Christmas/Holiday Rock Songs
5 71. Elvis' Christmas Album - Elvis Presley
Released: October 15, 1957
This album holds the title for best-selling Christmas/Holiday album in the States with over 13 million shipped. Though Presley mostly covered others' work, two original songs were commissioned for the album,
"Santa Bring My Baby Back (to Me)," written by Aaron Schroeder and Claude Demetrius, and "Santa Claus Is Back In Town," written by über-composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
2 02. Run, Rudolph, Run - Chuck Berry
Though the song was written for Berry by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie, the 1958 45 rpm has the song as written by "C. Berry Music & M. Brodie." This may have been to make the recording more "cool" by disassociating the song from Marks, who wrote the original "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Christmas song.
1 03. My Christmas Prayer - Billy Fury
Released: Late 1959
Rocker Billy Fury's Christmas single failed to chart in the UK, leading to a taming of his image suitable for potential teen idol status.
5 74. A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector [... - Various Artists
Released: November 22, 1963
Spector treated a series of mostly secular Christmas standards to his trademark "Wall of Sound" treatment, and the selections feature the vocal performances of Spector's regular artists during this period. The Phil Spector composition "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," sung by Darlene Love, is also included.
3 65. The Beach Boys' Christmas Album - The Beach Boys
Released: November 9, 1964
Aside from "Little Saint Nick," which was released the year before, the album is full of new Beach Boys originals, including "The Man with All the Toys"; "Santa's Beard"; "Merry Christmas, Baby"; and "Christmas Day."
1 06. Merry Christmas - Various Artists
A compilation with music by The Sonics, The Galaxies, and The Wailers. Among the original holiday songs on the record are The Sonics' "Don't Believe in Christmas" and "Santa Claus." The Wailers contribute "She's Comin' Home," "Christmas Spirit??" and "Maybe This Year." The Galaxies' original piece is called "Christmas Eve."
2 07. Merry Christmas, Darling - The Carpenters
Released: November 20, 1970
The single was written by Richard Carpenter & Frank Pooler, the only original composition to make it to The Carpenters' first Christmas album A Christmas Portrait.
Released: December 19, 1970 (to fan club members)
This record compiles the Christmas singles released to Beatles fan club members from 1963-1969, which includes some Fab Four originals: "Happy Christmas to Ya List'nas" (1965), "Everywhere It's Christmas" (1966), "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" (1967), and "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year" (1968).
4 5.59. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon
Released: December 6, 1971
The single is a take on John and Yoko's "WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko" billboard campaign.
2 010. Step into Christmas - Elton John
Released: November 26, 1973
The title was a Christmas single with B-side "Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)."
0 011. Wizzard Brew - Roy Wood
Released: March 1973
Wizzard's first full length included the original tune "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday."
3 1012. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
Released: December 7, 1973
The single was a huge hit for Slade, propelling them to the UK Christmas Number One slot in 1973.
2 013. Lonely This Christmas - Mud
Released as a holiday single, the song topped the UK Christmas charts. They did a particularly weird performance on Top of the Pops that year, viewable below.
7 614. Dark Horse - George Harrison
Release: December 9, 1974
The album includes Harrison's song "Ding Dong, Ding Dong," which was released as a holiday single.
2 015. I Believe in Father Christmas - Greg Lake
Released: November 1975
The single was composed as a song in protest at the commercialization of Christmas, eventually rising to number 2 on the UK charts.
8 7.816. Spanish Train & Other Stories [IMPORT] - Chris de Burgh
"A Spaceman Came Travelling" was released as a Christmas single the following year.
37 817. Songs From the Wood - Jethro Tull
Released: February 11, 1977
Includes the song "Ring Out, Solstice Bells."
2 018. Islands - The Band
Released: March 15, 1977
"Christmas Must Be Tonight" was written by Robbie Robertson, a member of The Band, but the song was also recorded as a solo hit for Robertson in 1988 for the soundtrack to the holiday comedy film, Scrooged.
1 819. Father Christmas - The Kinks
Released: November 25, 1977
The Ray Davies classic details the exploits of a department store Santa accosted by poor children who would rather get money than toys for Christmas.
4 820. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Release: November 16, 1979
The third Beatle to release a holiday single, McCartney saw the song go on to become part of the Christmas canon. The B-side is called "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae."
2 021. Stop the Cavalry - Jona Lewie
Not originally intended as a Christmas hit, the song still remains popular at the holidays, getting re-released several times and finding its way to Lewie's full length Heart Skips Beat.
1 022. The Yobs Christmas - The Yobs
Released: Late 1980
This compilation of Christmas tunes from the alter-ego of British punk band The Boys contains the original works "The Ballad of the Warrington," "Another Christmas," and a re-worked "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S."
1 023. My Kinda Lover - Billy Squier
Released: Late 1981
"My Kinda Lover" was the fourth single from Squier's album Don't Say No. The B-side is the festive "Christmas Is the Time to Say 'I Love You.'"
1 024. A Christmas Record - Various Artists
Released: November 1981
Now known to many as the first "alternative Christmas compilation," the album brings together Material with Nona, Hendryx, August Darnell, Charlélie Couture, Suicide, Cristina, The Waitresses, Was (Not Was), Alan Vega, and Davitt Sigerson who all perform original compositions. "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses is probably the best known of the songs.
1 025. Christmas Bop - Marc Bolan & T. Rex
Though scheduled for release in 1975, the song was not officially put on wax until Marc Bolan released it to his fan club members.
9 7.526. Learning to Crawl - Pretenders
Released: January 17, 1984
Includes the song "2000 Miles," which was released preceding the album as a Christmas single.
2 027. Thank God It's Christmas - Queen
Released: November 26, 1984
The tune was written by Queen's guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Released as a Christmas single, the song reached number 21 on the UK charts.
1 028. I Would Die 4 U - Prince
Released: November 28, 1984
The single from Purple Rain includes B-side "Another Lonely Christmas."
2 829. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
Released: November 28, 1984
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The single was released by Band Aid, a supergroup of performers including members of U2, Genesis, The Boomtown Rats, Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, Duran Duran, Heaven 17, Bananarama, Shalamar, They Style Council, Kool & The Gang, Wham!, Status Quo, Culture Club, The Police, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Big Country, and musicians Paul Young, Marilyn, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney.
5 5.330. Last Christmas - Wham!
Released: December 1984
The George Michael-penned song was released for the 1984 Christmas season, then included on Wham!'s album Music from the Edge of Heaven.