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BTS, Beyoncé, Prince: 9 Songs To Play On New Year's Eve
No matter where you come from, there's one countdown we can all join in together to celebrate: the end of the year. And across all time zones, cultures and traditions, there's one constant in this New Year's ritual: music.
Whether the bar band kicks into that special tune, blaring it out over the noisemakers and silent kissers, or the DJ eases the crossfade into that perfect song she's been holding onto all night, the music playing on New Year's Eve represents so much — where we are, where we're going and, most importantly, the moment itself.
From Prince and Van Halen to BTS, Tiësto and Queen Bey, here are nine songs ripe for any New Year's celebration that we promise will help usher in 2018 in sonic style.
Sure, we may not be entering the actual year 2000 this New Year's, but wasn't this timeless Prince hit always metaphorical anyway? Now, 18 years after the night it imagined and a whopping 36 years after the song was originally released (on the album of the same name), "1999" stands as a definitive party anthem. Few other artists' songs demand the listener to move the way Prince's do, and as "1999" suggests, "Life is just a party, and parties weren't meant to last." It also reminds us to live in the moment. — Nate Hertweck
If ever there's a couples jam for New Year's, it's gotta be Queen Bey's "Countdown." Through the "ups and downs" in love, Beyoncé professes love for her soul mate in this sweet and sexy confection, citing him as a perfect 10 and proclaiming, "He's still the one." Here's hoping you have someone to spend NYE with who's game to meet you at the finish line come midnight. — Tim McPhate
BTS, "Mic Drop"
K-Pop ambassadors BTS capture the attitude of living life to the fullest with their "Mic Drop" hit, which features a remix with Steve Aoki and Desiigner. The seven-member collective's "Mic Drop" boast — "Did you see my bag? It's hella trophies and it's hella thick" — bottles how BTS are capping their sensational year. If you're feeling unsure about the road ahead in 2018, try some BTS to bring your spirits up. — Philip Merrill
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas, "New Year's Resolution"
Get a jump start on making those New Year's resolutions with some classic soul by way of Otis Redding and Carla Thomas. As one might expect, the resolutions presented by the pair are perfect for couples looking back on a year's relationship: "Let's turn over a new leaf/And baby let's make promises/That we can keep." It all adds up to the perfect soundtrack for cuddling up to your honey as the ball drops and making a few resolutions to keep together. — Renée Fabian
Tiësto Feat. Jónsi, "Kaleidoscope" (Extended Mix)
Ethereal vocals courtesy of Jónsi, frontman/guitarist for the inscrutable Icelandic experimental rock band Sigur Rós, alternately counting upward from zero and encouraging collective unity, as "we sing in unison," open this extended mix version of the intro track from Dutch DJ/producer Tiësto's 2009 album of the same name. Over the course of more than five minutes, "Kaleidoscope" slowly builds across icy pads and airy, ratcheting percussion lines toward an ecstatic trance synth that burns like a bright white light before the bass finally drops and sets you free to dance your way into next year. Pro tip: Have the track cued up and press play at 11:54:05 p.m. The drop will kick in at exactly midnight. — Brian Haack
John Elliott, "At The End Of The Year"
In case you're feeling more reflective than turned up this New Year's, fear not — there's a perfect song for you, too. San Francisco singer/songwriter John Elliott's "At The End Of The Year," which was just released Dec. 15, is the perfect late-night/early-morning soundtrack for the baton pass from the old you, to the new you. On the first single from his upcoming album, North Star, Elliott sings with a fresh frankness, "Everything is changing down here at the end of the year," and somehow we know something better is just around the corner. It must be. — N.H.
Van Halen, "Bottom's Up!"
This deep track from Van Halen's 1979 sophomore LP truly bottles the template for the Southern California group's early combustible sound. There's Alex Van Halen's frenetic groove, Michael Anthony's steady bass playing and Eddie Van Halen's other-worldly riffing. Overseeing the musical proceedings is David Lee Roth, whose ringleader vocal antics make you feel like you're partying with the group right there in the room. Of course, the subject matter couldn't be more appropriate for celebrating New Year's. Per Diamond Dave, remember to fill your cup up. But please do so responsibly. — T.M.
Idina Menzel, "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
This classic New Year's Eve tune dates back to 1947, when it was written by Frank Loesser. It first charted for the Orioles in 1949 and since then it's been covered by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Kacey Musgraves, and in 2014, Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel. The "Rent" star included the track on her 2014 album, Holiday Wishes, and it reflects what so many of us are wondering on New Year's Eve: "Whose arms will hold you good and tight/When it's exactly 12 o'clock that night?" — R.F.
The Glitch Mob, "We Can Make The World Stop"
Bumping this massive 2011 dancefloor burner from electronic production wizards the Glitch Mob at full volume in a house filled with people is sure to help you forget the inevitable passage of time for at least the first five and a half minutes of 2018. "Stand still/pause clocks/we can make the world stop." Bonus points if your house comes pre-equipped with smoke machines and lasers. — B.H.