Delightful and delicious homemade treats are one of the many pleasures of the holidays, and in the world of holiday music, there’s no better treat than hearing an old favorite with a new (and fabulous) spin, unless it’s discovering a wonderful new original. Our Music Designers love to feature promising new tracks hot off the latest holiday releases and are constantly on the lookout for great takes on old standards.

“Last Christmas” by Wham! (Pop/Rock)

Not many artists can claim they’ve written an original holiday favorite in the last few decades, but since its debut in 1984, “Last Christmas” has achieved fast-track classic status and is one of the most covered contemporary holiday songs. If Wham’s original version sounds out of place in a particular program mix, there’s sure to be a genre-specific cover that will fit right in – one of our favorites is the one by Jimmy Eat World.

“What Christmas Means To Me” by Stevie Wonder (R&B/Soul)

When some people think about Christmas music, they think of slow, stately songs such as “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.” When we hear Stevie sing this song, we tap our toes and want to get up and dance – and that energy and excitement is what we want to convey in our business and retail locations.

“The Christmas Waltz” by Nancy Wilson (Jazz)

A lush, dreamy, understated and underplayed version of a classic. When and if you hear it, listen for the lovely strings arrangement and don’t miss the gorgeous bass.

 “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney (Pop/Rock)

This song is lovely, cheesy, nostalgic and forward-looking in equal measure, a difficult combination that few but Sir Paul could pull off, but he does and it’s wonderful.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Vince Vance and the Valiants (Country)

It sounds like a classic 50’s song, but it actually came out in 1989 and has since become the most played Christmas song on country radio every year. It has a classic sound that doesn’t get old.

“Close Your Mouth (it’s Christmas)” by The Free Design (Alternative)

Playful and festive, with a great line – “get to know the people in your house-you might like them!”  For businesses and brands that love some retro throwback in their sound and appreciate a little quirkiness, this modern track by Free Design is a fun choice.

“Let It Snow” by Boyz II Men (R&B)

A warm, soft and lush version of the oft-maligned classic.  Great memories of waking up to this song warm in bed and being greeted with the scent of pine from the tree and holiday treats baking in the oven. The holidays are upon us.

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2 (Pop/Rock)

Even though, it’s a cover of the classic by The Ronettes, it manages to sound fresh while paying homage to the original.

“Oh Holy Night” by Heart (Pop/Rock)

Even for programs that trend towards the secular, “O Holy Night” is the perfect classic to maintain a good balance, and this a cappella rendition by Heart is unforgettable.

“Thankful” by Josh Groban (Pop/Rock)

This standout original track from the 2nd best-selling Christmas album since 1991 is still a fresh favorite with Groban’s soaring vocals and a moving seasonal message.

– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Deidre Gott, Carly Grimm, Anida Gurlit, Linda Kennedy, Trevor Pronga, Kelly Peck, Bill Spencer, Bo White and Janice Williams, Music Design