Christmas Hits: Twelve Artists You Didn't Know Released Festive Music

By Adam MaidmentMusicngear Contributing Editor

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Tis the season to be jolly. The holidays are well and truly here, which means it’s completely fine for you to listen to ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ on loop every day during the festive season.

While we all know and admire festive hits from legends such as Mariah Carey, Michael Buble and Bing Crosby, there’s also a handful of artists who might wish their Christmas pasts were all but a distant memory.

But, just like Marley’s ghosts, we’re here to remind everyone about these lesser-known hits and perhaps explain why some of them have been kept away from the Christmas playlists for so long. Without further ado, here’s twelve artists you might not realise have dabbled in the world of Christmas music…

Twisted Sister

Kicking things off are U.S. heavy metal band Twisted Sister.

Having rocked out stadiums in the 80’s, it was decided that 2006 was a long enough wait for a Christmas album from the band. ‘A Twisted Christmas’ features questionable reworkings of festive favourites, including ‘White Christmas’ and ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, alongside original track ‘A Heavy Metal Christmas’.

As part of a mash-up nobody wanted or needed, the band blended their biggest hit ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ with ‘O Come All Ye Be Faithful’ for a bizarre track that sounds like your dad’s karaoke number on Christmas Eve. The music video is also a doozy and a whopping great saga at 6 and a half minutes long. Enjoy...

William Shatner

At this point in his life, there’s not really much that William Shatner hasn’t done. This year, the Star Trek legend released the brilliantly-titled ‘Shatner Claus’, his first Christmas album.

Adding a whole new “dimension” to some of our favourite Christmas hits, Shatner’s album features collaborations with a number of musicians, including Iggy Pop and Judy Collins. In fact, the album even features a punk rock version of ‘Jingle Bells’ because, well, why not.

Enjoy his rowdy version of ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed-Reindeer’ featuring ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons.

 

Star Wars

No words can really describe what we’re about to share, but we’ll try our hardest.

Despite negative response to the Star Wars Holiday television special in 1978, it was decided that Star Wars fever was enough to warrant a Christmas album in 1980.

Mostly centred around C3PO and R2D2, ‘Christmas In The Stars’ is an excellent example of when cashing-in on a brand goes too far. Say what you will but you can’t deny that ‘What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)’ isn’t a bit of an earworm.

 

Crazy Frog

If you thought the above was bad, reserve judgement until you hear this one and you might be longing for more Wookie time instead.

Back in 2005, it was hard to go anywhere without hearing the rumblings of the Crazy Frog. An irritating sound effect amped up for ringtones, merchandise and, inevitably, music, it was only a matter of time before we were treated to a festive number from the froggy star.

Here we present to you the very worst version of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ you’ll ever hear. No idea on who the female vocalist is that joins in on the track, but it’s probably best that she remains anonymous.

 

Run-D.M.C

Run-D.M.C. may be credited with breaking hip-hop into the mainstream, but their Christmas contribution leaves a little to be desired.

Despite receiving a bit of a cult-like status, thanks to its inclusion in ‘Die Hard’, the 1987 ‘Christmas in Hollis’ is a blip for the collective. Thankfully, the video is exceptional in that its super cringe to watch and just reminds you of that time your parents tried to look cool and trendy.

 

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper does not get nearly enough credit she deserves, but that doesn’t forgive her for some of the choices she made on her Christmas album ‘Merry Christmas… Have a Nice Life’.

Fair play to Lauper for not just rehashing the classics and actually went to the effort of writing new material for the album. However, there’s no redeeming features on ‘Christmas Conga’ – not even the samba-infused beat.

 

Joe Pesci

Yep, famed Hollywood actor who’s won an actual Academy Award amongst other serious awards took a questionable dip into the world of Christmas music with this naughty rendition of Gene Autry’s ‘If It Doesn’t Snow on Christmas’.

Featuring more than enough F-bombs to bring tears to any child on Christmas Day, the bizarre track sees Pesci call Santa a “fat f**k” before going off on a expletive-filled rant at the end of the track. Merry Christmas, indeed.

 

New Order

In 1982, New Order disguised themselves to secretly unveil a number of festive numbers, including 'Rocking Carol'.

As part of a release given out to Christmas ravers at the infamous Hacienda club in Manchester, U.K, it was hoped this blend of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and Queen's 'We Will Rock You' would not be associated with the electro band. Fortunately for us, sleuths figured it out. Unfortunately for us, it’s not great and sounds like Darth Vader’s been on the brandy.

 

Snoop Dogg

Not even the gentle pan pipes at the beginning of ‘Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto’ can predict the U-Turn about to take place.

Snoop Dogg enlists his rapper pals to make a festive rap track which actually isn’t the worst of the bunch and has a nice message. The video features Snoop Dogg take on the role of a modern-day Santa Claus, riding through the skies in his car while singing about getting blazed. Standard Snoop, really.

 

The Weather Girls

Coming straight from the sheer popularity of ‘It’s Raining Men’, the Weather Girls ran straight to a Christmas number to ensure they didn’t become a one-hit-wonder. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for the seasonally-driven girls.

‘Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas)’ is a catchy disco number, but it’s essentially a rework of ‘It’s Raining Men’ with a bit of tinsel and jingle bells thrown at it. Not gonna lie though, we’ll be getting our life to this when we’re drunk on mince pies and wine.

 

Arcade Fire

Donning their best Karaoke on Christmas Eve impressions, Arcade Fire recorded a Christmas EP live at a party in 2001 and were clearly intoxicated for the duration of it.

The EP was never intended to be shared and was only supposed to be a gift for the band’s friends but, of course, it found its way online. ‘A Very Arcade Xmas’ features dog whines, rambling lyrics, and a fair share of sleigh bells. It’s not one to add to the greatest hits collection, folks.

 

David Hasselhoff

Last but by no means least, it’s the man, the myth, the legend that is David Hasselhoff.

Already a big musician in Germany, it was only inevitable that the Baywatch hunk would release a Christmas album and fans finally got that wish in 2004. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘The Night Before Christmas’ was universally panned by critics.

Shout out to Robert Allen who commented on the video below saying that “this song ruined my Christmas!”.

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About Adam Maidment

Adam Maidment is a content writer with a keen interest in entertainment, music and pop culture. His music tastes are as varied as his interests, ranging from Kate Bush, CHVRCHES, Santigold, Friendly Fires, and Childish Gambino. You can follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/helloitsadam

Contact Adam Maidment at adam.maidment@musicngear.com