Discover And Relive A Classic Rock Christmas With Our 10 Song Picks
Bing Crosby and David Bowie for their Christmas collaboration - James Christian Jr: The Rising Phoenix / Youtube
The holidays are almost at your doorstep, and what better way to greet it than with a good ole’ fashioned rock and rollin’? Christmas is an all-encompassing celebration that has seeped into the rock music ethos to give the cheerful occasion a kick in the oomph department. Here are some classic rock Christmas songs that celebrate the spirit of the season in our exciting list of ten memorable cuts!
“Christmas is the Time To Say I Love You” – Billy Squier
Billy Squier celebrates the Christmas spirit with MTV staff and VJs when he performed “Christmas is The Time To Say I Love You”. The people sang along with him as he led them, making this B-side to “My Kinda Lover” a memorable Yuletide hit.
“Christmas All Again” – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Tom Petty is aided by his trusted backing act, The Heartbreakers, in this feel-good Christmas tune that follows his classic rock sound making every word and note interesting from start to finish. The song was a part of the compilation album, A Very Special Christmas 2, which benefitted the Special Olympics.
“Little Saint Nick” – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys show off their vocal harmony chops with their original Christmas song, “Little Saint Nick”. It was written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson, who ironically had to sue the band many years later for official credit on the track.
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
The promotional approach of Lennon and Ono for “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” was to fill billboards across the US saying “WAR IS OVER (If You Want It)”, which are part of the songs lyrics as it is driven by an anti-Vietnam war sentiment.
“Please Come Home For Christmas” – Eagles
The song was originally written in 1960 but was covered by the Eagles in 1978, becoming the first song to feature Timothy B. Schmit on bass, replacing Randy Meisner. It was a change of pace for the Eagles who were known for their country rock leanings.
“Father Christmas” – The Kinks
Punk as usual, the Kinks sent a message against class segregation with some Christmas cheer in the form of “Father Christmas”. Complete with a story of a department store Santa being beaten up by poor kids who demand money instead of toys, it gets better when he’s told that he can give the toys to the rich kids.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid
The iconic mammoth collaboration between industry greats like Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, George Michael, Simon Le Bon, and Boy George, among others, was spearheaded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to assist in the Ethiopian famine relief. They eventually raised 8 million pounds from the sold copies, and also became a trailblazer for 1985’s Live Aid event.
“The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
The David Bowie and Bing Crosby tandem put together the classic “Little Drummer Boy” and their original “Peace On Earth” for an iconic medley that will forever be etched in Christmas history. The two were hesitant about recording together and only had an hour of practice before doing the song, but little did they know that it would become such an iconic teamup in music history.
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen’s own version of the 1934 classic has become such a staple in Christmas season that he has been known to do it in live shows whenever he had the chance – even doing the number way before winter arrives.
“Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry
The legendary rock and roller released his own Christmas anthem in 1958, which was similar-sounding to his later hit, “Little Queenie”. Since then, it has been covered by a dozen or so artist, including rockers like Lynyrd SKynyrd, Keith Richards, and The Grateful Dead, to name a few.