Three under the tree, Day 6

If you were with us last year, today’s post may be familiar.

One of the advantages (or drawbacks) to being older than dirt is that you can be nostalgic about several decades. So it is as we fondly recall the early ’80s and bring you three from the early days of MTV.

Believe it or not, there was a time when artists made Christmas videos and MTV played them at Christmas time, just as radio would play their Christmas singles at Christmas time.

* * * * *


“Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You,” Billy Squier, 1981, from “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas,” a 1994 compilation.

Squier was one of the biggest stars on MTV at the time, so a Christmas single seemed logical. And who could forget these lyrics: “From grownup to minor/No one could be finer” and “From rooftop to chimney/From Harlem to Bimini.” I know of no other Christmas song with “Bimini” in the lyrics.

Squier lip-syncs it with the MTV VJs and crew on the video. It’s a guilty pleasure, perhaps even corny, but it’s a good memory from that time. Of course, it revives the age-old debate: Nina Blackwood or Martha Quinn?

* * * * *


“2000 Miles,” the Pretenders, from “Learning to Crawl,” 1983.

Talk about playing a guitar like ringing a bell, quietly, gracefully. A modern Christmas classic about a loved one gone at Christmas. That it came from an album with so many other great, straight-up rock songs — this was the flip side to “Middle of the Road” — makes it all the more remarkable.

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“Do They Know It’s Christmas,” Band Aid, from the 12-inch single, 1984.

Before “We Are The World,” there was this. In 1984, everyone who was anyone on the UK music scene came together as Band Aid to sing “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” Bob Geldof wrote the words. Midge Ure wrote the music. The song, which benefited hunger relief in Ethiopia, was huge — a solid No. 1 in Britain and close to it in the States.

As you watch the video to see what all the fuss was about, see how many of those performers you can name.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” is out of print but is available on this 7-inch single released in 2004 as the flip side to a new, 20th anniversary version.

* * * * *

Enjoy. More to come, including some all-request posts. However, without requests, I can’t do all-request posts. So feel free to drop me a line.

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas music, December 2008, Sounds

One response to “Three under the tree, Day 6

  1. Good stuff! I love that Pretenders song.

    You beat me to posting Band Aid! Whatever happened to Paul Young? Bono, Simon LeBon, Sting, and George Michael should collaborate more often. Love all the cigarette smoke in the video. Ha ha ha!

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