With New Year's Day 2014 right around the corner, it's the time of year for parties, celebrations and get-togethers, and it goes without saying that music will be a major part of various festivities.
Music certainly can set the ambience as a key ingredient for a festive New Year's Eve celebration, and this article will attempt to point out some songs that are appropriate for this time of year.
The 10-song listing is headed by the traditional and familiar favorite "Auld Lang Syne", with the remaining nine songs all containing the words "New Year" or "New Year's" in the title.
Most of the selections will prove familiar to many fans of oldies pop music, and likewise, most of the recording artists are quite well-known. The respective recordings span a four-decade time frame, ranging from 1943 to 1983.
So here, for your convenience and listening pleasure, is a compilation of 10 songs that may help get you in the mood for a festive New Year's celebration, and to hear any of the songs, simply click on the title.
- "AULD LANG SYNE" (Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, 1953) is one of the most familiar songs associated with New Year's celebrations, and this rendition was performed in New York City's Times Square in conjunction with the ball drop for more than two decades until Lombardo's death in 1977. "Auld Lang Syne" is a poem written by Scotsman Robert Burns in 1788, and set to the tune of a traditional folk song, it's traditionally sung at the conclusion of New Year gatherings worldwide.
- "LET'S START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT" (Bing Crosby, 1943) is all-time favorite, after originally being featured -- along with "White Christmas" -- in the film "Holiday Inn." Performed by one of the top American entertainers of the 20th Century, the record ascended to the No. 18 position on the Billboard charts, and the instrumental backing was provided by brother Bob Crosby's orchestra.
- "WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR'S EVE?" (Orioles, 1949) -- one of the most popular songs written about the New Year -- is an all-time favorite written by Frank Loesser in 1947, and this was the first chart single of the tune. It peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Best-Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues chart, and other charted renditions were performed by Dante & The Evergreens (No. 107, 1960) and Nancy Wilson (No. 17 on the Christmas Singles chart in 1965).
- "NEW YEAR'S DAY" (U2, 1983) was the prominent Irish band's first hit outside of Ireland or the UK. This song provides a different take on the New Year, and although it only charted at No. 53 on the U.S. charts, it did make the Top 10 in a number of European countries, including Great Britain, Ireland and Norway.
- "IT'S ANOTHER NEW YEAR'S EVE" (Barry Manilow, 1977) was one of the early songs written by the famous Brooklyn-born singer-pianist, who churned out 25 Billboard Top 40 hits over a 10-year period, beginning in 1974. The song is based on a melody from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Goldberg Variations", and the recording reached No. 33 on the Billboard adult contemporary listings.
- "RINGING IN A BRAND NEW YEAR" (Billy Ward & The Dominoes, 1953) was performed by one of the premier American R&B groups of the 1950s. All of the original group members came from New York City gospel groups, and such great vocalists as Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson got their start with The Dominoes, but Billy Ward sang lead on this recording on the King label.
- "HAPPY NEW YEAR" (Nat King Cole, 1963) features the immortal voice of Nat King Cole, backed by the orchestra of Gordon Jenkins, who wrote the song. The lyrics refer to past loves and a look back to the past with nostalgia and happiness. The singer had dozens of Top 10 hits after launching a solo career in 1950 after performing with a number of groups in the Big Band Era.
- "NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION" (Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, 1968) is a love song is all about a couple acknowledging their flaws and making resolutions to get past difficult times and focusing on taking care of each other. This was the third and last single by Otis and Carla as a duo on the Stax label, and it was the flip of No. 60 national charter "Lovey Dovey." Redding, who died in a December 1967 plane crash, had eight posthumous Billboard Hot 100 hits.
- "FUNKY NEW YEAR" (Eagles, 1978) was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the only two members to perform on all of The Eagles' recordings. The Los Angeles group had 17 Top 40 singles on the Billboard pop charts between 1972 and 1994, and this was the flip of the prominent holiday song, "Please Come Home For Christmas."
- "HAPPY NEW YEAR, BABY" (Johnny Otis & His Orchestra, 1947) was recorded by a bandleader -- born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes near Berkeley, Calif., of Greek parents -- who was arguably the most prominent white artist in history of rhythm and blues. R&B. The vocals were provided by Lem Tally and Cathy Cooper.
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