Christmas music has been building as a genre for centuries and everyone has their favorite style. Be it classical ballads, orchestral carols or songs with a rockin’ beat. The selections in this constitute a great representation of what some of the best musicians from rock, country, blues and pop have to offer. Musical representations from the 50s on through the 2000’s are compiled here and I am thrilled to share them with you.
“Rockin’ Around the ChristmasTree” by Brenda Lee was recorded in 1958 on Decca records when Lee was just 14 years old. Although it was released in 1958, the song didn’t become a hit until 1960 when her career took off.
“The Man with All the Toys” bythe Beach Boys was released in 1964 from the album “The Beach Boys Christmas Album”. The song only charted at number 6 but has become a staple alongside another track from that album, seen elsewhere on this list. The song features classic Beach Boys’ harmonies.
“Little St. Nick” by the Beach Boys was released as a single in 1963 and scored the #3 spot on Billboard’s Christmas charts. The song imitated the sound of the Beach Boys hit “Little Deuce Coup” and has become a Christmas standard.
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” has been recorded by many artists but for the rockingest version, Bruce Springsteen has it locked.
“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobbie Helms had a rockabilly sound that caught on when it was released in 1957. The electric guitar and syncopated beat gave the song a unique sound.
The Ronettes jazzed up the classic “Frosty, the Snowman” with heavy drums and an upbeat tempo that made this 1963 recording popular.
If you like your Christmas songs with a bluesy sound, try Ray Charles’ version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.
No list of peppy Christmas songs would be complete with Jose Feliciano’s classic “Feliz Navidad”. There is something about the rhythm, drums, guitar and orchestra that makes you start bobbing your head in time and singing right along. The song has an uplifting energy.
Trans Siberian Orchestra has made “Carol of the Bells” a signature song, with screaming guitars and full orchestra, the sound is unforgettable.
The most well-known Christmas song of all time has to be “Jingle Bells”. It has been covered by hundreds of singers in more arrangements than the average person could imagine. A really fun rendition with changing rhythms and styles comes from Basshunter.
So crank up the speakers, tap your toes and get ready to sing. If you follow the links and listen all the way through, you’ll be in a feel-good, Christmas mood the rest of the day. Happy Holidays!
Sources: Personal Choice, YouTube (various videos)