What better way to celebrate it being a month today to Christmas than a list of my ten favourite xmas songs ever...in no particular order;
Delta Goodrem - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Delta's beautiful 2003 take on the John Lennon classic was a #1 single in Australia as the double a-side to Predictable. It was released here as the b-side to Not Me, Not I at the same time, but could have easily been a xmas single here, if not for the fact that at the very same time, The Idols - the Pop Idol 2003 final 12 - unleashed (a shockingly decent in my opinion) cover of their own of the song!!! She even found time to perform it on CD:UK the following year;
Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Who doesn't love this? Probably one of the first songs I ever recall hearing (and remembering), this Wizzard song reminds me of school fairs and the like in the (very) early 1990's!!! When you hear this song on heavy rotation, you know the festive season is impending, especially when they wheel out Roy Wood to sing it on GM:TV annually, and yes, he does still look the same as he did 35 years ago...is he eternally young, or did he just look really old when he was younger? Charlotte Nilsson ripped this song off beautifully in 1999 with Take Me To Your Heaven too...Swedish schlager owes a lot this song...
The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
An alternative Christmas song, this wasn't very big at the time (not even reaching the top 40!) but going on to become an underrated Christmas classic! Capturing the spirit of the early 1980's music scene perfectly, but with enough festive instrumentation to suit the mood, it's a singalong classic for those sick of Wizzard and Slade!!!
Pet Shop Boys - It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas
A 1997 fanclub release that nevertheless has received airplay since from various places, Pet Shop Boys are in fact finally releasing this commercially next month as the lead song on the 'Christmas EP'. Absolutely brilliant.
Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
Another way you know xmas is here, is when you see THAT jumper...Shaky's famous christmas jumper was a key part in his hilariously cheesy video to the brilliant Merry Christmas Everyone which was released in 1985, delayed by a year to avoide clashing with Band Aid and Wham in 1984. It worked, as it was a xmas #1, and deservedly so...easily the best song of his career.
Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
From 1994, this quickly went into the book of classics...Mariah's stunning festive pop song, All I Want For Christmas Is You, has become a modern day anthem, and has returned to the UK top ten more or less every year since downloads were counted in the chart!!! An odd tempo song, it is essentially a mid-tempo ballad, but feels a lot faster due to the quick pace of the backing music. Everything about this song is perfect, and this will remain a classic forever.
Gabriella Cilmi - Warm This Winter
Only released last year but already set to become a xmas classic, this song, which can be heard on the Co-Op advert (!) prevented Australian singer Miss Cilmi from being a one hit wonder, but still criminially failed to reach the top 20...taking the essence of the best 70's and 80's xmas songs and giving it a modern touch, this should have been a lot more successful 12 months ago!!!
Cascada - Last Christmas
There's no denying that Wham's Last Christmas is one of THE defining Christmas songs, but I've never been a particularly massive fan, although oddly I love nearly all of the cover versions I hear of it...maybe I just didn't like Wham!?! Cascada's 2007 version is my favourite, giving it a modern eurodance twist. Released as the b-side to What Hurts The Most, it became very popular in its own right and the video has been viewed almost 3 million times on youtube!!! Alcazar's version is running it incredibly close though, it has to be said...
Tony Bennett - Winter Wonderland
Easily the classiest song here, crooner Tony Bennett fused Swing with Christmas for this absolute classic. It needs no introduction.
Band Aid (any version) - Do They Know It's Xmas
This song is of course so bad that it's incredible. A perfect idea for a charity single, gather together all of the most popular artists of 1984; Culture Club, U2, Paul Young, Bananarama...or 1989; Kylie Minogue, Bros, Jason Donovan, Bananarama (again)...or even 2004; Rachel Stevens, Jamelia, Busted and a tragic rap interlude from Dizzee Rascal...ok maybe that wasn't the best version of the song! Still, it signals the festive season in no other way, is the UK's second biggest selling song of all time and is surely going to come back again at some point? anything to stop the X Factor juggernaut from stealing the xmas #1...bear in mind that the 2004 version did indeed stop first X Factor winner Steve Brookstein from debuting at #1, his horrendous cover of Against All Odds debuting only at No.2!!! There should be a Band Aid every year, then again...this year's would probably be all of the artists featured on the Young Soul Rebels song, although they'd have to get Bananrama along again just for the sake of it!!! Just because it was hilarious hearing Kylie singing next to Cliff, here is the 1989 version;