It’s time to get the tinsel out, eat some candy canes, and, for the first time in a year, listen to your festive playlist.
There’s nothing better for getting you into the December mood than listening to Christmas music. They’re the songs you hear year after year that never fail to bring a smile to your face, and if there’s one thing that powers Christmas songs, it’s nostalgia.
Once in a while, you’ll hear a new track you love, but for the most part, Christmas songs work because they remind you how it felt to be a child waiting for the big day.
That’s why Christmas covers are so popular. We love to hear new takes on old classics. After all, a quick google will find you more versions than you can count of “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” or “White Christmas,” but perhaps there’s no Christmas song quite as iconic as the one we’re talking about today.
“Merry Xmas Everybody,” originally by Slade, is, in many ways, the Christmas pop song. Released in November 1973, the song spent nine weeks atop the charts and, as of December 2012, has sold 1.32 million copies in the UK.
It’s been covered by numerous bands, but perhaps the most original and certainly the most exciting take on the song came in 2000 when the iconic pop-dance band Steps covered it.
Steps’ cover knows it’s handling a classic. The song begins with the distant sounds of a shopping mall, customers sing a stretch of the opening lyrics, bells ring, and the iconic opening chords play in the background as if over a radio. Then, after thirty seconds of atmosphere set, the song really begins.
The original used a traditional rock sound of drums and guitars. Steps’ version is unashamedly electronic. It’s the same music, but there’s a pulsing beat to the base, the vocals are autotuned, and there’s a liberal helping of sound effects. In short, this song is what Merry Christmas Everybody looks like when it’s dressed up for the club.
The song was recorded for Platinum Christmas, a Christmas compilation album released in 2000 by Jive records, and made up both original songs and covers of classic Christmas hits.
This is the perfect Christmas cover song in many respects because there’s so much of the original in there. It’ll hook you for the nostalgia and keep you listening with its catchy sound and great harmonies.
At least, that’s how it was in 2000. Now it’s nostalgic on two fronts because even if you’ve never heard this cover before, it’ll still take you back 22 years.
This song is full of the hallmarks of early 2000’s music. It’s covered in effects and autotuned vocals in a way that ultimately defines a generation of music. Particularly for Millennials and Gen Z, this cover will bring back that sound of your childhood and help get you into the Christmas spirit.
If you’re a fan of dance music, then Steps are one of those effortlessly catchy bands. Here, they’ve managed to make “Merry Christmas Everybody” their while also keeping much of what was so iconic about the original. So when you’re planning your Christmas party and want to get everybody up and on that dance floor, make sure to include this one in your playlist!