Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Hits of the 70s




Arguably the 70s produced the best original Christmas pop songs of the 20th century. By now the marketing was down to a fine art and most popular artist had a Christmas record ready to release just before the Festive Season. Competition was fierce for the top sellers and every manner of gimmick to improve sales was employed.



Merry Christmas Darling was recorded by The Carpenters and became the first 7" single from A&M Records. It became the number one on Billboard's Christmas singles chart in 1970. This was also repeated in 1971 and 1973 with subsequent releases. Karen Carpenter’s vocals on the single are considered by many to be her best.

Feliz Navidad



José Feliciano wrote and sang "Feliz Navidad" in 1970. The song topped the American charts for 10 weeks and was a hit across the world. The traditional Christmas/New Year Spanish greeting, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" (Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness) has become a classic Christmas pop song and has been covered by many other artists over the years.

Happy Xmas war is over



Happy Xmas war is over by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was released as a single by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir. "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" produced by Phil Spector was a vocal protest against America's involvement in the Vietnam War and became a Christmas standard. It was issued in 7" single format on transparent green vinyl with a card-stock picture sleeve and variant label. The song was released in the US in 1971, and in 1972 in the UK , initial sales were lower than anticipated in part because the single was released later for the Christmas market and received little promotion in 1971. By 1972 it became a massive hit, spending eight weeks on the UK Singles Chart. Between December 1972 and February 1973, the song entered the top ten in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Singapore.

Little Drummer Boy



"The Little Drummer Boy" (Carol of the Drum") was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, recorded an instrumental version featuring a bagpipes and drums and it became a Christmas hit in the UK in 1972.

Merry Christmas Everybody



Slade’s "Merry Xmas Everybody" was an enormous hit in 1973, it became the band's sixth number-one single in the UK and stayed in the UK Singles Chart well into February 1974. "Merry Xmas Everybody" was Slade's best-selling single, released at the peak of their popularity, and sold over a million copies upon its first release. In a 2007 poll, "Merry Xmas Everybody" was voted the UK's most popular Christmas song. The song was recorded in the late summer of 1973 at the Record Plant in New York and was produced by Chas Chandler (The Animals).

I wish it could be Christmas everyday





Wizzard released "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" in December 1973 and it reached number four on the UK Singles Chart.

Gaudete



Gaudete is a sacred Christmas carol thought to have been composed in the 16th century. Steeleye Span released their cappella version in 1973. This single is one of only three top 50 British hits to be sung in Latin (the others were both recordings of "Pie Jesu" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem)

Step into Christmas



Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, "Step into Christmas" was released November 1973 with the song "Ho, Ho, Ho (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)" as the B-side. Despite it lowly chart success in both the UK and US at the time, the song went on to become an evergreen. "Step into Christmas" was mixed to sound like one of producer Phil Spector's 1960s recordings and was intended to sound like the Christmas songs by Spector-produced groups such as The Ronettes.

Lonely this Christmas



Mud topped the UK Singles Chart in 1974 with "Lonely This Christmas." The song was performed in the style of Elvis Presley's slower songs, was written and produced by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.

Christmas song



Gilbert O'Sullivan had a Top Twenty hit with Christmas Song in 1974. The Irish singer-songwriter enjoyed a series of hits.

Wombling Merry Christmas



The Wombles were a group of musicians dressed as the characters from children's TV show The Wombles and based on the children's book series by Elisabeth Beresford. Songwriter and record producer, Mike Batt, wrote the series' theme tune, and went on to perform and produce a number of successful albums and singles as 'The Wombles'.

Father Christmas do not touch me



The Goodies (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie) was a successful television series and had a string of successful chart singles penned by Bill Oddie . Father Christmas do not touch me was the first of two Christmas hits for the Goodies. In 1975, they enjoyed chart success with Make a Daft Noise for Christmas.

Hey Mr Christmas



Showaddywaddy specialized in revivals of hit songs from the 1950s and early 1960s and dress as Teddy Boys. They had a minor Christmas hit with Hey Mr Christmas.

Ding Dong Ding Dong



Georg Harrison’s "Ding Dong, Ding Dong" was written as a New Year's Eve singalong and released in December 1974. It was only a minor hit in Britain and the United States but became a top-twenty hit elsewhere in the world.

Christmas Dream



Christmas Dream was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice with German lyrics by Andre Heller for the 1974 Columbia film The Odessa File. Perry Como sang the song with the London Boy Singers .

I believe in Father Christmas



Greg Lake’s "I Believe In Father Christmas" was written in protest at the commercialisation of Christmas and was released in1974.

A Spaceman came travelling



"A Spaceman Came Travelling" was written and sung by Chris de Burgh. The song was not an initial success and failed to chart but later became a classic Christmas record. The song is a narrative of a UFO religion tale. It is a retelling of how the angel Gabriel came to give a message to the shepherds, but with a spaceship and a spaceman instead.

Its gonna be a cold cold Christmas



Dana had a Christmas hit with "It's Gonna be a Cold Cold Christmas" released four weeks prior to Christmas in 1975.

Christmas for Cowboys



John Denver was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. "Christmas for Cowboys" as single from his first Christmas Album.

Renta Santa



Chris Hill was a British disc jockey and released novelty records. "Renta Santa" became a hit single in the UK during the Christmas season of 1975. The record peaked at #10 on the UK Singles Chart in December of that year.[2] The following year, he released "Bionic Santa" cut in a similar style.

When a child is born (Soleado)



The lyrics of "When a Child is Born" were written by Fred Jay and set to the original melody "Soleado" by Ciro Dammicco (alias Zacar). The most successful version of the song is by Johnny Mathis.

Christmas must be tonight



Written by Robbie Robertson the song first appeared on the Band’s Northern Lights – Southern Cross album.

Father Christmas The Kinks



"Father Christmas" by The Kinks tells the tale of a department store Father Christmas who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys. It is in the mode of Punk music which was popular at the time.

Little Drummer Boy



K.K. Davis' "The Little Drummer Boy" was first recorded in 1955 as "Carol of the Drum". The lyrics relate how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant Jesus, he played his drum with the Virgin Mary's approval, remembering "I played my best for Him" and "He smiled at me." "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" is a Christmas song with an added counterpoint performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. The "Peace on Earth" tune and lyrics, written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan, were added to the song specially for Bowie and Crosby's recording. The track was recorded on September 11, 1977 for Crosby's television special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas. In the United States, "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" became a staple on radio stations during the Christmas season.

Christmas in Smurfland



"Christmas In Smurfland" is a single featuring Father Abraham and the Smurfs. It is one of the few Smurf-related musical works released that was centered around Christmas.

Mary’s boy child



The calypso inspired "Mary's Boy Child" was written by Jester Hairston in 1956. The song was a hit for Harry Belafonte in 1957 and sold over one million copies in the UK alone. In 1978 the German disco-group Boney M took their version to the top of the charts.

Please come home for Christmas



"Please Come Home for Christmas" was originally a hit for Charles Brown in 1961. In 1978, the Eagles covered and released the song as a holiday single. Their version peaked at #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the first Christmas song to reach the Top 20 on that chart since Roy Orbison's "Pretty Paper" in 1963.

Wonderful Christmas time



"Wonderful Christmastime" was a Christmas hit for Sir Paul McCartney in 1979. McCartney recorded the song entirely on his own during the sessions for his solo project McCartney II.

Christmas rappin



Rapper and record producer Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury and released "Christmas Rappin'".

It won’t seem like Christmas (without you)



The album The Wonderful World Of Christmas was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1971. The single was release posthumously after his death in 1977.

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