InMusic, Random Thoughts

8 R&B Holiday Songs to Get Your Season Started Right

After Thanksgiving, we immediately start hearing holiday songs everywhere.  In some instances, we hear these songs before Thanksgiving.  Hearing these songs tell us that holiday season is upon us whether we are ready or not. For me, this is an exciting time of year because it is time to start decorating and shopping for holiday gifts.

In my opinion, the season has not officially begun until I hear Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” or Boyz II Men’s “Let it Snow”.  Once I hear those songs and start seeing holiday specials on my TV, I know that the most joyous seasons of the year is here. 

Being that music is an essential part of the season, I decided to list below my 8 all-time favorite R&B holiday songs that start my season off right! Check them out below and feel free to clink on the song titles to listen.

Boyz II Men featuring Brian McKnight: “Let it Snow”

My favorite group of all time, this song will always be at the top of my list.  Putting their own spin on the ‘Let it Snow’ song, Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight released this classic in 1993.  The popularity of this song has not slowed down since.  Due to the smooth vocal arrangements and nice mid-tempo beat, this song will always appear on a holiday playlist. 

Temptations: “Silent Night”

Another classic that signalswe are starting the holiday season. The Temptations Give Love on Christmas Day album (yes, vinyl) was in heavy rotation in my house growing up.  Honestly, it is still in heavy rotation, it’s just an mp3or the CD now.  I highly recommend checking out this holiday album.   There are many other holiday classics on this album such as the title track and “Everything for Christmas.” 

Donny Hathaway: “This Christmas”

Released in 1970, “This Christmas” has been remade by numerous artists.  Though many of the remakes are really good, like Chris Brown’s, Christina Aguilera’s and the Temptations rendition, there will only be one Donny Hathaway.  His version (the original) will always beat out the remakes.

Mariah Carey: “All I Want for Christmas is You”

My favorite holiday up-tempo bop, I love this song.  I always start moving my head once I hear the first chords of this song.  This simple up-tempo holiday song has become a traditional holiday song that has been remade numerous times. Even Mariah Carey remade this song for her 2010 holiday album entitled Merry Christmas II You.

Luther Vandross: “Every Year, Every Christmas”

Released in 1995, “Every Year, Every Christmas” is a fixture on R&B stations during the holidays.  This song is a favorite because I love Luther’s voice.  Luther’s voice is just so smooth that you can’t help but feel the lyrics that he sings.  I also recommend checking out his version of “My Favorite Things” that also appear on this holiday album.  

Jackson 5: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Jermaine sang his heart out on this one.  However, when the tempo switch and they start singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” I fell in love with this song.  Especially when Michael starts singing.  This version was released on their 1970 album, Jackson 5 Christmas Album. 

Whitney Houston: “Joy to the World”

What can I say; to me, this is Whitney at her finest.  I love her take on this classic with the Georgia Mass Choir.  You have no choice but to start jumping like you are in church on Sunday morning. This song originally appeared on the Preacher’s Wife soundtrack. 

Stevie Wonder: “Someday at Christmas”

Initially released in 1967, this is another classic that has been remade numerous times. Recently, this song was re-recorded with Andrea Day, and that version is amazing.  While I do love the Temptations and Jackson 5 versions nothing beats the original. 

Bonus Tracks

The next two are not necessary R&B, but I love them andfelt that they deserved to show on my list.

Run-D.M.C.: “Christmas in Hollis”

This song was issued on two different compilation albums in 1987. This classic has shown up in various movies, TV shows, and even a commercial.  Sampling “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter this song was an instant hit and is one of my favorites. 

Big Tyme: “Xmas Blues”

Not exactly a song but I always look forward to hearing this song every year.  Released in 1996, Otis is pleading with his love BonQuisha on this song, and it is hilarious.  You can find this song on an album called All Star Christmas by the Quad City DJ’s.  I highly recommend checking out the whole album.  There is plenty of outstanding bass music to take your holiday party up a couple of notches. 

Listed above are just a few of my all-time favorite holiday songs. Please believe, I have many more that are kept in heavy rotation.  Click here to check out my other favorites located on my holiday playlist on Spotify. Feel free to comment below and let me know your favorite holiday songs. 

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