed warmth to the dreary English backdrop. While 'Blue Monday' is usually the more obvious choice for karaoke, that song's more blown-out than the Hollywood High handrails, and this is clearly the far superior choice. This is probably Mark Suciu's go-to karaoke song.
Natalie Imbruglia - 'Torn' [Trung Nguyen - Respectfully, 2021]
Of course we had to include some modern parts along with the classics, and what's a more iconic combination from the last few years than Trung Nguyen darksliding round a curved rail to Natalie Imbruglia's cover of 'Torn'? Songs from this era seem to have a certain je ne sais quoi which makes them absolutely slap for karaoke (Alanis Morisette is another prime example). There's just something wildly appealing about belting out this song in a dingy boozer after 12 pints and seeing short-necked, SA-drinking, old geezers bobbing their leathery, shaved heads along with it. Maybe I'm just overly romantic about the pub.
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart [Marc Johnson - Fully Flared, 2003]
Wasn't sure if this song might be a bit depressing for karaoke.
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door [Tyshawn Jones - Blessed, 2018]
Although this one's probably a bit depressing for karaoke as well, it was definitely gonna be on the list because I absolutely loved the pairing of this song with Tyshawn's insane victory lap at the end of the video. But, I couldn't find a clip with the sound so it's been relegated to the 'Honourable Mentions' section. I blame copyright and Supreme.
Janis Joplin - Piece Of My Heart [Elissa Steamer - Jump Off A Building, 1998]
Two extremely powerful female icons, the only reason this didn't make the list is due to the fact it's probably a bit of an advanced karaoke song. Would absolutely love to see someone smash this out though.
Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance [Jimmy Carlin - Feed The Need, 2007]
Another incredible skater/music combination, this one can be fairly quick which might make it a bit tricky. I was also skeptical about whether it would be available on a karaoke machine but it seems like it's available on Sunfly.
Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man [Guy Mariano - Mouse, 1996]
Arguably one of the greatest parts of all time, this song's perfect if singing isn't your cup of tea. I'd pay good money to see someone stand up in front of a packed-out pub only to whistle and hoot into a microphone for six and a half minutes. Bonus points if you do it by blowing on a beer bottle like they did in Sour Solution 2.
Avril Lavigne - Sk8er Boi
Gotta be done really. Not sure if it's actually been used in a part before but there's some wicked skating in the music video, and that counts right?
That's enough chit-chat though. Make sure to send us your clips if you use any of these songs, let us know any other bangers you would've picked, and head to the blog to check out more Top 5's from CSC. Safe.