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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #33

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

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"Wonderful Christmastime," Paul McCartney

source: jpgr.co.uk

33. "Wonderful Christmastime," Paul McCartney

Columbia 1-11162 / Parlophone R6029 b/w "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reggae"
Highest chart position: #6 UK (1979)
Recorded July 1979, Glasgow, Scotland

Like a lot of Christmas songs, you either love this one or hate it... leave it to Paul to make a holiday favorite that actually ups the ante on cheeriness, and his traditionalist streak is borne out in the "ding dong, ding dong" chorus of phony schoolchildren (one that actually betters former bandmate George's own song of the same name). It's also dated, like a lot of Christmas songs -- this was recorded during the sessions for Paul's McCartney II album, where he once again retreated to his farm and laid down all the tracks himself, but this time he was experimenting with the new electropop movement, which is why that weird boinging sound crops up through the song. The instrument in question, by the way, is a primitive analog synth called a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, which you might also recognize from Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" and the Doobie Brothers' "What A Fool Believes."

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