Christmas time is back and all the great music is back with it! Here (in two parts) I present 10 songs that should be called Christmas Classics.
Run with the Fox – Chris Squire and Alan White
Born out of the failed launch of a new band XYZ with Jimmy Page, the Yes bassist and drummer, Run with the Fox was written and recorded in 1981and released under Chris Squire/ Alan White partnership. The Boys Choir and musical arrangements including the classic Yes bass guitar sound, just ooze Christmas. I feel lucky that I have a promo copy of the 45 from 1981 scooped up (with permission) from a radio station I was interning in that year. Take a listen https://youtu.be/TZqRDCif7Ig.
Christmas Must Be Tonight – The Band
Jimmy Nelson in Something Else called Christmas Must Be Tonight an unjustly overlooked Christmas classic, here’s the link ofthe review http://somethingelsereviews.com/2016/12/25/the-band-christmas-must-be-tonight-robbie-robertson/. Nelson gives more history into the tune, so I’ll let his review tell the story of the sone.
Since reading Robbie Robertson’s Testimony a couple years back and diving head first into to The Band, it’s become of one my Yule faves. The song was recently covered by another Canadian band Blue Rodeo for their Christmas offering A Merrie Christmas to You
2000 Miles – The Pretenders
For a recently written Christmas song, 2000 Miles has been covered quite a few times. Originally written for the Pretenders late guitarist James Honeyman-Scott in 1983, 2000 Miles charted at #14 in the UK that year. In North America it was a B-Side to the single, Middle of the Road. This year I heard for the first time the 2003 Coldplay version, which is quite stunning. The contract between the beautifully played guitar-focused Pretenders recording the piano based Coldplay version was great for my ear to behold. From 1995, here’s a performance video of the song with a nice string arrangement by Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, https://youtu.be/OxCSo_cJ9mY
All I want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
What else can you say about a song that makes a Top 100 return every year since its release, but to say it is a new Christmas classic. The song topped out at number 9 in 1994, but has made an appearance on the Billboard chart almost annually since then. Many artists have recorded the song and a duet of the song appeared on Justin Beiber’s Christmas alum in 2011. “All I want for Christmas is You is the 11th best selling song in music history. Love itor not, this song is here to stay, https://youtu.be/yXQViqx6GMY.
Step into Christmas – Elton John
1973 saw Elton John score another number one hit with Step into Christmas. It was the top Billboard Christmas song of the year. Teamed up with the B-Side Ho Ho Ho (Who’d be a Turkey for Christmas) Elton finished a successful musical year with a real Yule winner. In ’73 it reached spot 24 on the charts and in 2017 when it was re-released it almost hit the top 10, stalling at #11. The song was written and recorded as a tribute the Phil Spector recordings of the 60’s. in 2009, Step into Christmas as the ninth most played Christmas song in the UK and has received a UK silver disc for sales. In the video https://youtu.be/QWMqfKjJoKc you see Bernie Taupin make a rare appearance with the band ‘playing’ the chimes and shaking bells.
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