Blondie got back together a few years ago to tour in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their album "Parallel Lines". That's the one that had "Heart Of Glass" and "One Way Or Another" on it. Anyway, at some during the tour, they started working on a new album. When the tour was over, the new album wasn't ready, yet, so they recorded a Christmas song to give to fans. For free. They've recently revamped their website, and the free Christmas song isn't there, any more. But here's the video of their rocking version of "We Three Kings"! Oh, and Happy Birthday, Debbie Harry!
There have been over two dozen members of the Drifters since their first singles in the early 1950's, and they've recorded a lot of Christmas songs. One of their first was this terrific version of "White Christmas", which was a top 5 hit in 1954, 1955 and 1964. it was a top 20 hit almost every other year from its release through the end of the 1960's. And it saw a resurgence for a new generation when it was included in "Home Alone" in 1990. I couldn't find an original video of the Drifters performing this, so here's a cute cartoon a fan made of the original version of this song!
Kellie Pickler made her big splash on American Idol about five years ago. She's had a string of hits, including her cover of "Santa Baby". Last year, she added to her Christmas list with this version of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"! Happy Birthday, Kellie!
Sixpence None The Richer released several Christmas songs in the 1990's. They broke up in 2004, only to get back together three years later to record a complete Christmas album ("The Dawn Of Grace"). Singer Leigh Nash also released an EP of solo Christmas songs ("Wishing For This"). I believe this is the first Christmas song they released, back in '96. This video was made by a fan, and there isn't a lot to look at, but I think you'll enjoy Sixpence None The Richer's version of "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch". Oh, and Happy Birthday, Leigh!
Carly Simon gave us a Christmas collection in 2002 called "Christmas Is Almost Here". This was her 25th album, and it was reissued the following year with a couple more tracks. The song in today's video, though, came seven years before that Christmas album. showing up as a previously unreleased track on Carly's box set "Clouds In My Coffee" in 1995. Here's an official video of her original song "The Night Before Christmas", featuring a slide show from a Christmas party at her house in December 2010! Oh, and Happy Birthday, Carly!
I meant to post this a couple days ago when it was Ray Davies' birthday but didn't get the chance. Of course, Ray gave us "Father Christmas" with the Kinks, but this is one you may not know. A couple years back, he recorded this nostalgic, original song with the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, and while it certainly isn't about what we normally associate with the holiday, it's definitely a theme most of us can identify with. And there's definitely something about Christmas time that does make us think about our Christmases Past. So here's Ray and Chrissie with "A Postcard From London"...
The Beach Boys gave us a wonderful gift in 1964 with their Christmas album, a follow-up to their "Little Saint Nick" single from the year before. The album quickly became a staple of the holidays. So far, Mike Love and Al Jardine have each released solo Christmas singles, but Brian Wilson is the only one who put out his own Christmas album. For years, Brian posted free Christmas songs on his website before putting out "What I Really Want For Christmas". Here's a little behind-the-scenes video of his recording of "On Christmas Day", which first popped up as a free song on his website, and then turned up on his Christmas album in 2005. Happy Birthday, Brian!
Paul recorded this one all by himself, even though his band Wings appear in the video. It became a top ten hit in the UK when it was released in 1979, and is estimated to still make Paul some $400,000 each year in royalties. Recently, it's seen a resurgence in popularity, with cover versions by Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Barenaked Ladies and even as a duet from Chicago and Dolly Parton! It seems fitting to feature this one today, on Sir Paul's 70th birthday!
For those who don't know, Oh, Hush! is a secret band. That is, they keep their identities secret. They've released several Christmas singles, along with three Christmas EPs - some cover songs and some original, like this one, "I Have An Ugly Christmas Tree"!
Slade had a huge hit in the UK with their original "Merry Xmas Everybody", and the song has seen a spike in popularity in the U.S. recently, with cover versions by Leif Garrett, REM and the Radio City Rockettes (just to name a few)! Here's their original (and Happy Birthday, Noddy)!