Tag Archives: christmas songs

#TBT #Vinyl The Jayhawks, Blue, 1995

14 Dec

The Jayhawks Blue

The Jayhawks
Blue
American Recordings
1995

 

Here’s the blue vinyl 45 version of The JayhawksBlue. While it’s actually not a Christmas song, this promo 7″ version was packaged as a Christmas Song. 

The Jayhawks Blue

The Jayhawks Blue

 

#TBT #Vinyl – Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas, 1984

7 Dec

 

 

Band Aid

Band Aid
Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Columbia Records
1984

 

Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you. 

 

Band Aid

Band Aid

 

Christmas Songs of the 80s and 90s

17 Dec

Waitresses Christmas Wrapping

Any pop band from the 80s or 90s could have achieved immortality by doing one thing that most of the others didn’t:

Write and record a Christmas song.

30 years after a one-hit-wonder’s success faded, their one-hit would be relegated to some lunar rotation on a niche genre satellite radio station. It will rarely, if ever, get downloaded, streamed, or even remembered fondly.

But their holiday song will still be a staple for 6 weeks per year for all eternity. It will have people who didn’t even like the band back in the day singing along. And more importantly, people who weren’t even born yet will make this part of their annual must-hear oldies.

Case in point: The Waitresses

The Waitresses hit the New Wave scene in 1980 and eeked-out a minor hit, “I Know What Boys Like,” upon its re-release in 1982. Though it was in heavy rotation on MTV in ’82, it only reached #62 on the Billboard charts.

square pegs johnny slashThey also recorded the TV theme to Square Pegs thought it wasn’t a hit at all. (“It was a totally different head. Totally.”)

But how often are either of these songs heard? Not much compared to The Waitresses’ one holiday tune, “Christmas Wrapping.”  It was not a hit record, never even entering the charts in the US. But 35 years later, the song has somehow scored a top spot in everyone’s holiday song rotation. In the first week of this year’s Sirius XM’s annual Holly station, I heard it 3 times in 3 days. Or at least the first 30 seconds of it, which is usually juuuuuust enough for me.

Look at the one-hit download wonders of today. Who will still be heard 30 years from now? The ones with a Christmas song…

TBT Vinyl: David Bowie and Bing Crosby, Peace on Earth

19 Nov

bowie bing 2

David Bowie and Bing Crosby
Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy
1977, released 1982
RCA Records

 

Surreal television. Weird team-up in entertainment. Perfect musical moment.

 

In 1977 glam rocker David Bowie appeared as a guest on Bing’s long-running annual Christmas TV special, and they sang a duet after an awkward scripted setup. The song was a medley of “Peace On Earth” with the standard “Little Drummer Boy”.

Bing died a month after this was recorded, and a month prior to the airing of the TV special.  The song was finally released as a single in 1982. Also that year, MTV added the clip to its rotation as a stand-alone video.

After decades of forgettable holiday TV specials and variety shows with uninspired duets with artists from different genres, this performance stands out. At first you may think it’s due to the shock factor of the pairing: it’s the tiny point on the Venn Diagram where The Golden Age of Hollywood overlaps with Modern Rock. But shock value alone doesn’t hold it up this long. Two great voices do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Christmas Songs of the Modern Rock Era

5 Dec

Holiday reruns already? Not really…I just wanted to republish this post from last year for a quick break from discussing Social Media Marketing and PR this week. Let’s talk tunes!

Here’s my list of the best Christmas songs of the Modern Rock Era, which I’m defining as roughly the mid- 1970s through the early 2000s. You will find no Perry Como, Andy Williams, or Bing Crosby here (wait, we do have some Crosby….see #2…) What are your favorites to add?

10. Squeeze – “Christmas Day” (1979)

9. Captain Sensible – “One Christmas Catalogue” (1984)

8. Slade – “Merry Xmas Everybody” (1973)

7. Weird Al – “Christmas At Ground Zero” (1986)

6. Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” (2001)

5. Pretenders – “2000 Miles” (1983)

4. The Kinks – “Father Christmas” (1977)

3. Band Aid – “Do The Know It’s Christmas” (1984)

2. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” (Recorded / Originally Broadcast 1977; Released 1982)

1. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York” (1987)

The Pogues

Best Christmas Songs of the Modern Rock Era

23 Dec

 
For the holidays, here’s a change from discussing Social Media Marketing and PR this week. Let’s talk tunes!

Here’s my list of the best Christmas songs of the Modern Rock Era, which I’m defining as roughly the mid- 1970s through the early 2000s. You will find no Perry Como, Andy Williams, or Bing Crosby here (wait, we do have some Crosby….see #2…) I would love to hear your thoughts on these and others!

 
10. Squeeze – “Christmas Day” (1979)
 
9. Captain Sensible – “One Christmas Catalogue” (1984)
 
8. Slade – “Merry Xmas Everybody” (1973)
 
7. Weird Al – “Christmas At Ground Zero” (1986)

6. Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” (2001)
 
5. Pretenders – “2000 Miles” (1983)
 
4. The Kinks – “Father Christmas” (1977)
 
3. Band Aid – “Do The Know It’s Christmas” (1984)
 
2. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” (Recorded / Originally Broadcast 1977; Released 1982)
 
1. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York” (1987)
 

The Pogues

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