Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5 Pop Christmas Songs to Love

Say, there -- how about your favorite recording artists getting in the holiday spirit? Nothing screams commercialism like a pop star or group mining some old yuletide standbys. I've included links to the sound samples from in case you've never heard the version of the songs I'm mentioning. Here are five I really like:

1. Merry Christmas, Baby by the King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis Presley
It truly doesn't get any better than this, and that's why it's at the top of the list. Elvis at his bluesy best. This one really picks up steam as it goes along, and finishes quite well. A true standard.

  1. 2. Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

A little sappy, but a nice little toe-tapper, sing along (how about the Run, Run Reindeer part of the chorus?) -- always, always seems to get stuck in my head after I hear it. Standard Beach Boys from the era, but what's wrong with that?

3. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town by the Jackson 5

Little Michael just a'wailin' is what makes this song special. It's the familiar arrangement, but really amped up by Michael's vocals. This comes from their early era, back in the days of ABC, I Want You Back, etc.

4. Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon

A much better effort than Paul McCartney's Christmas effort, Wonderful Christmas, which gets a little tired after a very short time. Lennon manages to squeeze his mission for world peace into his Christmas offering. The children's chorus really sends his point home with emphasis.

Recorded right after the band scored mega-big with their live/studio combination Rattle and Hum album, this song is one of the true highlights of the very first A Very Special Christmas compilation. It's upbeat, Bono's vocals are great, and it's, like several listed before, a toe-tapper

Honorable Mention: Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid

I love this song, and to this day can pick out the various artists singing. While USA For Africa's recording We Are the World was equally important in terms of the talent assembled to play/sing, I just like this song better. It still evokes memories of those days when big time world issues were at the forefront of our MTV news, and giving was encouraged by our superstars.


The Groovy Agent said...

Whoo-hoo! Toss in the Eagles' "Please Come Home for Christmas" and Vince Vance and the Valiants' "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and we've got a party!

david_b said...

ACTUALLY.. I feel quite the opposite on 'Merry Christmas (War is Over)' and 'Wonderful Christmastime'..

I like John a lot (big Fab fan..), and his songs had depth(when they actually had a message..), but 'War is Over' is just a guilt-trip at Christmas, and I turn it off. Contrasting, it's not the Holidays until I play Macca's 'Christmastime'. The live version (on the rare bootleg 'Last Flight' CD) with Laurence Juber's guitar solo is FANTASTIC, and very festive to listen to..! The video's a bit homespun, but generally fun to watch them around the tavern folk.

Steve Does Comics said...

Here I am, topical as ever.

I don't think either song is particularly known in America but, for me, Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" and Wizzard's "I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day" have to be the best Christmas pop songs of them all. They're a national institution here in the UK.

I also have to mention Kirstie MacColl and the Pogues' "Fairy Tale of New York" and "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses.

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