The Shit List: Top 10 Christmas Tunes By Pop Artists, Part 1

Every Christmas, we are besieged by new Christmas albums by contemporary artists who unwittingly think the world needs another cheesy rendition of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer". The sheer amount of schmaltzy holiday crap that oozes from PA speakers all month long can make you forget that there is actually some really great Christmas music out there. For those needing a quick refresher course, here is our list of the ten best Christmas tunes by rock/contemporary artists, in no particular order.

David Bowie & Bing Crosby "The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth"

I still remember seeing this unlikely duet take place on Bing Crosby's 1977 Christmas special and not believing my eyes. Even as a kid, I knew this was one of the weirdest musical pairings the world would ever see. In the many years since, this performance has come to be one of my favorite Christmas songs, not so much due to any admiration I have for Crosby, but for Bowie's epic performance of a drastically re-tooled holiday chestnut, thereby making it a whole new song.

Stevie Nicks "Silent Night"

Nicks' solo rendition of "Silent Night" (my fave Christmas song) was a stunner and stand-out track on 1987's essential "A Very Special Christmas" album. While I've never been a huge Stevie Nicks fan, her voice is perfectly suited for this song and she absolutely knocks it out of the park.

Eurythmics "Winter Wonderland"

This track, also from the 1987 album "A Very Special Christmas" introduced the rest of the world to a voice I have loved since I first heard Annie Lennox singing as a member of the Tourists back in 1981. Hearing Annie wrap her supremely understated voice around "Winter Wonderland" gives me both a chill of winter and the warm fuzzies.

Wham "Last Christmas" takes every fibre of my being to admit that I actually adore this song. It's so incredibly kitschy that it pegs the kitsch-o-meter and, in doing so, achieves an almost mythical grandeur. Of course, these days, George Michael is a menace to society, but whenever I hear this song, I am reminded of much more innocent know, back when Michael was pretending to be straight and all.

Aimee Mann "Whatever Happened To Christmas?"

Aimee is one of my all-time favorite people in the music biz and when I heard that she was putting out a Christmas album a few years back, my heart about exploded. The album, "One More Drifter In The Snow", is enjoying its fourth year of heavy rotation in my house and this track is the one that resonates the most in light of how commercialized the holiday has become and, yet, how people have come to look at you strange for saying "Merry Christmas" to those you meet.

Check back later this week for Part 2!

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