In addition to being one of the best and biggest rock bands on the planet and the best cover band around, The Killers also have oodles of holiday spirit. Since 2006, they’ve released one Christmas song every year in support of the Red Campaign which purports to help combat AIDS in Africa. (Whether it’s an efficient campaign is another story altogether. Google Red Campaign or Red Campaign Criticism to read different takes on the subject.)
Some of The Killers’ Christmas songs have been awesome. So good, in fact, that if they weren’t Christmas songs (a divisive category of music if ever there was one), they’d be hits based strictly on the strength of the melodies alone.
I assume The Killers will continue to release a Christmas song each year for the foreseeable future, but since they’ve already accrued a good number of such tunes to date, I’ve decided to fire up a list of my favourites.
9. Joel The Lump Of Coal f. Jimmy Kimmel (2014)
Cool chorus, not sure about the rest of the tune. Cute sentiment also.
8. Joseph, Better You Than Me f. Elton John & Neil Tennant (2008)
Despite having legends Neil Tennant and Elton John on the track, there’s something about the track that I can’t really get into.
7. Boots (2010)
I like Dave Keuning’s guitar work here.
6. I Feel It In My Bones f. Ryan Pardey (2012)
The most ominous of The Killers’ Christmas tunes, and probably the most “rock ‘n roll” of the bunch too. If you like a little touch of morbid in your festive cheer, this song’s for you.
5. Don’t Shoot Me Santa (2007)
Great chorus. Also a tad macabre, but that’s what makes it work.
4. Christmas In LA f. Dawes (2013)
This song has a fantastic melody. I love the vocals from Dawes and Flowers.
3. A Great Big Sled (2006)
The Killers first ever Christmas release. The song, particularly the synths and guitars, that sounds most like their indomitable debut, Hot Fuss.
2. Happy Birthday Guadalupe! f. Mariachi El Bronx & Wild Light (2009)
Tonnes of fun with a super high earworm factor. This is one of the warmest Christmas cuts I’ve ever heard. It’s rotated with the song below as my favourite Christmas tune from the Vegas lads. It doesn’t sound like a Christmas song so much as it sounds like a really good Killers song. This is a good thing.
1. The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball (2011)
I love everything about this song, and I smile ear-to-ear whenever I hear it. I think it’s the catchiest Christmas song The Killers have yet done. The song is one giant hook, and the harmonies near the end of the tune are amazing (every Brandon Flowers vocal on this track is on point). Again, there are very few elements here that make it sound like a Christmas song. More than that, it’s just a fantastic Killers song.
I don’t think any other band can match what The Killers have done over the last decade, from albums to covers to Christmas tunes. All these things that they’ve done have been awesome, and I can’t wait to see and hear what they come up with next.
Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and any other denominational holiday celebration to one of the best bands of the last decade!