Is this too high of a ranking? Too low? King fans will want to dismiss me completely because this song isn’t closer to the top of the countdown. And I have friends who are into music that think Elvis is waaaaay overrated, and will call this pandering. Me? It’s right where it should be; one of the best xmas tunes done by a singular voice in rock and roll history.
Too judge Elvis on anything is to forsake the mythology we have heard about him over the past 30+ years, and instead just listen to him sing. His Sun recording sessions built rock music’s road to becoming a cultural mainstream artform. He went on to record a lot of crap as well as a lot of underappreciated music that was skewed unfavorably by his earlier, groundbreaking output. One of the things I love about this entry is the video is from the ’68 Comeback Special, and we hear the King playing guitar and taking the song pretty seriously. When he was serious, there were few better. Iconic song, and should be on any playlist at Christmas. Plus, one more reason to prove Adam Lambert is a pretender: he looks like a mutated Elvis from 1963. Now that’s pandering.