Christmas is not just a time to be merry with others; now is the time for artists to record some of the best Christmas carols together. Whether the melody features a duo or a quintet, they usually always shine brightly at the top of the charts resembling Christmas trees.
However, we’re taking a look at the best classic rock Christmas song collaborations, for this list, and most of them have helped out in one way or another.
10. Elton John and Ed Sheeran: “Merry Christmas”
This collaboration is both classic rock and pop, but we couldn’t help but include it. Elton John and Ed Sheeran have just released their highly anticipated collaboration, “Merry Christmas,” this holiday season. That’s all one could wish for from a Christmas collaboration between the two singers. According to People, all proceeds from this year’s Christmas season will go to the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation & [the Elton John Aids Foundation].
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9. Bing Crosby and David Bowie: “Little drummer / Peace on Earth”
In 1977, David Bowie and Bing Crosby filmed the most bizarre Christmas duo in musical history. Somehow, Bowie agreed to appear on Merry Christmas from Bing Crosby. Although he refused to sing “Little Drummer Boy”, the writers had to write “Peace on Earth” quickly. Later, Crosby said he enjoyed working with Bowie, but the “Rebel Rebel” frontman still thought their collaboration was one of the strangest.
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8. John Lennon and Yoko Ono: “Merry Christmas (the war is over)”
Some fans were hesitant whenever Yoko appeared on one of John Lennon’s songs. However, their collaboration on “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is one of the most classic Christmas songs around. It has a good message and tends to be covered by a new artist almost every year.
7. Al Green and Annie Lennox: “Put a little love in your heart”
“Put a Little Love in Your Heart” is not a Christmas song, but Annie Lennox of Al Green and the Eurythmics recorded a version of the song for Bill Murray’s Christmas classic, Scrooged, in 1988. With a little synth, it works like a vacation tune.
6. Chris Cornell and Eleven: “Ave Maria”
This rock rendition of “Ave Maria” by Chris Cornell and Eleven of Soundgarden is scary. Chris Cornell’s voice on the song is one of his best, and he doesn’t even sing a rock song. The song appeared on A very special Christmas 3, which is part of a series of compilation albums featuring interpretations of Christmas classics or originals by rock stars. The profits are donated to the Special Olympics.
5. Keith Richards and Ian Stewart: “Run Rudolph Run”
It’s strange when Keith Richards decides to go alone without the Rolling Stones. However, for his version of “Run Rudolph Run” he was not completely without his band mates. Richards had longtime Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart with him on the song, first made famous by Richards hero Chuck Berry. According to ABC News Radio Online, Richards explained that he recorded the song because “for me it’s the coolest Christmas song ever. Beautiful words, a beautiful, happy feeling about it, and it tells the story, short and catchy. And what a great song, the sound is amazing.
4. Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Silent Night”
Stevie Nicks recorded “Silent Night” for the first A very special Christmas in 1987. However, she then performed the song with her friend Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the “Very Special Christmas” concert in 2000. The version of the classic from Nicks is confusing and it’s great to see the Heartbreakers by her side. .
3. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: “New York Fairy Tale”
The Pogues wanted to write an unconventional Christmas song, so they wrote “Fairytale of New York”. It’s an anti-vacation song, about a couple who have had a hard time during the vacation season. The group asked Kirsty MacColl to perform with singer Shane MacGowan.
2. Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector: “Rockin ‘Around The Christmas Tree”
Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector are the queens of the holidays. After enjoying separate hits on their own respective holiday hits, they reunited to record “Rockin ‘Around The Christmas Tree” for A very special Christmas 2.
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1. Band Aid: “Do they know it’s Christmas? “
In 1984 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organized one of the most famous collaborations in the history of music. Some of the Irish and British rock elite have come together to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The supergroup included Bono, Phil Collins, Simon Le Bon, Boy George, Sting, George Michael and many more. The song sold over 12 million copies in 1989.
So if there’s anything to take from this list, it’s that most Christmas carol collaborations are usually trying to support a cause, which is always good. It’s like hitting three birds with a stone. Artists have the chance to record a great song, move forward in the holiday cheer, and help raise funds for the things that matter most. Fans get great music and the opportunity to help as well.