I have terrible taste in music. Actually, that’s not strictly true, I have very fine taste in music….I mean who doesn’t love a bit of Neil Sedaka in the car? Mr.R is on a mission to turn Luna into a Carl Cox fan before I can corrupt her with Abba but I digress. Christmas is the time of year where I can indulge my (o.k I admit, bordering on cheesy) taste in music and I’ll admit I really struggled to narrow this down to ten! I’ve tried to stay clear of the ‘big 70s classics’ (i.e. Slade & Wizzard) for no other reason than they are just so awesome that everyone going to listen to them regardless! Without further ado here are my top ten festive tunes – the perfect soundtrack to start the party season!
1. Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues & Kirstie McCall
I think this one will top quite a few peoples top ten festive tunes list. What I love about this one is its grittiness. It’s has a real edge of sleaze and sadness to it but at the same time gives you all the warm fuzzies that let’s face it, are a necessary ingredient of an iconic festive hit.
2. Last Christmas – Wham
Oh, George (and Andrew, mustn’t forget Andrew) where do I even start? The video for Last Christmas is everything I want the festive season to be and not even that awful woman giving poor George’s brooch away can spoil it for me!
3. Walking In A Winter Wonderland – Macy Gray
This cover of the 1930s original is just so cool! Macy’s gravelly vocals give this festive favourite a real modern twist but it never loses that classic Christmassy vibe!
4. Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
When I started to think about my top ten festive tunes I asked a few people what their picks would be and I was amazed by how often this one came up! It’s so delightfully upbeat and yet tinged with quite a heartbreaking undercurrent. The brass band immediately draws you into thoughts of Christmas’s past and it just seems to be the perfect snuggle in front of the fire with a hot chocolate song!
5. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie & Bing Crosby
The pairing of Bing Crosby, old-school crooner of White Christmas fame and a young David Bowie shouldn’t work but there’s just something about these two distinctive voices and the way they blend together. This was recorded not long before Bing Crosby died which adds another layer of poignancy.
6. Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow – Dean Martin
Dean Martin just has the dreamiest voice and I could listen to him sing let it snow let it snow let it snow all day! This is the perfect tree decorating song – fire on, glass of wine in hand…lovely!
7. Baby Its Cold Outside – Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews
Is it sacrilege that of all the versions of this Christmas classic it’s the Tom Jones version that does it for me? I don’t care, the video for this is epic (and was actually the inspiration behind one of my school Drama project)!
8. Mistletoe & Wine – Cliff Richard
I couldn’t do a top ten festive tunes without Mr Christmas himself – Cliff Richard. Mistletoe and wine has to be the ultimate Christmas classic. I actually don’t think its possible to get into the festivities until you’ve heard Mistletoe & Wine.
9. Chiquitita – Abba
Yep, I had to get them in somewhere. Although this doesn’t have Christmas (or even winter for that matter) in the song at all, the video was shot on a snow-covered mountain in front a humungous snowman and you really can’t get much more Christmassy than that! (Also don’t you just love that brummmph, bom, bom, bom at the end? Chills)!
10. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
Whatever happened to The Darkness? I loved the darkness! They were like a super tongue in cheek, super camp Queen (the band not you know, The Queen). Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) with is none too subtle double entendre is basically a piss take but it’s so catchy and so funny that it just can’t fail to raise a smile!
11. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Dean Martin
I ummed and ahhed about including this one (which is why its a little late to the party). Five years ago today we lost someone very special and this song evokes so many memories from that time. For me it’s not a party track, nor does it get me into the festive spirit but, I certainly don’t find it sad or upsetting. Whenever I hear it I stop, listen and remember. There’s great comfort in that and for me, this will always be one of the most special songs of the season.
What would you include in your top ten festive tunes?
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