Poptastic Confessions

Poptastic Confessions

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas POP!

Dear Poptastic Readers,

As I am putting together my list of my Top 20 songs of 2012, I am reminded that it is the season for brilliant Christmas pop songs. So I thought I might share with you 20 Christmas pop songs that are favourites of mine.

Of course there is the classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey. And while it is a classic, it is a little too popular for my tastes. Although, I do love it in the movie "Love Actually." So there.

As always, click on the title of the song to see a video of the song. Enjoy!~

This song was originally from 1984 and it raised money for starving people in Africa, mainly Ethiopia. Band-Aid contained the superstars Duran Duran, George Michael, Sting, U2, Culture Club, Bananarama, Jody Wately, Kool & The Gang, Paul Young and many more. 

Five years later, a new set up superstars gathered to rerecord the song with a poppy dance beat and were called Band-Aid II. 

Bananarama would be the only returning artists, although Siobhan had quit Bananarama and new girl Jacquie O'Sullivan was with them. Other stars were Kylie Minogue, Bros, Cathy Dennis, Lisa Stainsfield. The remake was alright. At least some women singers got to take the lead. 

In 2004, a new set of superstars remade the track and called themselves Band-Aid 20 as it was the 20th Anniversary song. 

Although there was a campaign to have Bananarama be part of the recording, they weren't asked. 

Image from Popjustice.com

Instead, Bono from U2 was invited back to sing his bit. Other superstars were Coldplay, Dido, Sugababes, Joss Stone and Robbie Williams. Unfortunately, Band-Aid 20's version was dreadful. It had an awful guitar solo and a horrendous rap. Not to mention a choir of out of tune singers. Bananarama dodged a bullet here. 

For this song, I'd have to choose the original. Although I like the poppy Band-Aid II version because it gives women a more prominent role.

2. "Baby It's Christmas" by Bananarama.

For a long time, I had been quite vocal about Bananarama recording their own Christmas song. After all, they were apart of Band-Aid and Band-Aid II. Finally, in 2010 they released this glorious electro, tears-on-the-dancefloor number. It's absolutely brilliant. It's a shame they didn't make a video for it, even a budget-friendly one would do. But it is lovely.

3. "Christmas Wrapping" by the Spice Girls.

This was originally done by The Waitresses in 1981. And throughout the 80s, I would hear it on the radio ever year at Christmas. I always liked it. However, in 1998, the Spice Girls remade the track for a b-side for their single "Goodbye" after Geri (aka Ginger Spice) had left the group. They changed the lyrics up a bit and this is my favourite version of the song.

4. "Last Christmas" by Alcazar.

Yes, the classic Wham! song from the 80s is brilliant. George Michael sings a lovely heartache song here. And the video with Pepsi and Shirley was cute. However in 2009, the Swedish group Alcazar did a lovely remake of the song with a camptastic video. While I love the original, I adore this version. And Lina cracks me up in the video. 

5. "It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas" by the Pet Shop Boys

This song by the Pet Shop Boys is wonderful Christmas song. It was originally done in 1997 to be a fan club single. Years later it was on a Starbucks CD compilation. In 2009, they released an EP called Christmas that has a new updated version of the song. Both are wonderful.

6. "Santa's On His Way" by The Pipettes.

This song by The Pipettes was released in 2010. I didn't know much about the song, so I asked Pipettes singer Ani about it. "It's a song that gradually morphed into a Christmas song, but started life as something entirely different," Ani said. "It was more or less demanding to be a Christmas number by the end. I have great memories of that song, especially recording it with Martin. We recorded most tracks for the second album over a Christmas period and Martin had build a drum booth in the living room and inside was a saying 'Drummers are for life, not just Christmas.'" The track is available on iTunes.

7. "Santa Baby" by the Sugababes.

While Eartha Kitt probably has the most famous version of "Santa Baby" ... others pop stars have also done it. Madonna recorded the song in the mid-80s. Unfortunately, I don't like it as her vocals are too baby-ish. Kylie Minogue also recorded this and while better than the Madonna version, it also suffers from the baby-ish vocals. So the version I'll feature here is 2009 version by the Sugababes. Their vocals are spot on. And the song is very nice when sung in three-part harmonies.

8. "December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas)" by George Michael.

This song by George Michael is sad and beautiful. It's a nice downtempo melancholy song. It has a lovely animated video, too. Be warned. You might tear up watching it.

9 & 10. "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" & "Not Tonight Santa" both by Girls Aloud.

Girls Aloud recorded a Christmas EP to be an special edition of their "Chemistry"
album. These two songs from the EP are the best. "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" was promoted a bit. But the naughty lyrics to "Not Tonight Santa" are a hoot.

11 & 12. "Mele Kalikimaka" & "Jingle Bells" both by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters.

The Hawaiian Christmas song is a classic for me. My best friend from high school and I even had dance routine for the chorus. It just makes me smile. I've never been to Hawaii for Christmas. But dreaming is half the fun. And Bing Crosby never sounded better than he did when he sang with the Andrew Sisters.

And their version of Jingle Bells is the best ever. I don't even want to hear anyone else sing this song, unless they use this arrangement.

13. "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" by Boney M.

This is the most religious Christmas song that I love. And I think I love it so much because I grew up going to a church that had a preacher who preached the same sermon every Christmas: Jesus wasn't born on Christmas day. Yep, you heard it right. And every year it was the same sermon. So, I came to like this song because of that. Plus, Boney M. singing the song make me love it that much more.

14. "She Won't Be Home" by Erasure.

This song is about a daughter who isn't coming home for Christmas. So she will be spending a lonely Christmas either by herself or with friends. It's a sad song, with a happy beat. Gays and lesbians have really connected to this song over the years. The song appears on Erasure's "Crackers International" EP.

15. "Happy X-mas (War Is Over)" by Magnus Carlsson.

Yes, this is a classic by John Lennon. And you've probably heard the Celine Dion version, too. But I like the version by Swedish singer Magnus Carlsson. He used to be in Alcazar. I really like his version.

16. "All Alone On Christmas" by RuPaul.

Most people know this song by Darlene Love. But hearing RuPaul sing it brings new meaning to the song. And the only video I could find of the song is of a drag queen performing it. Very fitting. RuPaul has a fun Christmas album from the 90s called "Ho Ho Ho." Check it out, it is pretty good!

17. "Happy Ho Ho Ho" by Happy Hoes.

Yes, this is a new song this year. I love it! Instantly catchy! And the lyrics are hilarious! And I think you will adore it, too! I've covered them in my blog last month. But the link here is a different TV performance. Enjoy!~

18. "Cofia, Mae'n Aeaf" by Gwenno.

This was just released on Friday. And for FREE! Gwenno is a welsh singer most famous for being in The Pipettes. However, she has gone solo now and she is doing her most to bring the world's attention to the Welsh language. And she is doing an amazing job. This song is dreamy, beautiful and haunting. And the artwork was done by her sister Ani, also of The Pipettes.

19. "Happy New Year" by ABBA.

It's nice to throw in this year-end classic with the Christmas songs. A wonderful song. I always love the way she pronounces "Champagne" in the first line. Happy New Year, indeed!

20. "Happy, Happy Year For Us All" by Magnus Carlsson with Alcazar.

This was recorded when Alcazar was still the original trio: Annikafiore, Andreas and Tess. Shortly after this was recorded Magnus joined Alcazar. So, I sort of just consider it an Alcazar song. Love it! And Annikafiore's vocals are awesome. And it is a nice song to get the New Year started.

Well, that is it for now. Happy Holidays to you!

Poptastic regards,


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for a wonderful list. We will disagree on Madonnas Santa Baby - its my fave version.