Party Songs: 10 Essential Party Anthems for Every Genre


Album art from Christina Aguilera, Queen, Finger Eleven, Kiss, Steel Panther and the Beastie Boys.

10 Best Party Songs – Story by Anne Erickson

From the Beastie Boys to Christina Aguilera, here are 10 great party anthems in a variety of genres

As the decades progress, music and musical styles evolve, but one musical trend remains consistent: the party anthem. Whether you’re rocking out to a 1980s playlist or something brand new, the best party songs never get old. Those pulsating beats and fun lyrics get you ready for a night out. Moreover, pretty much every musical genre has at least one party anthem.

If you’re gearing up to hit the town with friends and are in search of a playlist that will satisfy every musical taste, we have you covered. Read on for the 10 Best Party Songs for Every Genre that will get you pumped up for a big night out. Listen to the discussion on the Audio Ink Radio podcast. If you’re in the mood for love, check out Audio Ink Radio’s list of the best love rock songs.

10 Best Party Songs for Every Genre

Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”

Genre: Alternative, rock, hip-hop

In the late 1980s, the Beastie Boys brought a musical party to the world with their smash hit, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” The song appears on the band’s seminal 1986 album, “Licensed to Ill,” and captures the mood and musical spirit of the time. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” was groundbreaking, due to its mix of rock and hip-hop. Aside from that, the lyrics are simply fun, with the Beasties encouraging listeners to fight, and fight hard, for their right to party it up.

Christina Aguilera, “Dirrty”

Genre: Pop

Pop ruled the late-1990s and early-2000s, but all that success often came at a price. Pop stars were not allowed to be themselves. Instead, record labels and management often pre-packaged these stars to young fans. In 2002, Christina Aguilera broke the mold and crafted “Stripped,” an album that she fully controlled. The album’s lead single, “Dirrty,” is an empowering party anthem, with Aguilera paving the way for female pop stars everywhere to get their party on just like the guys. Besides, who can forget the video for “Dirrty,” with Aguilera getting her dance on in a boxing ring?

Big & Rich, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”

Genre: Country rock

Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” is such a massive hit that even those who can’t stand country music have likely heard the jam. As with many of Big & Rich’s hits, the entertaining song meshes a bevy of genres, including country, rock and rap. The tune took Big & Rich to the top of the charts in 2004, thanks to its tongue-in-cheek reference and party-appropriate vibe.

Gretchen Wilson, “Here for the Party”

Genre: Country

Powerhouse country vocalist Gretchen Wilson released “Here for the Party” in 2004. At the time, it was her second hit on the charts, and following the massive success of her first single, “Redneck Woman,” and the song delivers. “Here for the Party,” which she co-wrote with Big Kenny and John Rich of Big & Rich,” is a fun, carefree song that captures the vibe of a fun night out at the country bar.

Finger Eleven, “Paralyzer”

Genre: Alternative, post-grunge, rock

The post-grunge and modern rock genres don’t offer too many party anthems. After all, the genres are built on angst and rebellion, not exactly a night out at the bar. That said, Finger Eleven broke the mold in 2007 with their dance-rock styled single, “Paralyzer.” While the song remains alt-rock with heavy guitars and distortion, it has a strong dance feel, with lyrics about a night out on the town, begging, “Well I’m not paralyzed, but I seem to be struck by you / I want to make you move because you’re standing still.”

Kiss, “Rock and Roll All Nite”

Genre: Classic rock

If there’s one band out there who knows how to party, it’s Kiss. That said, it’s no surprise that the band’s signature song, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” is one of the greatest party anthems of all time. The song, which features upbeat riffing and an anthemic chorus, is almost always the last to be played at Kiss concerts. Chances are, it will be the last song Kiss every plays live, too, when that day comes.

Nelly, “Hot in Herre”

Genre: Hip-hop

Let’s face it: The club can get pretty hot. Nelly captures that fizzle and fire in his 2002 hit, “Hot in Herre.” The song comes off the rapper’s 2002 smash, “Nellyville,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. “Hot in Herre” features catchy beats, party-hard lyrics and a hook-y chorus, with Nelly and his entourage exclaiming, “It’s gettin’ hot in herre!”

Queen, “We Will Rock You”

Genre: Classic rock

Rock music has a bevy of great party anthems, but Queen lead the way with their 1977 hit, “We Will Rock You.” The song starts out with pounding beats before Freddie Mercury launches into the anthemic lyrics and a chorus promises, “We will rock you!” The song is considered one of the greatest rock tracks of all time, and it’s been covered and parodied numerous times over the years.

Steel Panther, “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World”

Genre: Glam rock

Steel Panther revel in all of the favorite things of the glam metal era, and in that spirit, they’re the perfect party band. Head to a Steel Panther show, and you’ll be treated to a party-packed night out, with exaggerated stage antics and a fun atmosphere that will make you forget your worries. “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World” is one of the band’s most fun and outrageous.

Usher, “Yeah!” featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon

Genre: R&B, crunk

Sometimes, a party is so happening that words can’t even express just how much fun you’re having. In that case, a song like “Yeah!” does the trick, using one simple word to get across that this party, indeed, is “off the hook.” The song is part of pop culture at this point. It maintained the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 consecutive weeks back in 2004.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Music, Rock