Back in the ’70s and ’80s, when Rock & Roll was still chart-topping genre rather than something that people over age 40 get nostalgic about, popular bands doing Christmas-themed songs was a thing that I enjoyed. While many of my holiday favorites fall into the pop-ballad category — the gloriously maudlin “Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters, or Emerson Lake and Palmer’s appropriately stoic “I Believe in Father Christmas” spring instantly to mind — there are a few modern standards that truly rock out. Which brings us to this week’s Video Clip, Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas” — a song that John recorded with his original band in 1973! You probably weren’t even born yet.
This extremely rare performance footage was originally broadcast in 1973 as part of The Gilbert O’Sullivan Show. After its original broadcast, the footage was lost in the ITV archives and has only recently been unearthed. Featuring Elton alongside his classic band line up of Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray (RIP) and Nigel Olsson (with a rare cameo appearance from Bernie Taupin on percussion) in all of their Glam Rock glory, the clip has not been seen since it was first aired. The “Step Into Christmas” single originally charted at No. 24 in the UK single charts, and reached a peak chart position of No. 11 again in 2017. As you can hear, the song simply refuses to date.
“Step Into Christmas” is available now as a three track digital EP featuring both the original single and its B-side of “Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who’d Be A Turkey At Christmas)”, plus the audio performance from the Gilbert O’Sullivan Show. Enjoy!