The 10 most beautiful Christmas songs of the 80s

by Irene Noli

But are you sure you remember all the Christmas songs most beautiful of 80s? No problem, because we’ll take care of refreshing your memory!

As the 25th December there is not Whamageddon hold, Christmas notes spread in the air: in houses, streets and shops, perhaps with our web radio dedicated… Well, today we give you the playlists perfect for the occasion: here are the 10 most significant Christmas songs interpreted (and in some cases reinterpreted) in the 80s, the more carefree and serene era, so dear to listeners of Radio Capital. Some were written precisely for the celebration of Christmas, others have become a symbol over time, almost beyond the will of the authors, because they embody a beneficial force, something exciting and collective. We present them to you rigorously in chronological orderbecause only you can establish the order of liking… The one that warms your heart the most, the one that lights up your most special memories, wins!

The early 80s

  • ‘2000 Miles’ of the Pretenders (1983) was written by Chrissie Hynde the year after the death of the first guitarist of the band James Honeyman-Scott, who passed away just 25 years old. “He’s gone, he’s far away…”, says the song. Hynde felt she had to finish what they had started together, she owed him. So the subject doesn’t seem Christmassy, ​​but the lyrics and explicitly suggest this atmosphere, with Chrissie Hynde in the Salvation Army uniform, snow, skis, a nativity scene, a polar bear, Santa Claus and all …
  • ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ is the first mainstream rock’n’roll Christmas song in history and dates back to 1957, even if its paternity has been the subject of disputes between two different pairs of authors for years. Many covers have been made over the decades, come on Platters to the Bech Boys to Hilary Duffbut the version we want to focus on, perhaps the most famous, is that of 1983 signed by Daryl Hall & John Oates, chosen by the duo because it went perfectly with their rockabilly period, the artistic phase they were experiencing at the time. Unforgettable was the video clip that became a catchphrase on the newborn MTV, deliberately coloured, tacky and full of Christmas clichés made in USA.
  • ‘Last Christmas’ of the Wham! (1984) is “the” 80s Christmas Song par excellence, but what made it even more dear to us is the sad coincidence of the death of George Michaelwhich took place on Christmas day 2016. Also in this case the central theme is not Christmas but the end of a relationship (culminating, it must be said, in the festivities of the previous year). Andrew Ridgeley he later recounted how inspiration had come to his partner and friend while the two of them were visiting George’s parents’ house: he retreated to his old room for an hour and created the mega-hit; in that room since they were children George and Andrew had spent hours recording and dreaming, and right there the intro and the refrain of their goose that laid the golden eggs were born. It was a marvel, according to Ridgeley George had “distilled the essence of Christmas in music”: almost 40 years after that moment, who can blame him? That year they finished second in the charts only on the strength of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s Band Aid, but George Michael’s involvement in that project was such that he and Andrew relinquished all copyrights to the single ‘Last Christmas’ / ‘Everything She Wants’ to fight famine in Ethiopia.
  • ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ (1984) it is signed, as was the custom of the band, by all Queen. Yet it was mainly written by Roger Taylorhelped by Brian May in writing the chorus. Freddie Mercury he welcomed it with enthusiasm and chose to sing it more calmly than in other works of the group, preferring the spirit and atmosphere of Christmas, which he first adored. He came close to making the Top 20, but somehow she too was held back by the competition ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid. Another limit was probably the absence of a video clip at the time of the medium’s boom, which Queen remedied in the 2019 with a delicate cartoon about the spirit of Christmas.
  • ‘The Power of Love’ (1984) included in ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome’debut album by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, is still a fabulous piece and current in sound as in content. It deals with spirituality and religion but also with love and passion. All of this intersects in the text, which does not refer directly to Christmas despite the video clip entirely centered on the Nativity and the cover of the single portrayed the Assumption of Titian. The band again topped the charts but were unseated within a week by the all-time ace ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.

The boom of solidarity

  • At the end of 1984struck by the television images of the terrible famine that was afflicting theEthiopia, Bob Geldof thought of a concrete method to “make a difference”. So he called his friend Midge Urefrontman of the Ultravoxand together they decided to make a charity Christmas record with important colleagues from the British music scene, under the collective name Band Aid: here is the genesis of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. The success of the single was incredible both at home and in the United States United States and represented the calling card for something even more incredible and visionary. The ability to fly high (for better or for worse) in the 1980s made possible a grandiose utopia of Geldof and Ure, who imagined a huge humanitarian concert to be implemented in parallel Wembley Stadium from London is in the John F Kennedy Stadium from Philadelphia: the Live Aid.
  • The project USA for Africawhich in 1985 led to the creation of the single ‘We Are the World’ (for years the most listened to song during the holidays), was born from an idea of ​​the actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte right on the inspiration of the British collective Band Aid, led by Bob Geldof. Along the lines of the single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, at the end of December 1984 Belafonte thought of a benefit concert and spoke about it to his friend and great manager Ken Kragen. Convinced of the need to make an original single to have more impact, Kragen got involved Lionel Richie And Michael Jackson for them to compose the lyrics and the music together, while Quincy Jones was called as a producer, back with Jackson from the shocking success of ‘Thriller’. Lionel Richie then extended the invitation to Stevie Wonder and when Kragen persuaded to participate too Bruce Springsteen it was a moment to see the adhesion of 45 of the brightest US stars of the 80s.

The second half of the decade

  • ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ (1986) was in the drawer of Chris Rea for at least 10 years, since the time his wife offered to drive him home in her Austin Mini to save money for the train ticket, which the record company would not reimburse him. Stuck in traffic with the snow falling, Chris began to scrutinize the other unhappy drivers and to hum a few verses to himself, which he immediately jotted down taking advantage of the passing lights coming from the street. It was the “car version of a Christmas carol” and he had thought of it right away for Van Morrison. Failing to get it to him, he then agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to engrave it himself: initially it was a medium flopbut over the years it has become a evergreenthe subject of dozens of covers (including one of the 2013 of our Mario Biondi)
  • The U2 they made the cover of ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’song originally written by Phil Spectorduring a soundcheck at Glasgow, in Scotlandon July 30 1987. The piece had been recorded for the first time by Darlene Love in the 1963. A few months later, during another soundcheck, Bono and he made the video for the song, directed by Phil Joanouwho was working with them on the film at the time ‘Rattle and Hum’. The video clip was filmed at the Assembly Center, at the Louisiana State University from Baton Rouge; it’s just a few minutes of U2’s performance performing the song in style, filmed exclusively in black and white.
  • The Ramones they had already been in crisis for some time when in the 1987 they recorded their first Christmas song, ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)’. The knowledge and sensitivity towards the best pop of the 60’s stemmed to the band from the musical culture of Joey, prolific author. There are those who wanted to read the song as a request for a truce, for a non-belligerency, expressed by a punk to his girlfriend at least on Christmas day. Going deeper and digging into the dynamics of the group in that period, nothing excludes that it was instead an appeal by Joey to his bandmate and archenemy, the guitarist Johnny Ramonewith whom he had been in conflict over everything from political ideas to affairs of the heart for years.

The 10 most beautiful Christmas songs of the 80s