Soul Christmas music is unmatched. Once you mix legendary vocals with elaborate storytelling in regards to the vacation over a rhythmic backdrop, you’re left with a litany of songs that’ll have you ever both dancing, laughing alongside in delight or shedding tears over a heartwarming reminiscence.
There are lots of traditional vacation soul tracks from the likes of Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, the 4 Tops, The Supremes and others — which make it onerous to decide on the perfect. However there’s a set of songs that reign supreme.
In no explicit order, listed here are the 13 greatest Christmas soul songs. Pay attention to those songs and extra on Vacation Soul (Ch. 49) from December 7 by December 28.
Charles Brown – “Please Come Dwelling For Christmas”
Charles Brown croons arguably one of many saddest Christmas songs ever written, exclaiming at one level, “My child’s gone, I’ve no mates…” Nobody ought to really feel this sulky throughout one of many cheeriest holidays, however that shouldn’t cease you from blasting the melancholy joint out of your automobile audio system.
Otis Redding – “Merry Christmas Child”
Otis Redding is just not the unique artist behind “Merry Christmas Child,” however his traditional, raspy tone paired with this Christmas commonplace tops the record of covers that embrace artists like B.B. King, Christina Aguilera and Elvis Presley. Redding has voiced many traditional Christmas songs, together with this one.
The Temptations – “Silent Evening”
As soon as The Temptations launched their model of the traditional tune, all different variations ceased to matter.
Carla Thomas – “Gee Whiz It’s Christmas”
A Christmas track excellent to get you shaking your hips. Thomas’ enjoyable, uptempo track is much less about Christmas and extra about discovering your manner again into somebody’s coronary heart by vacation festivities.
Clarence Carter – “Again Door Santa”
Between the massive horns and Carter’s boisterous tone, it’s possible you’ll miss that the track is a couple of man sneaking round with one other man’s lady. It’s an ideal instance of the storytelling of the ’60s and ’70s soul scene however with a Christmas-y spin.
James Brown – “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto”
James Brown created quite a few songs that could possibly be on this record, all that includes his legendary sound and prolific lyrics — however this one stands out, because it was launched throughout a crucial time interval in historical past and was really meant to signify Black kids throughout the USA.
William Bell – “On a regular basis Will Be Like a Vacation”
One other love track for a tortured lover throughout Christmastime. Don’t hearken to the Carole King model with out listening to this model first, and make sure to ship it over to your long-distance love within the meantime.
Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas”
Typically replicated however by no means duplicated, Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” is without doubt one of the hottest Christmas songs of all time.
Jackson 5 – “I Noticed Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
One other cowl that’s arguably the perfect model of the track, the observe includes a younger MJ’s angelic vocals. It simply makes you wish to sing alongside!
Eartha Kitt – “Santa Child”
Though “Santa Child” has discovered itself on each the record for greatest and worst Christmas songs, the sultry Kitt traditional is a staple throughout the holidays. It’s additionally been lined by a few of pop’s largest stars together with Taylor Swift, Madonna and Ariana Grande, however none contact the unique.
The Feelings – “What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?”
The final unhappy love track on the record might be the saddest of all of them. The lead vocalist achingly commiserates over being lonely throughout the holidays, and it hits you proper within the coronary heart.
Stevie Marvel – “Sometime At Christmas”
We will’t have a “better of soul” record with out Stevie Marvel. In true Marvel trend, “Sometime At Christmas” consists of themes of world peace, love and equality. In 2017, he remade the track with songstress Andra Day.
Solomon Burke – “Presents For Christmas”
We shut this record with one of many pioneers of the soul sound along with his traditional “Presents For Christmas.” With booming horns and wealthy vocals, Burke reminds us of his impression on soul music with a vacation gem.