From punk rockers to folk singers, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the Christmas music biz.
And you can’t really blame them. You have your classic Burl Ives and Nat King Cole holiday collections which seem to pop up every Christmas — with good reason. It’s classic stuff. But there’s always a push to expand the playlist.
Nothing wrong with that, and it’s worked out in some cases. Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” has become a holiday classic in its own right, as have a score of others.
Some of these latter day Christmas tunes, though, are somewhat odd. Take Bob Dylan’s recent Christmas collection. Say what you will about the man, but he is legendary. Then this:
Interesting. Others have surprised us with Christmas stuff. In Billy Idol’s case it’s not that he doesn’t deliver, but it’s one of those way-out-of-character things. You have to love the tongue-in-cheek nature of it though:
You have to go back a few decades for some of my favorite Christmas music oddities, though. Back around 1980, an odd pairing of Irish rockers Thin Lizzy and British punk legends the Sex Pistols got together and formed The Greedies. The band consisted of Lizzy’s Phil Lynnot, Brian Downey and Scott Gorham, who teamed with Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook.
The Greedies were a side project for Lizzy, but one hit they produced was “A Merry Jingle:”
Still, as with Springsteen, rock holiday tunes sometimes work — and not necessarily with covers. Not long after The Greedies did their thing, Billy Squier, who was then an up-and-coming musician who had left Piper and gone solo, did an MTV Christmas tune with the music channel’s original staff. What was cool was that it was an original rock tune that continues to get airplay.
So we’ll leave you with Squier’s underground holiday classic, “Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You.” And we’ll wish our Listening Room readers a Happy Holidays as we wind down to Santa Day.
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