four Christmas songs produced by major rock and pop musicians of the 70s and 80s, which use modern sounds to get to the heart of the holiday. Between beer soaked melancholy, stadium ready rock and emotional balladry, these songs reflect some of the varied guises Christmas takes on in 2010.
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
A love song, an irish folk ballad, a Christmas carol - "Fairytale of New York" is all these things and more. With a unique mix of lovelorn despair and Christmas hope, this song is often proclaimed as one of the greatest modern Christmas songs. Enjoy and a rare live appearance from Kristy MacColl in this performance of the song from 1988.
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
Another take on Christmas from the British rock and roll tradition, this song expresses the joy of Christmas through the sound of 70's glam rock and Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound". Written by Roy Wood, the song features the bombastic arrangements and catchy tune you'd expect from his previous band, Electric Light Orchestra.
Mistletoe and Wine - Cliff Richard
This song touches on every element of Christmas, both the familiar images of gifts and snow, and also the larger ideas of hope and peace, all with a great ballad tune and distinctive 80's sound. A Christmas #1 in 1988, it followed 1960's "I Love You" as Richard's second Christmas #1 single.
Lonely This Christmas - Mud
With a 6/8 feel straight out of a soul 60's ballad, this is a love song at heart, but the holidays put a special spin on both feelings and music, making "Lonely This Christmas" a true Christmas song (and a Christmas #1 in 1974).
Thank God It's Christmas - Queen
Released in 1984, this ballad celebrates Christmas has the unmistakable sound of 80s Queen.