The New LoFi

Ten Years

The 80’s Christmas Mixtape

It’s a bonus mixtape for Christmas! An 80s Christmas Mixtape.

I grew up in the 1980s and for me, the 80s had some of the best Christmas music. A lot of it still feels fresh today. I mean… it’s not Christmas until you have “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses blaring out the radio. And “Last Christmas” by Wham! C’mon. Christmas songs don’t get better than that. And the video for that song! George Michael and his pals retreating to a painfully cheesy 80s ski chalet. Everyone’s hair is ridiculously big and floppy and beautiful. Everything about that song is great.

Speaking of Christmas song videos. There are some seriously good ones out there. Have you ever seen the one from “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard? It features a badly lip-syncing wizard Santa who looks like he’s just come back from a music festival. Presumably, special effects weren’t created when they made that video. Check that one out for a laugh.

Then there is the slightly awkward but brilliant video featuring Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Bing Crosby isn’t just a musical legend, he owned the Christmas category back in the day. On this rendition of “Peace on Earth,” Bing and Bowie get together in a past-meets-present collaboration. The song is great.

What I find funny about the video is how wooden the premise feels. It tries to create a Christmas scene where Bing Crosby is taking care of some stately home in England. When Bowie knocks on the door asking if he can play the piano, Crosby ushers him in. Neither of them know who each other are.

Weirdly, the stereotypical cultural roles are reversed; Crosby is playing the polite and deferential Brit when Bowie calls him the butler, while Bowie is acting like a talk-before-you-think American. It’s like a bad porno. You find yourself thinking: “enough acting, cut to the music.”

Nearly 30 years later in 2010, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly remade the video (and rerecorded the song). I’m not sure which one is funnier.

But this mixtape isn’t about the videos. It’s about great Christmas music from the 1980s. So I suggest you settle down into a cozy spot and make yourself a hot drink. Then pop this Christmas mixtape on.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at The New LoFi. See you next year.

Disclaimer: maybe not all of the songs are from the 1980’s. When I put this playlist together, I picked a bunch of songs that encapsulate the music that I remember from Christmastime back in the 80’s. However, some songs from the 70’s might have slipped into the mix. John Lennon’s song “Happy Xmas” for example. Or Bruce Springsteen’s song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” from 1976. But they all feel like the 80’s. So even though “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John was recorded in the 70’s, it was still playing on repeat on the radio in the 80’s. So it felt very 80’s to me.

TNLF 2019 Christmas Mixtape
  1. (1983) The Pretenders – 2000 Miles (08:30)
  2. (1987) Eurythmics – Winter Wonderland (11:28)
  3. (1984) Band Aid – Do They Know it’s Christmas (14:50)
  4. (1984) Wham! – Last Christmas (18:33)
  5. (1980) Paul McCartney – Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time (23:00)
  6. (1981) The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping (26:32)
  7. (1973) Elton John – Step Into Christmas (31:38)
  8. (1971) John Lennon – Merry Xmas (So This is Christmas) (36:03)
  9. (1986) Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas (39:33)
  10. (1973) Wizzard – I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday (43:16)
  11. (1975) Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (47:58)
  12. (1985) Shakin Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone (52:19)
  13. (1987) Madonna – Santa Baby (55:58)
  14. (1984) Mannheim Steamroller – Deck The Halls (58:34)
  15. (1987) Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis (01:01:58)
  16. (1987) Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby (01:04:48)
  17. (1987) Air Supply – Sleigh Ride (01:09:28)
  18. (1984) Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas (01:11:45)
  19. (1983) Hall & Oates – Jingle Bell Rock (01:15:57)
  20. (1977) The Kinks – Father Christmas (01:18:06)
  21. (1980) Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry (01:21:32)
  22. (1987) The Pogues – Fairytale of New York (01:24:28)
  23. (1982) Bing Crosby & David Bowie – The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth) (01:28:32)

  24. (1982) Twelve Days of Christmas performed by Bob and Doug McKenzie (01:32:58)

The Monthly Mixtape is now available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other podcast providers. Or check out The Infinite Mixtape on Spotify — a playlist that collects every song ever used in a Monthly Mixtape.