[#022] "Holiday" music. Let's be real. It's Christmas time and therefore we will call it Christmas music. A lot of it sucks. A lot of it is recycled garbage, or it's cover versions of cover versions of cover versions. Everyone has different opinions on what are good Christmas songs, depending on what they grew up with, what is sentimental to them, or what have you.
Earlier today, I asked my friend Aaron the Audiophile what songs would he choose if he was to fill up a Christmas music cd to give to someone. He then posted a
So without further ado, below are my entries (alphabetical by song title):
A Saints Christmas - Kermit Ruffins
We'll kick things of with a fairly recently-released song by a local jazz musician, about how he wants the New Orleans Saints to go to the Super Bowl. I'm not a huge fan of local jazz or Kermit Ruffins, but I am a Saints fan, a New Orleanian, and so this song is great in that regard. An official music video exists but meh.
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Many people regard this as the all-time best Christmas pop song, or all-time best in general. In 1994, Mariah is hot and her vocals are even hotter. While the music itself is kind of bland, there's a hook and it's catchy as hell.
All I Want for Christmas is You - Vince Vance & The Valiants
A completely different song released in 1989 that shares the same title as Mariah's 1994 hit, which is from another New Orleans group.
Baby Born Today - Superdrag
The story behind this song is better than the song itself. Here's the short version: Superdrag were invited to record a song for a local compilation, but only half the band were able to make it. The studio laughed at them. So lead guitarist John Davis and his drummer sat there and came up with a brand new super-catchy song that ended up arguably being the best song on that disc.
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
Thanks to my yearly viewing of the Christmastime horror movie P2, I have a newfound love of this Elvis song, which I remember making fun of when I was little.
Carol of the Bells - Trans Siberian Orchestra
I pretty much like any version of Carol, but when you throw in wailing electric guitars doing solos and other crazy shit, it's a Christmas song that makes you wanna Christmas your ass off.
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love
Yeah, Mariah Carey did this one too, but I prefer the one that Billy Peltzer turned off during the intro to Gremlins.
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy - Tchaikovsky
Just makes me want to play Tetris, and that makes me happy.
Disgruntled Xmas - Local H
I loved this song as a teen because it's everything a Christmas song shouldn't be. I've kinda outgrown it, but some of those lyrics still make me smirk, like "I'd like to beat you on the head with that old yule log."
Do You Hear What I Hear - Johnny Mathis
Another Gremlins reference. I hear green guts in the blender.
Happy Xmas - John Lennon
Just a really well-written song. But what else would you expect from Lennon?
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
Gone are the days where talented vocalists accompany minimum arrangements to make something extraordinary. These days, it's sugar-coated autotune pop crap, some douchebag singing about a pair of shoes, or some ungodly remix of classics that sprinkle poisonous additives (I'm looking at you, new version of Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"). Rewind to a time, which is before my time, when Frankie ruled the radio.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
This is the one song that, to me, musically captures the indescribable magic that makes a Christmas song a Christmas song.
Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
This is the original, which got popular again in 1992 due to it's inclusion in the film Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. There's a bunch of crappy cover versions that get more radio airplay these days. I'm not even sure who they're by, but they are all inferior to this classic.
Last Christmas - Wham
Thanks to my mom, this tune gets me pumped up to put the decorations out. The funny thing is, the lyrics to this song have nothing to do with that. The song is about how someone got F'd over and is giving his heart to someone else this year. Yeah, whatever, I just dig the synthesizers and shit. Now hand me some more ornaments for this tree!
Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
Everybody needs a little surf rock, even in December. This very catchy song fits right in with the Beach Boys' entire catalog, and is just one of those songs you get to look forward to during Christmastime, because really, who listens to any the songs listed here in March or August? that's right, nobody.
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
Made famous again in 1990's Home Alone, it's another song that I enjoy listening to while "rocking" around the tree putting lights and stuff on it. It's a catchy bob-your-head-to-it feel-good song, and yeah, the newer cover versions can't compete with Brenda Lee, who turned 70 this year.
Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
Come on, man, it's like the Christmas variant of Johnny B Goode. This song was released way back in 1958, when my parents weren't even teens yet. I'm now well into my thirties and this song still kicks ass. Chuck Berry was the man, even though he played with his ding a ling a ling.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (live) - Bruce Springsteen
I don't know why i like this live version over any other version, but I do. It's not like I was there or anything, so there's no backstory, I just heard it on the radio and dug it. Maybe it's the saxophone, I don't know.
Silver and Gold - Burl Ives
This ties to the stop-motion film Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, where Burl Ive's played a snowman character named Sam, who both narrated the film and sang this song (as well as others). I always think of the part where the squirrel is trying to eat or unwrap a shiny present. Stupid animal. I hate squirrels. They make me want to set my garage on fire. But that's a whole different blog.
Step Into Christmas - Elton John
Holy shit step into the early 80s with the music video that I just saw for the first time today.
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Back when I was a kid, back before I knew who the Beatles or Paul McCartney was, back before I knew shit, I knew this song was cool and creepy sounding. I always liked it because it was different. It wasn't suicidal (like that goddamn shoes song, or any Christmas song by The Carpenters) but it wasn't bright and cheery either like your typical Christmas song. It just sat there in left field, by itself, being awesome.
well, that's a wrap. 'twas long enough, eh?