I’ll make this short and sweet as my mimosa is getting warm. All of the Christmas mixes to me seem to have so many slow songs I’ve heard 1000 times already. Give me more Bruce Springsteen already. As a result of frustration, I spent three hours going through all the best soul, rock, rap and blues Christmas songs out there and narrowed it down to this playlist. The criteria to make the list is not that it’s just a cool band that did a holiday song, but that it actually sounds really good and makes you want to shotgun a can of eggnog. So, hit play and enjoy the day as music’s biggest legends bring their upbeat twist to the holiday magic.
Some of the highlights of this playlist:
- Clarence Carter’s ‘Back Door Santa’ that he released in 1968 contains the infamous horns that Run DMC sampled for Christmas in Hollis Queens. Both are on here.
- The Rolling Stones never did a single Christmas song, but Keith Richards covered Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run”
- AC/DC brings the house with “Mistress for Christmas”
- Legends Albert King, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder are everything right with music
- John Denver with the hilarious “Please Daddy don’t get drunk this Christmas”
- The Ramones “Merry Christmas (I don’t want to fight tonight)” sums up every family holiday.
- The Eagles “Please Come Home for Christmas” is sneakily fantastic with Don Henley in his prime
- DMX raps “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” that someone put a beat behind
- Snoop and Nate Dogg covering James Brown. Nuff said.
- Kurtis Blow became the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury. His first single was “Christmas Rappin.”
- John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ unfortunately is not on Spotify. Nor is the Greedies’ “Merry Jingle”
Some of the rejects I wish were good enough to make the list:
Alice Cooper – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Ariana Grande – Snow in California
Bob Dylan – It Must be Santa
Blink 182 – Won’t be Home for Christmas
Guns N Roses – White Christmas
Kanye West – Christmas in Harlem
Marvin Gaye – I want to come home for Christmas
Merle Haggard – If we make it through December
Neil Young and Johnny Cash – Little Drummer Boy
Pet Shop Boys – It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas
Prince – Another Lonely Christmas
Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas
The Kinks – Father Christmas
The Who – Christmas
Wham! – Last Christmas
Ying Yang Twins – Deck da Club