Personally, I have wrapped up some many memories with many of the songs in this countdown that I can actually relive many of those memories while writing these entries. So, let’s see what’s in my next 10 songs, the first of my Top 40.
40. The Beach Boys – “Little Saint Nick” (1964). My admiration for Brian Wilson grows by leaps and bounds as I get older. Who know that the quintessential surf band could make perfect Christmas music? This Wilson original proves its natural.
39. Whitney Houston – “Do You Hear What I Hear” (1987). When I bought the first A Very Special Christmas album, I was excited to hear what Whitney Houston would do with this anti-war/anti-nukes Christmas protest song. Of course, she pushed that song into another dimension. I know my jaw must have hit the floor by the end of the song when I first heard it.
38. Clarence Carter – “Back Door Santa” (1969). Easily the “dirtiest” Christmas song in my countdown, but it’s adult humor is what makes it so good. Plus, it is sampled in the great hip hop Christmas song of all-time. But, let’s take a moment to praise the original! One collector fact: On the original vinyl and CD versions of A Very Special Christmas included a version of this song recorded live by Bon Jovi. Lately, Jon Bon Jovi has replaced this song on newer versions of the album with another song, which is way more lame. And, I don’t know why this has happened. If you know, please explain the reasoning in the comments. I’d love it if JBJ himself would comment.
37. Prince & the Revolution – “Another Lonely Christmas” (1984). No one was hotter at the end of 1984 than his Purple Highness. And this B-Side was his entry into the holiday sweepstakes. Who knew that hot tubs worked so well at Christmas time.
36. Vince Vance & the Valiants – “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (1989). Do not confuse this song with Mariah Carey’s. This song is in the vein of Billy Vera & the Beaters’ “At This Moment”, and just like that song, I can never get it out of my head when I hear it.
35. Stevie Wonder – “Someday at Christmas” (1967). This song touched my soul at an early age. I love the prayer-like quality of the lyrics coupled with the impeccable music. This song has been an big influence on my life.
34. Cee Lo Green Featuring The Muppets – “All I Need Is Love” (2012). Why isn’t this song being played to death on Christmas radio? It is a modern classic, based upon a sample of The Muppets’ “Manuh Manuh”. This is holiday fun at its finest.
33. Queen – “Thank God It’s Christmas” (1984). 1984 was a stellar year for Christmas songs over in the UK. And, when the granddaddy of all Seventies bands makes their entry in the holiday sweepstakes, I was ready to hear it. Of course it’s magnificent!
32. Alex Chilton – “The Christmas Song” (1986). The former singer of The Box Tops (“The Letter”) and my beloved Big Star released this song on The dB’s and Friends’ Christmas compilation. This stripped down version of this over-done classic is just beautiful yet stark and soulful.
31. Madonna – “Santa Baby” (1987). Yes, I choose Madonna’s version of this song over Eartha Kitt’s sexy original or Kylie Minogue’s recent take or Everclear’s grunge-lite version, because I like Madonna’s music. There! I said it! Next!
Oh wait! “Next!” is for tomorrow, lest I get ahead of myself! Later!