Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas
For a song that was once relegated as a B-side to a 45 in 1986, Driving Home for Christmas was released as an A Side in1988, it has since become a new Christmas classic. Chris Rea originally wrote the song for Van Morrison – as a car version of a carol as he describes it. Driving seems to be the UK version of Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You, as Driving Home for Christmas,https://youtu.be/DDt3u2Ev1cI, charts annually in the UK and in 2017 achieved it highest chart position of #14. The song is ranked in the top 10 of Christmas songs.
Jon Anderson – 3 Ships
Yes frontman released his solo fourth Lp, a Christmas album in 1985. Though not a critical or commercial success, 3 Shipsis a favourite of mine and it’s played every year. Watch the original video, and try not to cringe at technique in the making of the video, it was 1985 afterall, https://youtu.be/ZSU2TweA6CQ.
Sting – Soul Cake
From the album “Winter Song”, Soul Cake is in reality an All Hallows Eve song about souls. The term soul cake goes back to 1893. There is even a recipe for a soul cake. I think the lyrics of the song lend itself to a Christmas the tune itself fits nicely into my Christmas mixes. https://youtu.be/qAeTifNBYlo
If you haven’t got a penny
A ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny
Then God bless you
The Eagles – Please come Home for Christmas
The Eagles recorded this 1960 hit in 1978. Written and recorded and by Charles Brown, the song charted annually eventually hitting #1 in 1972. The Eagles version topped out at 18 in ’78. Please come Home for Christmas, https://youtu.be/5LUfDEATQHM, has been a hit 8 other times in the last 25 years, but the Eagles have the definitive version in the modern rock era.
Paul Simon – Getting ready for Christmas Day
Getting Ready for Christmas Dayhttps://youtu.be/bwy6hJULgm0was Paul Simon’s effort to secure the UK Christmas Number One in 2010 (he did not succeed). But Simon did leave us with a new Christmas song born out of the rhythm of his Graceland Lp and the lyrics that reflect realities of the new millennium.
Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
John Lennon and Yoko On wrote Happy Xmas (war is over) in 1972, no one knows if Paul McCartney was just waiting for the right time to write his own Christmas song. In 1979 McCartney wrote and single handily recorded Wonderful Christmastime, it hit #6 on the UK Charts and #83 in the US. Since ’79, the song has been recorded 25 times; my favourite versions are from the Barenaked Ladies, The Shins and Jimmy Fallon and the Roots (with McCartney) BUT nothing tops the original, https://youtu.be/V9BZDpni56Y
Everyone has their favourites, these ten, I mean eleven (I could not help myself) are some of mine, I hope you enjoy them and add them to your annual Christmas playlist. I can’t wait for more new Christmas classics in the years to come.
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