1. "I Believe In Father Christmas" - Greg Lake
Originally of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame, this was Greg Lake's first foray into the solo musician world. It would actually be his only hit as a solo performer. It hit the perfect Christmas vibe right on the head. Capturing the wonder of the holiday season we all remember from our childhoods and giving the song a great build up to it's wonderful finale.
2. "A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn't So)" - The Flaming Lips
This song comes off The Flaming Lips 2003 EP Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell. This Oklahoma City college rock band is known for their songs with storytelling and fantastical lyrical content. Everyone gets a little soft side around Christmas.
3. "The Coldest Night Of The Year" - Hawksley Workman
This song is a cover of Bruce Cockburn's song of the same name, and while the original might not have been intended as a Christmas song, it fit very well on Workman's 2011 Christmas album Full Moon Eleven.
4. "Winter Wonderland" - Cocteau Twins
Not all bands opt to create a new song for the season, many others simply add their own distinct tinge to already beloved classics. Scotland's Cocteau Twins recorded a version of "Winter Wonderland" for a 2 song EP in 1993 called Snow. They added their distinct use of airy instruments and dreamlike vocals to put a more modern spin on the carol.
5. "The 12 Days Of Christmas" - Bob & Doug McKenzie
Good Day. Bob & Doug McKenzie gained fame from being part of SCTV a sketch-com television show from the late 70's and early 80's. It was created by a comedy troupe in Canada known as Second City and many Canadian comedians got their start from being apart of it. John Candy, Eugine Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara to name a few. Bob and Doug were portrayed by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas and became National icons for their over the top Canadian characterizations. This is their take on a perfect Christmas from the great white north.
6. "The First Noel" - Crash Test Dummies
Another contempory rendition of a classic Christmas carol from a few more Canadian icons. The Crash Test Dummies hailed from Winnipeg, Manitoba and were known for Brad Roberts very distinct baritone vocals.
7. "Thank God It's Christmas" - Queen
Though not being released officially on a Queen album until 1999, "Thank God It's Christmas" spent Christmas and New Years in UK at #1 on the charts when it was released in 1984. It also did not get an official promo video with it's release, because of this and the exclusion from being on an album, gets this song forgotten among great Xmas songs. But damn...it should really be up there with "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo".
8. "A Spaceman Came Travelling" - Chris De Burgh
Long before Chris De Burgh had a monster hit with "Lady In Red" he was broke and staying on his friend's couch. De Burgh spent alot of time reading and came across Chariots Of The Gods? by Erik Von Daniken. He started writing and playing with the idea that the star of Bethlehem was actually a space craft and thus this song was penned. It failed to chart initially but gained a second life around Christmas time after "Lady In Red" broke through in 1986.
9. "Last Christmas" - Jimmy Eat World
Just like some bands will give us their interpretations of classic Christmas carols, Jimmy Eat World recorded a version of another beloved festive tune. Originally released by Wham! "Last Christmas" has become the "Knocking On Heavens Door" of Christmas songs, almost everyone has done a version.
10. "Father Christmas" - The Kinks
One of the best known and sideways Christmas songs there are. "Father Christmas" is The Kinks making a song for the holidays the only way they know how. It's about a kid who always knew that Santa was merely parent's tricking their kids and ends up portraying St. Nick outside a department store. He then gets mugged by kids who are looking for money instead of toys. In a way it's a different to remind people that Christmas isn't always a joyous time of year for everyone and we should do what we can to make sure no one is forgotten.
Hope that will help plump up your Xmas song playlist.
Have a good holiday season everyone!
I'll be back soon to give you the Best Songs Of 2014!!