While the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett stated "it's five o'clock somewhere," not everyone holds the same standards for a happy hour. However, everyone ought to agree that fun and enjoyable music is key for any happy hour.
If you don’t quite know what to listen to during an upcoming happy hour, don’t worry at we've have you covered. Here's a list of our favorite songs to listen to:
1. Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"
This song was first released to the public in 1965, yet it has had multiple waves of popularity. Decades after Tom Jones made it an international hit, "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" made it a thing again thanks to "The Carlton Dance." Ultimately, "Glee" and "Dancing With The Stars" would also bring it back. Its single version is under two minutes in length, and it's full of hooks, horns, and pep.
2. The Strokes - "Someday"
When The Strokes first came out almost 20 (!) years ago, they were pegged as being a "garage-rock band" who sounded like Television and The Velvet Underground. Ultimately The Strokes evolved into being their own sort of thing, and "Someday" is a fun, jangly, guitar-centric song that could fill a dance floor at a wedding. As an added bonus, the music video includes the members of The Strokes competing against the members of Guided By Voices on "Family Feud."
3. Lindsey Buckingham - "Holiday Road"
While Lindsey Buckingham is generally thought of for his work with Fleetwood Mac, "Holiday Road" is absolutely one of the gems from his solo career. While the song is most synonymous with the "National Lampoon's Vacation" movie, it's pop perfection even without film credits. Fun fact: The keyboard-based dog sounds from this song are also heard in "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction.
4. Ratt - "Round And Round"
Ratt is often thought of as an "80s metal band," yet the group continued into the 1990s and still does healthy business as a touring act to this day. "Round And Round" was only one of the group's big hits and is arguably full of all the hair-band cliches, although Ratt's success was something that its peers would copy to the point that it all became parody. But the key is that "Round And Round" has a cool dual guitar solo, a memorable singalong chorus with call and response, and a great rhythm section groove. And if you're a comedy historian, Milton Berle is all over the music video for the song.
5. Eddie Murphy - "Party All The Time"
Depending on your age, Eddie Murphy was one of the best cast members of "Saturday Night Live," a top stand-up comic, a major movie star, or "that guy my parents think is hilarious." Whichever category you fall into, Murphy made a number of forays into music, and "Party All The Time" -- as produced and co-written by Rick James -- is arguably his best musical effort. It was an early MTV hit and it is overdue for a 21st-century cover by a modern artist who "gets it."
6. Paul McCartney - "Coming Up"
The Wings and solo catalogs of Paul McCartney are full of gems that do not sound much like McCartney's work with The Beatles. "Coming Up" is one of them, as it is funky, danceable and uptempo. As an added bonus, its music video is very funny, featuring McCartney as various costumed members of his backing band.
7. The Traveling Wilburys - "End Of The Line"
Speaking of Beatles doing their own thing, The Traveling Wilburys -- comprised of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, ELO's Jeff Lynne, and ex-Beatle George Harrison -- was one of the few supergroups that made two undeniably excellent albums. The Wilburys straddled the genre lines between folk, country, and rockabilly, yet "End Of The Line" is a harmony-driven gem that everyone can sing along to. It is reflective yet celebratory.
8. The Talking Heads - "Once In A Lifetime"
David Byrne and crew got a lot of people thinking with the percussion-heavy "Once In A Lifetime" as it is very cerebral from a lyrical standpoint. But it is comprised of hook after hook, even if you are listening to a version over four minutes long. If you want a less cerebral but still fun happy hour Talking Heads track, an alternative ought to be "Burning Down The House."
9. The English Beat - "March Of The Swivel Heads"
This song is one of those tracks that many people heard as part of a popular movie soundtrack but didn't realize that it was a real song. Most associated with the racing scene in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "March Of The Swivel Heads" is yet another example of The English Beat creating reggae for people who normally wouldn't want to listen to reggae. The lone instrumental -- aside from the "hey" shouts -- within his happy hour mix.
10. Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin' With Disaster"
Molly Hatchet is generally pigeonholed as a Southern rock band -- technically true given that the band formed in Jacksonville, Florida -- yet the group did eventually throw some ballads and crossover attempts into their repertoire. However, "Flirtin' With Disaster" has everything you would want in a Southern rock radio classic, from the boogie to the air guitar-able licks, to the Skynyrd-Esque lead vocals. Zac Brown should be doing music that sounds like this.
11. Thin Lizzy - "Jailbreak"
Ultimately covered and/or samples by the likes of Metallica, Everclear, Ice-T, The Beastie Boys, The Prodigy and Girl Talk, Thin Lizzy proved to be one of the most influential hard rock bands of the 1970s. While "Jailbreak" is a hard rock song, it is not so loud or heavy that a person who is turned off by metal will shudder. Instead, it is a story-driven song about people breaking out of prison, as peppered with guitar riffage and drum fills. At the very least, its mid-song police sirens ought to remind you to pace yourself so that your happy hour doesn't get off-track.