How to... make the perfect Christmas soundtrack
Decorating the Christmas tree and whipping up your batch of eggnog isn't complete without the perfect soundtrack
As a nipper, JOE would gather round the radio at home on Christmas week to discover which of the year's amazing tunes had taken the most coveted position in the music charts at this festive time of year. From Bing Crosby to David Bowie, there was always a quality tune to listen to that would fill our home with Christmas cheer.
Unfortunately, it seems that all new music is pretty much rubbish, so in our infinite wisdom, we have decided to make our own Christmas playlist that captures the mood perfectly as we add that last sprig of nutmeg and swig of rum to the batch of eggnog.
The opening track of any mix (even if you're making a mix tape to send to your sweetie that really expresses your feelings) is key. It will set the tone for what follows, and to paraphrase the great John Giles, start the mix as you mean to go on. For that reason, JOE recommends that you start with a classic, and a song that features heavily in one of our favourite Christmas movies, Home Alone, 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'.
Unbeatable really, and if you're not starting your mix with this, then you have no excuses when your Christmas party suddenly turns from a festive funfair into a debauched December donnybrook. It's even got a sax solo, need we say more?
From there on in, the choice is yours, but in general we recommend saving the slower numbers for the middle of the mix, and then building back up to the big finish. A couple of tracks that are absolutely crucial to any mix are as follows:
Dean Martin - Let it Snow
Burl Ives - Holly Jolly Christmas
Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas everyone
Southside Johnny Lyon - Please Come Home for Christmas
Chris Rea - Driving Home for Christmas
If any songs from after the year 1994 (the year Mariah Carey released 'All I Want For Christmas is You, another classic) feature on your playlist, then you've ruined your Christmas soundtrack. We will, however, make an exception for the Christmas number one from the lads in The Darkness. Just novelty enough, we say.
Now for the big finish. As with the start, there really is only one candidate when it comes to this, and it is the often copied but never matched 'Fairytale of New York'. This is the big moment when everyone knows Christmas is really here, and you can guarantee that, mulled wine in hand, everyone will put their arms around each other, and sing along at the top of their lungs.
It was Christmas Eve babe...
Now that you have the perfect Christmas soundtrack, you're well on your way to having a perfect Christmas with Littlewoods Ireland.