Get ready to rock to your holiday season with some traditional and contemporary Christmas songs by famous classic rock artists. Even though one song is considered an old traditional carol, the other remaining songs have been composed or covered by classic rockers. You definitely know it’s the yuletide season when you hear the following six Christmas songs on your radio stations, whether it is oldies, adult contemporary or classic rock. Grab some egg nog and mistletoe for some joyous, and socially important, season greeting tunes.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – U2
This enduring Christmas song classic was originally recorded by Darlene Love in 1963, plus co-written and produced by Phil Spector. In 1987 “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” was covered and recorded by the Irish band U2. During their 1987 tour stop in Scotland, Darlene Love was present and recorded the background vocal for U2’s track. It is part of an album compilation benefiting the Special Olympics titled “A Very Special Christmas” released in November 1987.
U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
U2’s 1987 version of the Darlene Love original holiday classic “Christmas (Please Come Home)” from 1961 produced and co-written by Phil Spector.
“Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
No doubt this Christmas song is a divisive one, either you love it or hate it. Whatever the feeling is on this cheerful holiday tune, it definitely captures the essence of the celebrated season. “Wonderful Christmastime” was released in 1979 when Paul McCartney and Wings were still together. McCartney may not have the power and depth of his former songwriting partner he does know how to write a lasting song that’s just right for the holidays.
Paul McCartney and Wings – ‘Wonderful Christmastime’
1979 classic from Paul McCartney and Wings Christmas Song.
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
The moon is right
The spirits up
We’re here tonight
And that’s enough
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
“Please Come Home for Christmas” – The Eagles
Here’s another Christmas cover song, much like Darlene Love’s and U2’s, this time with the blues singer from Texas, Charles Brown, and the 1970s band The Eagles. Originally “Please Come Home for Christmas” was released in 1960. In 1978 The Eagles recorded their version about someone who is pining for their loved one to return home, at least for the holidays. The latter cover reached the Billboard Hot 100 at #18.
The Eagles-Please Come Home for Christmas
The 1978 studio recording of the holiday classic- ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’ performed by The Eagles, This Christmas song was originally recorded in 1961 by the blues singer Charles Brown.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid (charity single)
Thirty years ago on November 25, 1984 a group of UK’s top pop and rock artists and musicians gathered to record this Christmas charity single as Band Aid. Little did Boomtown Rats frontman, Bob Geldof, realize it would start off Live Aid, Farm Aid, and a string of other benefit concerts and another charity recording in 1985 “We Are the World” — USA for Africa.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas” was inspired by Geldof who saw a news story about starvation in Ethopia. To help those victims affected by the tragedy he enlisted the aid of Midge Ure of Ultravox. Ure put together a song raising awareness and funds. A-listers included such musical luminaries as Sting, Adam Clayton and Bono from U2, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Phil Collins. Other ‘80s stars who also participated were George Michael, Bananarama, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, and Culture Club’s Boy George.
Do they Know it’s Christmas ~ Band Aid 1984
Do they Know it’s Christmas ~ Band Aid 1984 Probably the most important music video to be made in the last 40 years. Just as relevant today as it was 27 years ago. Please continue to Support !!!
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
It’s the oldest Christmas song on the list dating back to the 1930s. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band first performed it live at their concerts starting in 1973. The one you hear on the radio is from December 1975 that was recorded for all prosperity.
In 1985 it was the B-side to the single “My Hometown” off the “Born in the U.S.A. album. It has to be the merriest Christmas song ever with The Boss sounding like he’s having the time of his life. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Springsteen is a sure thing on the radio from Black Friday in November until the last hours of Christmas Day.
Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (Audio)
Music video by Bruce Springsteen performing ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’ (Audio). (C) 1985 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. It was the B-side to “My Hometown.” This is a true Christmas classic from The Boss.
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon & Yoko Ono: The Plastic Ono Band
Without question one of the most heavily played songs during the Christmas season. It’s also bittersweet since it’s a protest song against the Vietnam War when initially released in 1971. The single didn’t chart in the U.S., though it went as high as number two on the British chart. John Lennon also wrote this song, because he was sick of another holiday classic “White Christmas.”
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is the second song on the list with Phil Spector as a producer. If you listen carefully at the beginning you can hear Yoko say “Happy Christmas, Kyoko” and John saying “Happy Christmas, Julian” to their children from previous marriages. Other children you hear in the recording come from the Harlem Community Choir. Another reason for the song’s bitter sweetness lies in the fact Lennon was assassinated in early December. One of the lyrics reminding listeners is “Let’s hope it’s a good one Without any fear.”
John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a Christmas song by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. It was recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City in late October 1971, with the help of producer Phil Spector. It features heavily echoed vocals, and a sing-along chorus. The children singing in the background were from the Harlem Community Choir and are credited on the song’s single. The lyrics were written by Lennon and Ono, while the melody and chord structure were taken from the folk standard known as “Stewball.” Although the song is a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard and has appeared on several Christmas albums.