Top 10 Heartbreaking Holiday Covers
4. Florence Welch and Billy Bragg, "Fairytale of New York"
Arguably the most heart-rending Christmas song ever composed, no one has ever been able to capture the energy, rage and sheer heartbreak of the Pogues' original. Please don't watch Katzenjammer's happily-sung version unless you want to ruin "Fairytale" for yourself forever.
Similarly, Coldplay's version does what Coldplay does best, literally sucking the very life out of the song and replacing it with what we imagine a musical version of Kmart sounds like. The only version up to snuff is the track Billy Bragg and Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine laid down for BBC Radio 1 a few years back. Florence proves that, even at the height of her popularity, her voice may be underrated still.
3. Fear, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Released in 2011 for Record Store Black Friday, this 7-inch is one of the most hauntingly mournful takes on the classic we've ever heard. Borrowing equally from various versions of the song, Fear front man Lee Ving shows a side that those only familiar with Fear's punk classics like "I Love Living in the City" may not recognize. You can read up on Fear and hear the song here.
2. Otis Redding, "White Christmas"
It takes a giant like Otis to begin to approach the foundations laid by Bing Crosby on the original recording. This version is hampered by a subpar recording and lackluster accompaniment and by hampered we mean it's one of the few tracks in his career Otis doesn't absolutely knock out of the park.
Given more time and a few more recordings, we would all likely consider "White Christmas" to be Redding's own. No such luck, as this record was released ten months after his death.