If I was a full-time blogger I would have photographed my record player covered in tinsel (it’s red and white anyway), but I’m not, so you’ll have to trust me. This is kind of a weird title for a blog post but hear me out! We’re all very familiar with Christmas music as it’s been blaring out of most shops since August, but there are some absolutely cracking tunes out there that don’t get enough airplay and I’d like to introduce them to you.
Seeing as my job for about 3 months has been curating the best Christmas songs for this event I thought I’d share some of the underrated festive (and suggestive) hits. I’ve also made a playlist featuring these songs as well as youtube links for individual songs in this post, so if you have Spotify you can listen and save along. So here we go with the top bangers for banging! (Sorry)
The Man With The Bag – Jane Monheit
This isn’t the original version, but it’s certainly my favourite. Jane has quite a soft voice and her cool delivery on a relatively fussy tune makes for a song full of anticipation. Perfect for a cheeky party peck.
The Christmas Song – Chicago
Lay those funk grooves down, boys!! This is such an overproduced arrangement of this song but I LOVE it! It’s so different from the original and there are some banging horn lines on this track. A good one for all those festive lounge parties you’ll be hosting in your penthouse flat. (?)
Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
I don’t know if it’s the overly suggestive lyrics (“I ain’t like the Old Saint Nick… he don’t come but once a year”), the sleazy horns, the fat funk guitar in the background or the honky-tonk keyboard… but this song is SO hot. It’s just an absolute banger of a song. I’ll actually be singing this on Sunday (for Quizmas) in full bed voice, so wish me luck with those frustrated growl sounds! *gulp*
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – The Carpenters
It basically invites you under the mistletoe, it’s that sweet and coy. Believe me, as somebody who has studied Disney music to academic level over the last 7 years, the production on this value of the popular festive ballad is PURE 50s Disney. The choir, the high winds and strings, the percussion. It sounds like it’s from a vintage Disney Christmas film that never got made. Add in Karen’s super-sultry voice and it’s a Christmas winner.
This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
I love this song. Donny has the best voice ever, or at least one of the sexiest voices ever. It’s so warm! His voice is like a brandy for the soul: add in how desperately he wants to have a good christmas with you and his talk of “carolling” through the night and it’s just a deeply sensual christmas tune. Cracking horn line too. This is another one I’ve been learning for Sunday so let’s REALLY cross our fingers I can channel my inner goddess for the whole set!
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Pearl Bailey & Hot Lips Page
Before you skip over this really overplayed/over-covered song, give this 1949 recording a go. It is HILARIOUS, I absolutely love it. There’s just so much character and atmosphere in the song! The ad-libs from both performers are hilarious, and Pearl is just such a sassy broad (there’s no other word for it) that it really makes the song. There are several times they almost miss the cue to sing because of the crazy improv over the top. I think my favourite bit is right at the end where she says “I don’t got no fur coat or nothing, I really can’t”, and then about 10 seconds later “I’ll tell her to go about her business” with a clear smirk. Brilliant.
Ole Santa – Dinah Washington
Dinah can’t help but sound sultry, and though this song is ostensibly about waiting for Santa to arrive, it doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to imagine Dinah, dressed in feathered gown, sat at the dressing table and gazing longingly out of the window waiting for her guy to arrive.
Let’s Make Christmas Merry Baby – Amos Milburn
The gentle piano suggest a late-night home alone, the slightly fuzzy production suggest a couple of egg-nogs, and the lyrics suggest… well, what don’t they suggest? He wants to slide our chimney and fill our stockings full of toys! Oh Amos. There’s even a sultry sax solo. It’s all very, very mistletoe.
Dear Mrs Claus – The Barr Brothers
What girl doesn’t want to be wooed at Christmas time? Promises of gifts, holding our hands and distracting the elves for the night, it’s all very sweet and coy. 6/8 is by far the sexiest time signature and the innocent vocal delivery coupled with the humming harmonies in the back, leading into a well-placed guitar solo make this perfect mistletoe fodder. Probably in front of a log fire. Maybe even in matching Christmas pjs. Adultery never seemed so sweet.
I’d Like You For Christmas – Julie London
Julie London has such a soft and sultry voice anyway that she could probably sing the phonebook and it would sound perfect under the mistletoe. But this sweet ballad has some well placed syncopated backing vocals (god knows I love a thought-out backing vocal) and coupled with the high melodies it’s all very intimate and delicate. More of a prolonged smooch than a quick peck under the mistletoe.
Trim Your Tree – Jimmy Butler
This is so, so, so deeply unromantic. But it’s just so hilarious I had to include it in case you hadn’t heard it. The lyrics are ridiculous, the musicians sound like they’re having a ball – the keys player is loving it – and Jimmy is just absolutely going for it on the vocals. Have a sleazy Christmas!
So there you go. A very brief guide to some of my favourite christmas tunes! I haven’t done many music-based posts but this could have been a LOT longer, so let me know if you’d like to hear more.