Here is a very special Xmas present for you all. I have generously zipped all of the most poptastic Xmas songs ever into one file along with a Word document containing a talentedly photoshopped CD cover which you can print out to go with the Cd you can make with all the songs. The result will be the best Xmas CD in the world EVER!
It is, as you can imagine, a very big file (20 songs and a Word file), and although it is quite obviously very much worth downloading, I recognise that some of you are on slow internet or have download limits, so I will be posting a few of these songs on Into The Groove in the next few days for those people. So you can decide whether to download the CD or not, here are my comments on all of the tracks:
1. Shirley Clamp – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
This may not have been for charity but it’s still a million times better than the 3 Band Aid versions combined. If there was ever any doubt that the Swedes do it better, this removes it.
2. Britney Spears – My Only Wish (This Year)
Taken from the Platinum Christmas compilation of a few years ago, this is a very catchy number clearly recorded during Britney’s early career as it’s as sweet and innocent as they come.
3. Darren Hayes – Last Christmas
The Wham version is good but this one, by the King of Pop himself is even better because it sounds, to me at least, far more like Christmas. Once Darren Hayes has covered a song, there’s no point in anyone else trying.
4. Hanson – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
This is from Hanson’s Christmas album released early in their career. It’s a cover of a song written by Phil Spector and originally sung by Darlene Love, whoever she may be. It’s also been covered by Mariah Carey, U2 and Death Cab For Cutie, among others, but again why bother with them when Hanson have done an utterly glorious version?
5. Siobhan Donaghy – Iodine
This was one of the most popular songs on Siobhan’s fantastic solo album, although it was never released as a single. It’s a beautiful but very sad song about Christmas turkeys and presents (possibly metaphorical!). If this doesn’t make you realise that Siobhan is the best ever Sugababe, you have no ears.
6. Girls Aloud – Not Tonight Santa
The first of four songs I have included from Girls Aloud’s Christmas CD, which accompanies their new album Chemistry. It must be good cos Woolworths are charging £6 extra for it!
7. Mew – She Came Home For Christmas
This was a single a couple of years ago and although I’ve never thought much of Mew otherwise, despite them being Scandinavian with a high-voiced singer and a really cute name, this is absolutely gorgeous and I never tire of it. The contrast of jubilant Xmas party songs and shockingly sad ones like this is incredible.
8. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas
This is obviously a huge classic and although I tried to stick to the lesser known Christmas songs for this CD, the aceness of this one cannot be ignored. I know it’s very wrong to like Mariah but I still think she’s great (she is the definition of OTT, after all!) and this proves me absolutely correct.
9. Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
The Raveonettes are another super-cute Danish band who I’d really love to love, but so far they’ve not really caught my attention, except for with this excellently Christmassy (if unimaginatively titled) song.
10. Girls Aloud – Christmas Round At Ours
Another track off the girls’ Xmas CD and a very jolly one it is too! It is rather less positive about Xmas than the other ones, even contradicting some of the lyrics in other songs which annoys me slightly, but it’s a great song all the same, particularly due to the way Cheryl sings “beauty queen” in a random farmer accent.
11. Sugababes – New Year
A single from the olden days when the Sugababes were at their acest (see track 5 for why), it’s not really about Christmas so much as a lost love who may be returning, but the word “Christmas” in the chorus makes it Christmassy enough for my standards, which as you will soon see are rather relaxed.
12. Michael Learns To Rock – Frostbite
As you will realise when listening to this song, it’s not actually a Christmas song at all. It mentions nothing to do with Christmas, but it does use a metaphor of frostbite and it sounds very Christmassy to me. It sounds like Life Is A Rollercoaster sung by Mark Owen and the jolly Dane from this year’s Eurovison. And Michael Learns To Rock are Danish too! Clearly the Danes win at Christmas(sy) songs.
13. Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
This is a very important inclusion because it’s my birthday song – no.1 on the day I was born and clearly a very accurate sign of things to come, since 18 years later I absolutely LOVE IT! It was also Christmas no.1, just in case you didn’t pick that up (and my birthday is this Thursday, so send me poptastic things).
14. S Club 7 – Perfect Xmas
Many of S Club’s ballads were crap, yet this one that didn’t even get onto any of their albums is great! It reminds me of a happier time when pop songs were plentiful and not just a joke.
15. Girls Aloud – I Wanna Kiss You So (Christmas In A Nutshell)
Another absolutely brilliant track from the almighty Aloud, although unlike Christmas Round At Ours this one claims they ARE big kids! I’m so confused. However, the fact that this song includes the words (noises?) “bish! bash! bong! woo!” makes up for everything.
16. Steps – Merry Xmas Everybody
I went out for a birthday meal with some friends last night and this song came on and no-one could work out what it was. I decided not to tell them, and had to try very hard not to laugh my brain out when they decided it must be the Smurfs!
17. *N Sync – I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Xmas Without You
*N Sync also made a whole album of Christmas songs early in their career, but this is the only one I’ve ever heard. It’s a typical *N Sync ballad, but they do ballads better than 99% of musicians (FACT! (probably)) so this is no bad thing.
18. Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous
What better to shake off the melancholy mood of a Christmassy love ballad than a crazy, naughty Scissor Sisters party song. And yes, it IS a Christmas song because it was around last Xmas (although released in January) and it includes the line “The people that you meet want to open you up like Christmas”. That’s the Xmas spirit!
19. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!
Sufjan may be the dullest man on Earth for 364 days a year, but on Christmas day he has a bit to drink and suddenly he’s the life and soul of the party. It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it!
20. Girls Aloud – Count The Days
A nice ballad to end the album with. Why wasn’t this GA’s Xmas single? It’s loads better than See The Day. I’m sure no-one would notice if they changed it, there’s only one word completely different.