27. "Little Saint Nick," The Beach BoysCapitol 5096 b/w "The Lord's Prayer"
Highest chart position: #3 (1963)
Recorded October 20, 1963, Los Angeles, CA
This unlikely Christmas ditty, created by a group associated with a bunch of things you can never do in the wintertime, would seem like a novelty if not for the sheer authority with which Brian Wilson was starting to command in the studio -- here, jolly old St. Nicholas works on his cherry ride all year so that he can show off to the ho-dads at Christmastime. This is the same territory Cheech and Chong would cover for la raza some years later in "Santa Claus And His Old Lady," right down to the description of said sleigh as "Candy Apple Red." Funny stuff, but it turns out that the Spectorian production of Wilson and the Four Freshman-inspired harmonies of the Boys work perfectly for Christmas music -- proven by the original album this appears on, which devotes a whole side to traditional Christmas carols. Even hot-rodders love the holiday mainstays.