What Is the Best Hold Music?

When you’ve called up your friendly neighbourhood energy company, or your doctor’s surgery, local council, or internet provider, like death & taxes, it’s nearly certain that you’ll be put on hold. While sitting around not talking to someone with an ever-sweatier phone to your ear is pretty annoying, there is a genuine upside to being on hold for a while – rocking out to some sweet tunes.

Sure, most places tend to play generic lift muzak with the occasional promise that “your call is important to us, you’ll be with an operator soon, please stay on the line.” But the endless muzak loop, where telephone customer service goes to the dark side, isn’t always the case: once in a blue moon, you’re placed on hold and treated to a miracle. You get a song that you really love, or one that gets stuck in your head, or one that reminds you of a great summer holiday.

So, here’s to you, classic hold bangers – we at Virtual VIP are celebrating our top ten of the best on-hold jams ever. Hopefully, next time you’re on the line, you’ll get one of these pop gems.

10. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston

One of Whitney Houston’s biggest hits. This is a funky ,disco-tastic tune that’s perfect for belting out, preferably at as loud a volume as possible. Instantly catchy and cheery, with an exceptional key change halfway through, you’ll probably be singing to the operator before you know it. Rihanna’s got a long way to go before she can outshine the queen of R ‘n B!

9. Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe – Barry White

Oh, Barry, we can’t get enough of your deep, rumbly bass and fantastically funky image. ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe’ is an instantly-recogniseable 70s classic. A pure slice of soul, probably featured on a Tetley Tea advert of yesteryear, and it’s impossible to listen along without smiling.

8. Stars – Simply Red

Well, this is considered one of the best on-hold songs to listen to – in Lincolnshire, at least. A study conducted by Lincolnshire County Council proved that inoffensive “beige pop” halves the number of people who hang up while they’re on hold. Huh. Who could’ve guessed that the majority of customers would rather listen to Mick Hucknall than M People? Perfect for when the operators only pick up when they’re Simply Ready (groan).

7. Easy – Commodores

Ahhh ahhh ahhh-hhhhh… you’re lying if those three distinctive opening cords didn’t just pop into your head! A long, slow ballad inspired by country and western music, this is a very, uh, easy song to happily listen along to. Like Sunday morning. And when they pick up that phone, you’re gonna’ be high… so high…

6. Anything by Mozart

Unfortunately, Mozart isn’t particularly popular around these parts due to us Brits being a classy, refined, “cheese and wine” people with a great taste for classical music. It’s just that Mozart’s compositions are out of copyright and therefore really cheap to use! And don’t even get us started on the mythical Mozart Effect

5. Proud – Heather Small

Now, this is a song that actively encourages a bit of belting – Heather Small’s voice is, well, certainly not meek & timid, shall we say. This is loud, upbeat, and incredibly nostalgic for those over twenty. A massive tune, laden with big vocals, classical elements, one of the catchiest hooks of the 1990s, and “ooooohs” galore. Heather should be infinitely proud of this hold music wonder.

4. Korobeiniki (The Tetris Theme)

A lot of companies use popular video game themes for their hold music. The omnipresent and ever-popular theme to Tetris is used in tonnes of places, and for good reason: it’s catchy, it’s well-known, and once you’ve heard it… you just can’t give up… you just have to get to the next level…

3. Take My Breath Away – Berlin

Come on, you all know this one! One of the greatest and cheesiest movie soundtrack songs of all time, this anthemic power ballad drives your urge to run, jump and dive in slow motion, regardless of location – living room, office, in the street, on the bus… You may be on hold, but you’re ready to be a wingman any time. A real highway to the danger zone!

2. All By Myself – Celine Dion

Celine Dion is one of the most popular recording artists, so it’s not that surprising she’s popular for hold music… is it? Not only is All By Myself typically powerful, it’s also heartfelt, tear-jerking, passionate, and… a cover! You may be all by yourself waiting for some good old-fashioned customer service, but Celine is on the line, right there with you. Plus, it’s not the incessant drawling of My Heart Will Go On. Thank goodness.

1. If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher

Where would any list of beltable, feel good hold hits be without the queen of cheesy pop herself, Empress Cher the First? This is one of her most memorable tunes, an inexcusably glittery classic of 80s pop, complete with crescendos, key changes and drum riffs Phil Collins himself would be proud of. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but… let’s be honest, those people are probably lying.