I’ve got a deep collection of Christmas albums that started around 2005 when I was writing for a website that doesn’t exist anymore. Record companies would send us free copies of new Christmas releases in exchange for reviews. We were always hungry for content, so it was a fair trade. We might have even given “VeggieTales – The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree” an ironic spin.
I’ve added to the collection with my own money each year and I’m going to highlight some of my favorites between now and December 25. Let’s start with a Christmas song that’s huge in the UK – so popular that it comes back onto the charts every year since 2007, but it’s mostly unknown in the US. “I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day” was originally released by the glam band Wizzard in 1973.
This video is from a 1973 Top of the Pops performance. Wizzard singer and writer Roy Wood wanted to use the real children’s chorus that sings on the record – Birmingham’s Stockland Green School – but the show made them use actors and Wood says it still bothers him how so many of the kids couldn’t act interested.
Wizzard was never big in America, but Roy Wood is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Electric Light Orchestra. If you watched “Black Mirror,” you’ll probably remember “I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day” from a dark dark ending scene, but it’s also been covered by everyone from Kidz Bop to Bon Jovi to Kylie Minogue. Here’s my favorite cover – a stripped-down Nick Lowe off his Christmas album, “Quality Street.”