Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Music Videos

I don't know whether it's because I'm too fickle or too lazy, but I am always hard pressed when asked to name my favorite ________ (fill in the blank - movie, song, TV show etc). I'm OK with listing favorites, as long as I don't have to rank them. Here, in no particular order, is a list of some of my favorite Christmas Music Videos of the past couple of decades:

Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You - Bill Squire
Back in the early days of MTV, when the "M" stood for music (as opposed to mundane, moronic, miserable, mighty bad etc) the music channel would present an annual Christmas video featuring a musician performing a Christmas song with the entire MTV "family" in attendance. The performers were a diverse group including Joe "King" Carrasco, George Thorogood and The Monkees. The very first of these from 1981 featured Billy Squire. It's very low key; no special effects or fancy staging. It's basically everyone sitting around and swaying to the music as Billy Squire plays the guitar and sings. Why I like this video: It appeals to my sense of nostalgia. The original MTV VJs are there - cool J.J. Jackson, funny Alan Hunter, hip Mark Goodman, cute-as-a-button Martha Quinn and sexy Nina Blackwood. It's also a sweet song with a nice message.

Christmas In Hollis - Run-D.M.C.
I'm a big fan of old school rap (I've been known to bust out Sugar Hill Gang's Rapper's Delight at the most inappropriate times), and Run-D.M.C. is at the top of my list. Christmas In Hollis was featured in 1987's A Very Special Christmas, the first in a series of compilation albums produced to benefit The Special Olympics. Why I like this video: Mischievous elves, dogs with antlers, Santa leaving $1000,000 in cash, cheesy special effects and a cool beat courtesy of the late Jason Jam-Master Jay Mizell - what's not to love?

Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
From 1979, another low key video featuring Paul, Linda and the band singing, dancing and generally having fun. Why I like this video - I'm a big fan of the Beatles, I like this song, and I'm a sucker for primitive special effects.

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Proving that I am one of the gayest straight men on the planet, my final video is this black and white version of Mariah's 1994 hit. Why I like this video- Mini skirts, go-go boots and a black and white retro setting - do I really need to explain further?


  1. No one who knows you needs proof that you are the gayest straight man on the planet. I have to agree with your take on Christmas Time in Hollis. No one else could get away with a line like " Momma's cookin chicken and collard greens" and get away with it.

    My only fave that is not listed here? Definitely the John Coltrane version of Greensleeves / What Child is this. It so so soulful and sad that it can make you weep. It totally lacks the sappy sentiment of most Christmas songs. The most impotant thing, anmd something that needs to be a focus of a future post, is your LEAST favorite. I vote the wretched Kenny and Dolly Xmas album in it's entirety. When i have had to brave this at the hands of my mother in law who loves it, It actually makes my ears bleed and makes me pray for a quick and merciful death.

  2. Fortunately I've never heard the Kenny/Dolly Christmas album.

    Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty is a great one but I don't think he ever made a video for it so it wasn't included on the list.