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Christmas Songs from Pop and Rock Artists
Well, it is that time of year. Christmas. Each year we endure the annual rites of Christmas songs, both traditional and pop\rock. We all, mankind that is, kinda celebrate like each other with love and gifts.
Pop and rock music artists could not resist either, some released either Christmas singles or whole albums of traditional and rock\pop Christmas songs. It all began in the US, naturally, where rock was born. Over time, some of the songs crossed the Altlantic into the UK, or vice versa, or other English speaking countries. Going to Germany will probably not yield a pop Christmas song.
It was Bing Crosby in 1942, a pop star of the 40s, with his release of "White Christmas", then a brand new pop song by Irving Berlin, it still is heard all over in stores. It remains a song that has crossed generations, even if you do not like it. Judy Garland created another classic with, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in 1944. In 1947, The Blazers released, "Merry Christmas, Baby". Some 40 years later, Bruce Springsteen did it again for the "boomer" generation. The fifties brought several well known and well played pop songs I am sure we all know. We hear them while we shop-you know, faintly in background. These include Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas", "Jingle Bell Hop" by Bobbie Helm in 1957, and the unforgettable, Brenda Lee, "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" in 1958. Elvis was the first pop star to release a Christmas album. Chuck Berry also released a few Christmas songs. Then, the 60s arrived, but not many new songs came. There remains the classic Burl Ive's, "A Holly Jolly Christmas", and Keith Richards', "Run Rudolph Run" in 1965. The Beatles were not going to stoop so low to release a Christmas song, but in 1967, for their fan club members only, they released perhaps the most catchy holiday Christmas song, " Christmas Time Is Here Again". The song ran 2 minutes or so, contained only a few basic chords but The Beatles humor and charisma clearly makes it magical. The tune is one that lingers in your head because the only lyrics in the whole song were its title and a handful of other words. It is now available in studio quality. Once the Beatles broke up, John Lennon and Yoko did, "Happy Xmas (The war is over)" which remains a pop classic. The Ramones did, "Merry Christmas". Tom Petty did, "Christmas Time All over Again". The Beach Boys did, "Little Saint Nick", which is sort of a classic now. Paul McCartney did his "Wonderful Christmastime" in 1978.
In 1984, a group of rock artists (sting, bono rom U2) released, " Do They Know It's Christmas?". U2 also did, "It's Christmas". Madonna did, "Santa Baby". Prince released, "Another Lonely Christmas". Today, several pop artists are releasing Christmas albums like Kenny G,Celine Dion (These Are Special Times), Neil Diamond's, " A Cherry Cherry Christmas", and A Very Special Christmas, a mulitple artist album by Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Miley Cyrus (if you do not know them, they are all from the Disney pop factory machine). REO Speedwagon released, "Not So Silent Night". Sting and Tori Amos also have several Christmas songs on their recent albums. Finally, the grand daddy, Bob Dylan, also released a new Christmas album, Christmas From the Heart". Imagine Dylan singing his, "Must Be Santa" or " Here Comes Santa". For me, fast forward it.
Of course, there are punkers and rockers updating the old standards into today's sound, some are actually damn good. others, leave well enough alone!