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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #14

A countdown and history of the oldies era's greatest holiday tunes

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"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," Bruce Springsteen

source: ebay.com

14. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," Bruce Springsteen

Columbia 38-05728; b-side of "My Hometown"
Highest chart position: #6 US (1985)
Recorded December 12, 1975, Greenvale, NY (C.W. Post College)

As history's greatest bar band, the E Street Band naturally likes to drag out the crowd-pleasers, which in this case means a holiday favorite or two. Add to that Springsteen's oft-stated love for Spectorian production, and it makes sense that they'd cover the Ronettes' arrangement of this classic (first sung by Eddie Cantor way back in 1934!). Given that The Boss was at his absolute performance peak around the time, it was a wise choice -- but this song, like his earlier "Fever," was originally a bootleg copy, and a hit on rock stations years before it was officially released. The E Street Band swings it more than the Spector version, (and ups the drama somehow even further), but you really have to love Bruce working the audience best of all: "Everyone out there been good this year? Ohhh, that's not many! You guys are in trouble!"

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