Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top 10 Christmas Songs #1 Of 2014

Well I am back to spread some more holiday cheer with the gift of music for all of those who follow me. I'm kind of glad this isn't our last look at Christmas music. If this title is a little misleading it is not looking at Christmas songs just released this year but more like a random Top 10 of Christmas songs that I enjoy from all sorts of different artists, genres and decades. I have a lot of Christmas songs so I know I won't get a lot of them covered before Christmas is over at midnight on Thursday and the rest will have to wait for another year. Some of these songs will clearly be recognizable but some may also be overlooked or even lost classics but I have been listening to Christmas music since I was a little girl so I have heard a lot of different versions of traditional carols and Christmas penned originals so let's get this musical Christmas party started!
#10. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by The Pointer Sisters from A Very Special Christmas (1987)
The first in a series of compilation albums where popular artists of the time record versions of Christmas songs which the sales helped to benefit the Special Olympics is where you can find this 80s upbeat cover of the song first released back in 1934 and probably most famous because of the Rankin-Bass classic. I always enjoyed the harmonies of Ruth, June and Anita Pointer and the fun they seem to have singing together which is evident in this song.
#9. Winter Wonderland by The Eurhythmics from A Very Special Christmas (1987)
Okay I swear I am not cheating by putting this whole album up but it does have some very good covers and this one is exceptionally wonderful (pun intended!). The song Winter Wonderland was written the same time the previous song we discussed was also penned and even though not explicitly mentioning Christmas it is about discussing the beauty of winter and finding love which is probably why it is one of my favorite Christmas songs. This one is by Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox known to the world as The Eurhythmics is a very pop/jazz kind of number thanks to some of the scatting that Annie Lennox does in her very beautiful and powerful vocals to add some 80s flair to a very pretty song.
#8. Please Come Home For Christmas by Jon Bon Jovi from the album A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992)
While I will admit I am not a huge Bon Jovi fan, I do love the way he sings this song. He's not just a pretty boy rocker he does have a very nice voice that can handle this very soulful yet sorrowful Christmas tale about being alone during the holiday. Written in 1960, it's a more modern sort of classic and I think a lot of women remember Jon looking good in the video and well men remember Cindy Crawford wishing she was the gift under their tree that year!
#7. Here Comes Santa Claus by Elvis Presley from Elvis' Christmas Album (1957)
I don't think anyone can not like at least one song by The King and even though I like a handful the ones I enjoy the very most are his renditions of Christmas classics because the are either very beautiful to show off what a good voice he had and some of course are good for showcasing his fun side like this one. Written a decade earlier by country legend Gene Autry, it has such a whimsical charm that even Elvis doing that imitable drawl of his makes this such a happy song that I think even children will love it into adulthood just as much as I do!
#6. Silver Bells by Bing Crosby
A name almost always associated with the holidays thanks to White Christmas, Bing Crosby singing this song about the pretty decorations of bells during the Christmas season is spritely and jaunty thanks to Bing's whistling and reminds one of just the very simple reminders to the true meaning of Christmas: bells of the church celebrating the joy of Jesus' birth and even those of the Salvation Army workers dressed as Santa trying to earn money for those who have so very little.
#5. Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra
Probably the oldest published Christmas song on this list (written in 1857) it always gets stuck in my head even when it is not Christmastime and if not the chorus of the original than the opening of this Frank Sinatra version does I mean it's so damn catchy!
#4. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) by The Chipmunks
Since The Chipmunks cartoon series was a big part of my childhood I have heard this song for many a Christmases and others have had even more since this song first came out in 1958. I use to have a Disney Christmas Carol tape that had this song sung by another pair of chipmunks you may know as Chip And Dale but the trio of Alvin, Simon and Theodore will always remain supreme and if you ever get a chance to find the special A Chipmunk Christmas with this song you will be moved for that version has less comedy and more charm than its original version. No matter what I know Christmas is truly here whenever the radio plays this little gem...
(I posted the Chip And Dale version in case anybody has never heard it because well this is nostalgia for me and I wish to share it which is why I created this blog in the first place.)
#3. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
Just thirteen years old when she recorded the song released in 1958, Brenda Lee's biggest hit has been a holiday staple ever since. Though she mostly became know as a country oriented artist in her later career that doesn't stop this from being played on different genre radio stations around Christmas time. This is perfect for any holiday get together with its upbeat lyrics, Brenda's cheery voice and a sax solo to get your feet dancing around your own Christmas tree!
#2. Santa Baby by Madonna from the album A Very Special Christmas (1987)
Okay I promise that for this list this is the last Christmas song from the first A Very Special Christmas release for now anyway. Of course being an 80s child I love Madonna's music from that era and her version of Santa Baby is so upbeat, cheery, coy and pouty that it kind of reminds me of Betty Boop which I think is what Madonna was going for because even though most of her early songs had a more breathy sound it's been evident that Madonna has a strong voice. It's a very recognizable tune during Christmas time and is on the radio a lot and personally it is one of my favorite versions of the song and even one of my favorites in general.
So what could top this Christmas list like an angel on the top of the tree? Well it is another one of my favorite Christmas songs a more modern one and the artists who have the honor of being number one are of course my favorite people of all time... 
#1. Blue Christmas by Ann and Nancy Wilson from the album A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992)
First of all are you even surprised or shocked? Of course you aren't but are you surprised that Blue Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas songs? Yes most of the time this song is performed to be very sad and depressing but I have heard some versions that are upbeat and soulful and this version by The Wilson Sisters falls into that soulful category. Ann is the lead vocal but Nancy's harmonies in the background are just as strong and when you can hear Ann belt out these lyrics it's like hearing a lounge singer doing a torch song in a bar on Christmas Eve. You know some people are alone on Christmas they don't have families or they just get depressed by the holidays so they go to a bar to drown their sorrows where normally if you heard this song you would just give up hope. I guess I'm getting just a small bit of personal or biased opinion but when I hear this song it's not depressing it's almost kind of hopeful.
(Almost always this song is just attributed to Ann Wilson but the cd credits both Ann and Nancy and I should know because I bought it just for that reason!)
So that's a wrap on this list and I believe I might be able to fit one more random Christmas song list in for Christmas Eve day and then well I guess it will be another 365 days before we discuss the Christmas music again. So until tomorrow enjoy this Christmas gift of music.

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