The Top 40 Christmas Songs That Made Me a Man, 1963-1983

12.20 the boss snl 2015
To me, there is nothing like seeing The Boss perform “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, like I did in Indianapolis back in 1985. This photo is from the SNL Christmas show in 2015.

Yes, that headline is sarcasm, as I roll my eyes at the thought of needing to explain this blog entry. I thought I had cleaned up all of my dogs’ solid waste materials in our neighbors’ yards this morning. And, now I am placing it on the net?

12.20 hall and oates christmas
Daryl Hall & John Oates and their crack band filmed one of the greatest Christmas song videos of all time. Parody and Sarcasm were the top words for the video.

During the discourse of yesterday’s “brilliant” blog entry, I told you that I had something of an epiphany while watching a mid-Seventies Christmas episode of American Bandstand and being blown away by an original Christmas song by Elton John, called “Step into Christmas”, which is now ubiquitous. But, it was at that moment that I discovered a pop music niche of yuletide delights. While I did have trouble finding this contemporary Christmas music in the States at the time, I have been trying to make up for lost time during the months of November and December in my attempt to make a very small contemporary Christmas music collection.

12.20 Crosby and Bowie
This 1977 Christmas Special of Bing’s signified my grandfather’s favorite singer performing with one of my favorite, David Bowie, in 1977.

Shortly after my holiday discovery, I uncovered a second piece of information in my budding focus on this new yuletide celebration – musicians take great pride in having the number one single during the Christmas season in Great Britain. Now, why was that important? Well, I was a teenager during the cynical mid-Seventies to mid-Eighties, which meant here in the USA meant our artists thought it was so uncool to record Christmas music. So, outside of some country artists, the US was not producing much in Holiday music. But, they were in the UK! So, I would write down every UK Christmas hit song from the years of 1975 through 1984 and have been searching for them to this very day. So, I must extend a big “Thank you!” to my favorite British artists could kept this method of celebrating the holiday season current.

12.20 Bob & Doug Christmas
I hope no one has forgotten Bob & Doug McKenzie during their version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which I first saw on SCTV back in 1981.

As the Seventies gave way to the Eighties, Christmas music found a home with the burgeoning New Wave and Hip Hop scenes popping up throughout the world. Now, music that was once denigrated as being lightweight or garbage was being embraced by the artists of these new musical genres. Sure, some the early Christmas music by these artists were recorded with their tongues firmly planted inside their cheeks. But, as sales increased, so did the solid quality of these new and covered Christmas songs. Dan Fogelberg gave us his transcendent “Same Old Lang Syne” while Kenny Loggins gave us his finest song to date, “Celebrate Me Home”. And while these songs never really mentioned the holiday itself, both did described fresh emotions being felt by millions of teens. And, that released the holiday genie who has never been put back into his bottle.

12.20 billy squier christmas is the time
Billy Squier performing on this new channel called MTV back in 1981. This became the video for his song “Christmas Is the Time to Say ‘I Love You'”.

As of this date in 2017, disparate artists such as Rob Halford, Sting, Twisted Sister, Billy Idol, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Gwen Stefani, Sia, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Jim Jones and many others have released Christmas albums and singles. And, now, there are so many compilations that I know of collectors who will purchase a multi-artist release just to obtain that ONE elusive song. And, while I have not gotten that bad, I definitely see the day during which I will succumb to that temptation. Until the, I will stick with my favorite artists’ Christmas releases and some of those special compilations that hold a large number of songs not in my physical collection.

12.20 elton john christmas
I DID step into Christmas with this guy, which jump-started this whole damn obsession. Thanks Elton!

Today, I would like to honor those Christmas songs that nourished my holiday celebrations as I grew to be the man I am now. This is my Top 40 Christmas songs of the first 20 years of my life. Some of these songs my old neighbors can attest to them actually being played on my porch during the dog days of those summer months. I guess I was practicing “Christmas in July” before I ever really remember hearing that phrase. What’s a kid to do?

12.20 waitresses christmas
New Wave entered the yuletide celebration with The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping”

Here’s my list of Christmas songs from my first 20 years of Christmases in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

Christmas of My Teens

  1. Alabama – “Christmas in Dixie” (1982)
  2. Billy Squier – “Christmas Is the Day to Say ‘I Love You’” (1981)
  3. Bing Crosby – “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (1963)
  4. Bing Crosby & David Bowie – “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” (1977)
  5. Bob & Doug McKenzie – “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (1981)
  6. Bruce Springsteen – “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1975)
  7. Buck Owens – “Daddy Looked a Lot like Santa” (1965)
  8. Carpenters – “Merry Christmas Darling” (1970)
  9. Cheech & Chong – “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” (1971)
  10. Clarence Carter – “Back Door Santa” (1968)
  11. Dan Fogelberg – “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980)
  12. Darlene Love – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (1963)
  13. Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Jingle Bell Rock” (1980)
  14. Dolly Parton – “Hard Candy Christmas” (1982)
  15. Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas” (1970)
  16. Eagles – “Please Come Home for Christmas” (1978)
  17. Elmo & Patsy – “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (1979)
  18. Elton John – “Step into Christmas” (1973)
  19. Emmylou Harris – “Light of the Stable” (1975)
  20. George Thorogood & the Destroyers – “Rock & Roll Christmas” (1983)
  21. Greg Lake – “I Believe in Father Christmas” (1975)
  22. John Lennon & Yoko Ono – “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (1970)
  23. Kenny Loggins – “Celebrate Me Home” (1977)
  24. Kurtis Blow – “Christmas Rappin’” (1980)
  25. Merle Haggard – “If We Make It Through December” (1973)
  26. Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmastime” (1979)
  27. Pretenders – “2000 Miles” (1983)
  28. Ray Parker Jr. – “Christmas Time Is Here” (1982)
  29. Slade – “Merry Xmas Everybody” (1973)
  30. Stevie Wonder – “Someday at Christmas” (1967)
  31. Stevie Wonder – “What Christmas Means to Me” (1967)
  32. The Band – “Christmas Must Be Tonight” (1977)
  33. The Beach Boys – “Little Saint Nick” (1964)
  34. The Beach Boys – “The Man with All the Toys” (1964)
  35. The Jackson 5 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (1970)
  36. The Kinks – “Father Christmas” (1977)
  37. The Ronettes – “Sleigh Ride” (1963)
  38. The Royal Guardsmen – “Snoopy’s Christmas” (1967)
  39. The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping” (1981)
  40. Wizzard – “I Wish Everyday Could Be Christmas” (1973)

Remember any of these? Some of them may be annoying to you, possibly all of them. But, to the Christmas fanatics out there who are my age, these were our Merry Christmas reminders. Kick out the Jams, Santa Claus!

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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