Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

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The Guardian’s 1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear concludes with their selection of party tunes. This time I hadn’t heard nearly half of the songs, but I’ve included five below that I tracked down. The complete list would make a good playlist for any party and would be sure to get people out on the dance floor. I’m a bit late with this post as I’ve been celebrating the Irish rugby team’s victory this weekend

Spike Jones was an American musician and bandleader whose band performed parodies of contemporary hits and humorous ditties from the 1930s through the 1950s. Cocktails For Two started out as a romantic number before Jones and co got their hands on it. They add lots of jokey instruments to it to create a version that did not make its original author too happy

Cocktails for Two – Spike Jones

I was fortunate enough to see Richie Havens perform twice in concert. Havens opened Woodstock in 1969 and still continues to perform and record. He has a wonderful voice, a unique percussive style and an unusual way of playing the guitar. Going Back to My Roots was written by Lamont Dozier and was a hit for the band Odyssey in 1981

Going Back to My Roots – Richie Havens

The Specials were an English ska band who formed in Coventry in 1977. In their short-lived career they had a number of hit singles, including Ghostown, a number one in 1981. Nite Klub appears on their debut album and was also the B-side of their version of Rudy, A Message to You

Nite Klub – The Specials

The Cramps were part of the New York punk scene in the late 70s, blending punk rock and rockabilly to form their own unique take on the genre. Over the years, the only two constant members have been Poison Ivy on guitar and Lux Interior on vocals, until Interior’s death in February of this year. Drug Train was a 1980 single and seems to recall elements of Night Train by James Brown

Drug Train – The Cramps

Manu Dibango is a saxophonist from the Cameroon whose style of music drew on jazz, funk and traditional Cameroon music. His Soul Makossa from 1972 was popularised in the US by New York DJs and covered by numerous artists as the original was unavailable at the time. The word Makossa is Cameroon dialect for dance and the song has been sampled frequently on hip-hop and dance records ever since

Soul Makossa – Manu Dibango

1000 songs everyone must hear

Party songs: part seven of 1000 songs everyone must hear

The 51 songs that I haven’t heard from the Guardian.co.uk list of 162

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