12 Days of Christmas # 3
There are millions of Christmas songs and albums to fill every Holiday cheer void known to human, Muppet or droid. But you can’t listen to ‘em all, so I’ve cobbled together a short playlist of my very favorite rock n’ roll Christmas-themed tunes.
The Kinks- “Father Christmas”: If pressed, I’d wager that this is one of my two absolute favorite Christmas songs every. It was released as a 45” single in 1977, which for me is well past the era of The Kinks I like best, but this tune and the B-side “Prince of the Punks” (a serious dig at punk rocker Tom Robinson) are 70s gems.
The Sonics- “Santa Claus”. The three-way split album Merry Christmas was released in 1965 and featured 3 songs from The Sonics, 3 from The Galaxies and 4 from the Wailers. The Sonics tracks are undeniably the standouts and “Santa Claus” is probably the best, although the other Sonics tracks are excellent as well. The only thing really Christmas-y here are the lyrics, because the music is good ol’ primitive 60s garage rock.
The Yobs- “Silver Bells”: The Yobs were the British punk band The Boys (and The Boys were one of, if not the best punk band of the era, in my opinion). They just switched up instruments and spelled their name backwards and cut a ton of holiday tunes. The Yobs Christmas Album from 1980 is 100% solid seasonal punk from front to back. I chose “Silver Bells” because it is the most traditionally Boys-sounding song on the platter.
T. Rex – “Christmas Bop”: Recorded in 1975, but not released until 1982, 5 years after Marc Bolan’s death, this tune is mid-70s Christmas bubblegum glam magic.
Joan Jett- “Little Drummer Boy”: Along with “Father Christmas” above, this Joan Jett tune is at the top of my list of favorite Christmas songs. It is 100% Joan Jett three-cord rock n’ roll. It’s neutral enough that it doesn’t sound too weird to listen to any time of the year, but it’s extra special in December. For me, Christmas music basically begins and ends with this song.
Run DMC- “Christmas Is”: Yes, this track and the accompanying video is nowhere near as good as “Christmas in Hollis”, which is an out and out Yuletide classic. But still, this contribution to A Very Special Christmas 2 is not without its charm. By 1991, hip hop was changing and Run DMC were trying to keep up. They weren’t very successful in doing so in my opinion, but what can you do?