Man i love me some spot on hit song parodies that feature Christmas. So how could i have missed out on The Withers?! Time to rectify. (And sprinkle in a few other finds.)
1966: Buffalo Springfield releases ‘For What It’s Worth’ just before Christmas and it peaks on no. 7 of the Billboard charts, also becoming a big deal in the anti-Vietnam War movement. The Withers get hip with “What the Present’s Worth.”
1966: Hey, there are other parodiers! DeathTongue hits up the Johnny Rivers hit ‘Secret Agent Man’ from the TV deal with “Elf on the Shelf.” I spy with my little eye that that no.3 rocker is well served.
1968: The Beatles rock softly with the Paul McCartney ‘Blackbird.’ The Withers play nice with their “Reindeer.”
1972: all-Rush mixtape has an adorable take on Bread’s ‘Guitar Man’ with an unapproachable “Santa Man.” The original hit number 11 on Billboard, but was no ‘Baby, I’ma Want You.’ And yet the parody is groovy gravy.
1974 Carl Douglas sold 11 million ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ singles and became one of the greatest one-hit wonders of all time. The Withers get kazoo crazy with “Christmas Lighting.”
1975: ‘Low Rider’ from War hit 7 on the Hot Singles chart, 1 on the R+B chart. Santa’s Elves fa la la it up with “Sleigh Rider.” Mr. Red’s got street cred.
1976: Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘(Don’t Fear) the Reaper’ barely broke the top ten, but had legs and was included in Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Songs of all time. Dr. BLT’s “Don’t Fear the New Year” is not karaoke slavish to the original, it just putzes around having fun. (The Withers, natch, mock it up with “Don’t Feed the Reindeer.”)
1976: Starland Vocal Band adds to our slanglish with ‘Afternoon Delight.’ The Withers honor thy pop with “Christmas Delight.”
1978: Number 20 on Billboard’s Greatest Girl Groups Songs of all time, Sister Sledge takes ‘We Are Family’ to club levels. “We Got a Christmas Tree” by Santa’s Elves goes back to the musical roots.
2017: New contenders The Skorys take on mod pop tunes with Xmas twists. Love ’em, but they yet have room to grow. Portugal. The Man’s ‘Feel It Still’ charted strong and got swooped up for commercial and movie trailer backgrounds. Even better as the parody “Naughty List.”
2017: Selena Gomez’s ‘Wolves’ charted much better in Poland than here, but The Skorys have many funninesses with their parody “Christmas Time.”
1992: Better reviewed than bought, REM’s ‘Man on the Moon’ sparked the in-the-know party convo that alt snobs loved. The Withers get complicated with “Reindeer on the Moon.” C’mon, Rudolph.