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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #16

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

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"Sleigh Ride," The Ventures

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16. "Sleigh Ride," The Ventures

from the album "The Ventures Christmas Album," Dolton BLP 2038
Highest chart position: #9 US (1965)
Recorded October 1965, Seattle, WA

You may prefer your original Arthur Fiedler instrumental version, or Johnny Mathis' famous vocal run, or even the Spectorized version by the Ronettes, with its famous "Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding" backups, but this version by the Ventures must be the best rock instrumental version ever recorded, cleverly morphing in and out of their signature hit, "Walk, Don't Run." In fact, this version of "Walk" rocks a little harder and is a little more self-assured than its original, making this a good example of how to kill two Christmas geese with one stone, as it were. Yet it still manages to evoke the Christmas spirit, sleigh bells and all, even if this is more suited to taking "the road before us" in a '32 Ford Coupe. And if you enjoy this, wait till you hear the Ventures Christmas Album versions of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" being birthed from The Beatles' "I Feel Fine," or "Frosty The Snowman" coming out of a fifth of "Tequila"!

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