Is It Too Early For This Sort Of Thing?

Yep, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Hang on, who are we kidding? It’s looked a lot like Christmas since the end of September for goodness sake. But let’s not get into the unrelenting commercialized vulgarity of the festive season, and instead let’s talk about Christmas songs.

If you work in retail or the hospitality sector you’re probably already utterly sick of hearing Christmas songs. There’s only so much Wonderful Christmastime you can take before you want to go rampaging through a department store, taking a chainsaw to every tree, bauble and red-cheeked Santa in sight. However, the reality is this: a lot of people like Christmas songs. There’s no escaping the fact. How else could we explain some of the atrocities that landed the Christmas no.1 spot in the charts over the years? Both Mr. Blobby and Bob The Builder scored number one Christmas hits in the UK charts. Disturbing stuff when you think about it. The Spice Girls had the top spot for three years in a row. Three years! Everyone loves the Spice Girls, of course, but did people not realise other songs were available between 1996 and 1998?

At least Irish Christmas song fans have a bit more style: we gave Eminem two Christmas number ones, in 2000 with Stan and 2002 with Lose Yourself. Because nothing says Christmas like the lyric: No more games, I’m a change what you call rage, Tear this motherfuckin’ roof off like two dogs caged’.

Then the X Factor came along and ruined Christmas for everyone, hogging the top of the charts for years with a carousel of bland, forgettable dross. Some of these one-hit dunderheads were so beige and anonymous you’d struggle to put a face to the name. Or a name to the face. Even their own families have trouble remembering who they are. The only relief came in 2009 when an anti-X Factor protest campaign saw Rage Against The Machine land at number one with their festive ditty Killing In The Name.

Zack de la Rocha: prefers Quality Street to Roses 

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Regardless of how much you adore or despise Christmas songs, it doesn’t have to be all Last Christmas and Stop The Cavalry. Here at Rascals HQ we’ve curated – yes, curated – a Christmas playlist full of forgotten classics, wonderful covers and yuletide gems, that even the Grinchiest of Grinches would enjoy.

There are legendary recordings from Elvis, because he’s The King after all, and most of Phil Spector’s magnificent A Christmas Gift For You, featuring The Crystals, Darlene Love, and The Ronettes. There’s music from The Avalanches, Eels, The Kinks, Low, Julian Casablancas, as well as Phoenix and The Ramones. You’ll also find some ‘winter’ songs; these aren’t Christmas songs but simply lovely mood music for this time of year, including the likes of Thom Yorke, Patrick Watson, Aphex Twin and Jon Hopkins.

We’ll be serving up these tasty tunes over the Christmas period, but the big question is when do we hit shuffle and start banging them out? Is it time? Call in and keep an ear out for them.

You can check out the playlist below, and follow us on Spotify for all our deadly playlists!