I"ll never understand why Vanessa Williams' Save The Best For Last has become an unofficial R&B Christmas Carol. When I used to work at Macy's during the holidays the song would pop up somewhere between This Christmas and Deck the Halls faithfully, and it just doesn't make sense. Outside of "sometimes the snow comes down in June" there's nothing at all Christmas related in the song, and I'm not even sure that line counts because, you know, it's June. I suppose it's because Williams decided to re-release the song as a Christmas single following it's original success, with a new snow-themed video and all, which to me just qualifies it as a holiday hustle, not a tree-trimming classic.
At least Best For Last is a good song. I've always believed that even the best artists should leave Christmas music alone, whether it be creating original tracks for the holidays, or reworking classics. There's nothing worse than a culturally appropriated Christmas Carol. "On the 8th day of Christmas my baby gave to me a pair of Chloe shades and diamond belly ring." Uh, no. I love TLC, but I hated their '92 Christmas song and video, and I just don't think it's ever appropriate to rock condoms with a holiday stocking. Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You doesn't do it for me either, and that's one of her biggest hits.
The all time worst Christmas cover belongs to Ashanti, who in five minutes manages to ruin every Christmas carol you've ever held dear. The video is even worse. It's one of those clips that leaves you stuck in a moment of wondering if this is really happening, or if you're having a holiday hallucination. Otherwise, I like Ashanti.
A few Christmas songs that I'll always love: the Eagles' version of Please Come Home For Christmas is something I'll still listen to in June (while it's snowing, right Vanessa?). Silent Night as sung by Boyz II Men is a beautiful thing. And saving the best for last (ding!), Donny Hathaway's This Christmas is clearly THE timeless Christmas classic.
Oh, and Little Drummer Boy is a song that no one can mess up.
Here's Ashanti's Christmas randomness.
That Santa's sled scene is a mess.