Right then, lets forget we’re all skint and on tablets just for a bit whilst we listen to Proper Magazine’s favourite top ten Christmas tunes. Most of these festive bangers are either from the Seventies or Eighties, a magical time when Christmas day couldn’t be ruined by 24 hour rolling news and generic ‘Merry xmas everyone’ text messages. So put your iphone in the bin, switch off ITV4 and have yourself a little bop round the tree to our selection box of belters, we’ll start you off gently…
Steeleye Span – Gaudete
Medieval monks make mead-infused merry music, then get covered 500 years later by one of the funkiest folk bands of all time. It makes it even better if you’ve seen the Alan Partridge episode where he plays it to Jill on the way back from a thrilling afternoon at an Owl Sanctuary
Elton John – Step Into Christmas
Can you imagine what Christmas Chez Reg must have been like back in the Seventies? When having snowballs involved neither advocaat or frosty weather.
Shakin Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
Look at this video! The kid’s coat! With his teeth looking like a row of bombed houses! The retro air-stewardesses! The snide as fuck elves! Then ‘he’ appears like a snowball full of warm laver-bread Sir Steven of Shakinshire instantly melting our hearts with one of the finest Chrimbo tunes ever. Is that Roy Wood as Santa? No, no it’s not is it.
PSB – Always on my mind
This may not have any mentions of Rudolph or peace on Earth but it does have a camp cowbell and in the season of drunken reflection, this is the unequivocal torch song for those of us who wish we’d been a bit more thoughtful during the past 12 months. This was on heavy rotation in December 1987 a special time for me as a fifteen year old. A time of getting Cinzano stains on Benetton jumpers, smelling of Rapport aftershave, narrowly avoiding a glassing by the rival gang down the pub, council flat parties that went on for three days and really not giving a shit about tomorrow. Can’t go back…
Julian Casablancas – I wish it was Christmas today
Sometimes you want your Christmas song to sound like it’s been shooting up speed all week and just scored some ludes and a pint of jack to take the edge off the comedown *falls into Christmas tree and makes all the kids cry*
Kunt & The Gang – Jesus (Baby with a beard)
OK lets have a quick break for a fun-track. A few years back I suggested to K&TG that he record a track called ‘Kiss you under the camel toe’ and God bless him he went and did it. This year he’s come up with another absolute corker that includes the magical phrase ‘sausage wallet’. Give it a swerve if you’re easily offended or a little kid or just dead religious and that.
Housemartins – Caravan of Love
I met Paul Heaton recently (clang!) and he seemed like a pretty sound bloke, so for that reason I’m including this heart-warmingly ace acapella hit that inspired countless youths to go to school the Friday after this was on Top of The Pops with dodgy crosses shaved into the sides of their impulsive little heads.
David Essex – A Winter’s Tale
For some reason I thought the video to this involved a cartoon mouse, gutted, still, a proper nice song from Gypsy Joe. Ideal for soundtracking your enjoyment of a nice bowl of home-made soup or keeping you entertained whilst you pin some balloons to a serving hatch.
Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas
Considering it’s somewhat cynical content, the vibes from this tune are more Christmassy than a cracker made out of turkey skin and filled with Chocolate oranges and Lego. My mum went into Rumbelows to buy this record when it came out. Not knowing the name of the artist she just blurted out the title to the bloke at the counter who quickly retorted ‘I’m very pleased for you love but can I help you with buying anything today?’ Hilarious times.
Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas
Right, this version (which won’t embed) is a fucking terrible video and everybody in it deserves to die but it is a great tune which reminds me of one of my favourite ever You’ve Been Framed clips. When I worked on the show somebody sent in a clip of a dog at the wheel of a car ‘driving’ along an estate with this music playing, it was brilliantly shit. Actually I shouldn’t have been so harsh about that video, it was in aid of Shelter. I’m going to donate some money to them now to make up for it, why don’t you too? www.shelter.org.uk/donate