As the year winds down to a close we reflect on the tunes we will undoubtedly be hearing this Christmas. Though my Grandma never stops raving about Bing Crosby and The Ronettes I’ve got to say they certainly have it locked in terms of Christmas songs.
Here are the 12 best Christmas jingles of all time.
It’s November and we can already smell the rum cake and roast turkey. Harken back to the first time Saint Nick popped by with the 12 best Christmas songs of all time.
12. The Kinks – Father Christmas
This 1977 classic is undoubtedly Kinks in every way. It tells the tale of a department store Santa Claus who gets stood up by a group of impoverished children who have no interest in toys or Christmas cheer.
11. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)
Just one month before Bing Crosby died he cut a brilliantly bizarre duet with the Star Man. David Bowie reportedly hated Little Drummer Boy but was willing to record it for a chance to work with Crosby, whom his mother loved.
The duet was recorded for a TV Special called Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas is a truly heart warming display of two greats coming together for some Christmas cheer.
10. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)
Joey Ramones plea to end the Christmas war on the domestic front is assuredly the crowned king of punk Xmas anthems. However the sentiment is as pure as the it’s rock roots, nobody wants to fight on Christmas.
With a particularly fiery Ramones riff in the holster this will surely heat up your Christmas dinner.
9. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Phil Spector produced the song with the Harlem Community Choir and now few people even associate the song with war.
8. James Brown – Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
Mr. Dynamite gives Father Christmas his marching orders. Head to the ghetto and tell them ‘James Brown sent ya.’
At the heart of all the blazing and horns and tongue in cheek lyricism is a powerful message. James Brown just wants the underprivileged kids to have the Christmas he never got to enjoy.
7. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Although Jewish songwriter Johnny Marks didn’t celebrate Christmas he wrote some certified hits throughout the ’40s and ’50s. Among them are Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, I Heard The Bells of Christmas Day, and this easy going rock n’ roll tune sung by a 13-year-old Brenda Lee.
6. Vince Guaraldi – O Tennenbaum
Drenched deeply in nostalgia, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a delightful dose of smooth West Coast jazz and O Tennenbaum is the crowning jewel.
The Vince Guaraldi trio achieve a stunning confluence of wintery introspection and upbeat anticipation, for what is now some of the most visually evocative American music in history.
5. Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
In 1957 Elvis Presley released one of the greatest Christmas album of all time topping the Billboard charts for a month and going on to sell 20 million copies.
Sitting pretty atop the throne however is Blue Chistmas, now one of the most recognisable holiday tunes ever and an undying reflection of the legacy of the King.
4. Elton John – Step Into Christmas
A tribute to Phil Spector’s famous ‘wall of sound’ production, Elton John‘s Step Into Christmas seems to get more and more famous every Festive Season.
It is definitely one hell of a Christmas song though and it’s nice to see Bernie Taupin in the film clip. Sure to be even more popular after the recent release of Elton’s autobiography and big screen biopic earlier this year.
3. Ella Fitzgerald – Winter Wonderland
The First Lady of Jazz certainly comes in swinging on her first Christmas album. Jingle Bells is such a galloping, whopper that you might miss Winter Wonderland.
Christmas is also a time of introspection and perhaps a little dose of the blues. This is where Winter Wonderland truly shines and Ella Fitzgerald shows her talent for perfection.
2. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
David Letterman used to say “Christmas doesn’t start till I hear Darlene sing.” Arguably the only Christmas song, no one can quite match Darlene Love’s sheer emotion and vocal power.
A Christmas Gift To You from Phil Spector is one of the most recognisable pop records of all time and Darlene Love is the unrequited queen of the album.
1. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
The unofficial ambassador of Christmas music, Irish crooner Bing Crosby was written into the annals when he covered Irving Berlin’s White Christmas selling 50 million copies and launching endless re-imaginings.