Paul McCartney’s $$$ “Wonderful Christmastime!” Macca’s Big Money Holiday Hit!

“Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions.”

So what Paul McCartney song is under this microscope?

paul-mccartney-christmas-song

Paul McCartney’s $$$ Christmas Single!

“Wonderful Christmastime” is the 1979 Christmas song by Paul McCartney. It is one of the more well-known pop holiday songs, a hugely profitable song for Paul, and also one of the more polarizing songs in his catalog…

paulmccartney_wonderful_christmas_time

For fans of Paul McCartney, his music has always been wildly varied in style and tone. For every crunching rocker like “Jet” or “Let Me Roll It”, there was an equally “soft” pop hit like “My Love” and “Silly Love Songs.”

Without a doubt, “Wonderful Christmastime” is a light, cotton-candy confection by McCartney, an upbeat celebration of the holiday season…check out the music video:

paulmccartney_wonderful_christmas_time

The Wings Single That Wasn’t!

Even though Wings released “Back To The Egg” that same year, this isn’t a Wings song.

McCartney recorded the song separately, during the sessions for his next album, the solo “McCartney II.”

Even though Wings were not involved recording the song, they appear in the promotional music video…

paul-mccartney-and-wings-christmas-song

Beyond that, Wings performed the song during their UK tour in 1979…this was, of course, the last tour by the group before they disbanded…

wonderful-christmastime-paul-mccartney

Polarizing But Amazingly Popular!

According to wikipedia, Beatles author Robert Rodriguez had this to say about “Wonderful Christmastime”:

“Love it or hate it, few songs within the McCartney oeuvre have provoked such strong reactions.”

Every holiday, fans share the video, and some then dismiss it with disdain or worse…but that said, the song is a holiday perennial, and a ton of bands have recorded the song!

chicago-holiday-album

The band Chicago recorded it with Dolly Parton, and Artists as disparate as Kelly Rowland to Jars Of Clay have recorded versions of it…

jimmy-buffet-tis-the-season

A “Margaritaville” Take On It!

The song has been “covered” dozens of times over the years…just this year, Jimmy Buffet recorded his take on it – take a listen:

According to wikipedia, “Wonderful Christmastime” has proven to be an amazingly lucrative song for McCartney as well:

“Including royalties from cover versions, it is estimated that McCartney makes $400,000 a year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings at near $15 million.”

Paul has even had some fun with the song…

straight-no-chaser-paul-mccartney

McCartney’s song was recorded in 2013 with the “a cappella” group Straight No Chaser for their EP called “Under the Influence: Holiday Edition”. A fan told me that Macca didn’t take part, but his vocals were used as part of the recording…

rudolph-the-red-nosed-reggae

And don’t forget the quirky “B”-side that Macca included on this single – his quick little “Rudolph” ditty…take a listen:

I am listening to a mix of holiday songs, and guess what shows up along with “Wonderful Christmastime?”

Mull_of_Kintyre

Yes, this traditional folk song from Paul is not only a holiday favorite as well, it’s the biggest selling single of his entire career!

See more about this great song, an outtake from the “London Town” sessions, by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2015/07/25/paul-mccartneys-neglected-masterpiece-london-town-maccas-biggest-single-ever-rock-out-to-the-girls/

Of course, Paul wasn’t the only ex-Beatle to release a holiday song:

john-lennon-happy-xmas

John and Yoko released the powerful “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” in 1971 – here is the music video and some great trivia about the recording of the song:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/12/06/happy-xmas-war-is-over-john-lennons-powerful-anti-war-christmas-song/

One of the most unique holiday songs is the gorgeous duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby:

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01:  (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Bing CROSBY and David BOWIE; with Bing Crosby, performing Little Drummer Boy  (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Bing CROSBY and David BOWIE; with Bing Crosby, performing Little Drummer Boy (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

Here is my story about the recording of “Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” – and the fact that Bowie didn’t want to sing it! Click here for more:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/12/10/david-bowie-duets-with-bing-crosby-the-secrets-behind-the-greatest-holiday-song-of-all-time/

One other great band also recorded a holiday classic:

the-eagles-please-come-home-for-christmas

Here are some great stories about the recording of this holiday classic:


https://johnrieber.com/2016/12/02/the-eagles-beautiful-christmas-single-please-come-home-for-christmas-funky-new-year-too/

Let me know what you think of Macca’s holiday song!

paulmccartney_wonderful_christmas_time



Categories: 70's Music, Art, Books / Media, Classic Rock, London, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, Uncategorized

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11 replies

  1. I always just accepted Wonderful Christmastime as a fact of the holiday season until this sketch from a comedy show ruined it: https://youtu.be/cW1ou7SH3is
    And I bet McCartney found a way to make money even off that parody!

  2. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    It’s that time of year again…

  3. By some worrying coincidence, Macca’s Christmas song was playing on the TV as I read this. I am not sure if this is serendipity, or just to annoy me!
    Best wishes, Pete.

Trackbacks

  1. Celebrate An “Al Martino Christmas”! Hollywood Legend Leaves Holiday Cheer! Alison Martino’s Great Inside Stories Of Her Dad’s “Godfather” Ties! – johnrieber
  2. “Ringo Remembers Christmas”! Hilarious Paul McCartney “Wonderful Christmastime” Spoof! – johnrieber
  3. The Eagles! Their Classic Holiday Hit “Please Come Home For Christmas”! 5 Great Songs For Your Holiday Mix! – johnrieber

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