Sunday, December 12, 2010

15 Funkiest Christmas Songs

My sister recently suggested that I make up a list of the funkiest Christmas jams for my blog in recognition of the yuletide season, and I thought that was a really cool idea. So I began putting together a list of my favorite funky Christmas songs. It wasn't quite as easy as I initially thought, as there are a lot of great funky Christmas tracks out there from which to choose. I was originally just going to make it the top 10 funkiest Christmas jams but kept finding more great tracks. So here's the list of my 15 funkiest Xmas jams:

1) Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto - James Brown

On this track, James showed that his funk is perennial, great for any season. The groove sounds like a funky Santa Claus rollin' through the hood in a tricked-out sleigh. Also, the song has a relevant social message. Disadvantaged kids in poor neighborhoods should not be forgotten when Christmastime rolls around. The subject of the song is one that's close to James' heart, as revealed in the following lyrics: "You know that I know that you will see/'Cause that was once me."

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2) Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson 5

The J5 bring youthful exuberance and excitement to their soulful, high-energy rendition of the Christmas classic.

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3) Christmas in Hollis - Run-D.M.C.

The legendary rap trio from Hollis, Queens bring some hip hop flavor to the Christmas holidays as they trade rhymes on this infectiously funky track. The rap group sample the opening riff from Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" to great effect here.

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4) Soulful Christmas - James Brown

The Godfather returns to the list with another funky Christmas jam. It's from his album James Brown's Funky Christmas, the same album that "Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto" is on.

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5) Santa's Got a Bag of Soul - The Soul Saints Orchestra 

The Soul Saints Orchestra gives a nod to the yuletide season with some raw, uncut old-school funk.

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6) Funky Christmas Song Ho Ho Ho- The Perry Brothers featuring Dirty Jenny on guitar

I recently came across this very funky Christmas cut on Youtube by the comedy duo The Perry Brothers. The song features some tasty licks from guitarist Dirty Jenny.

7) Happy Holidaze - Bootsy Collins featuring Snoop Dogg

Bootsy and Snoop team up on this stupidly funky Xmas track.

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8) Christmas Rappin' - Kurtis Blow

Rap pioneer Kurtis Blow celebrates the holidays with this great rap/dance track.

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9) Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Temptations

The Temps bring a little smooth Motown soul to this Christmas classic.

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10) Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses

I always look forward to hearing this song on the radio around the Christmas holiday. The song is a blast and has a cool energetic bass line.

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11) Get Down Santa - The Jive Turkeys

Badass instrumental ode to Saint Nick.

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12) Merry Christmas Baby - Stevie Wonder and Wyclef Jean

Stevie and Wyclef do it up big on this funkalicious reworking of the old Xmas classic.

13) Run Rudolph Run- Chuck Berry

Okay, this is actually vintage Rock & Roll rather than funk or soul, but it's such a great song that I just couldn't leave it off the list. Plus, it's Chuck Berry.
14) White Christmas- Otis Redding

Otis delivers an incredibly soulful interpretation of Irving Berlin's Christmas classic.

15) Funky Christmas - Groove Thangs

Groove Thangs close out the list with some James Brown-style old-school funk for the holidays.

*edit: bonus song* I just recently came across this really funky Christmas track by Rufus Thomas, which would have definitely made my list had I known about it when I was putting it together. It's called "I'll be your Santa, Baby."

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