Tuxedo – “Wonderful Christmastime”


Out of respect for all the hard-working artists in our lives, we don’t write about shitty songs at Sound It Out. Accentuate the positive, as Bing used to say. It’s an ethos I can get behind, but you know what? I’m not so worried about Sir Paul.

No matter how much snark I might lob at McCartney’s 1979 recording of “Wonderful Christmastime,” he can comfort himself by making a big Scrooge McDuck-like pile of the $15M he’s earned on the song so far and dive in.

It’s hardly original to pile on a Christmas tune that has made “worst of” lists for the better part of three decades, but wow, it is a spectacularly annoying song, particularly if, like me, you find Christmas to be one of the more melancholic times of year.

I think Vince Guaraldi and all those incredibly depressed-sounding Peanuts kids hit the holiday right on its bittersweet head. If you’re busy getting your seasonal mope on, the chug-chug-chugging-along of “Wonderful Christmastime” just sounds like it’s mocking you.

So, when Tuxedo‘s funked-up cover of McCartney’s most unfortunate jam landed in my inbox, I had to ask myself, “Do you believe in Christmas miracles?” Have Tuxedo, the neo-soul, disco-inflected duo of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, made this canned yuletide ham of a song… sexy?

Yeah. They kinda do. I mean, you won’t exactly find your inner Prince to it, but I could see Tuxedo’s “Wonderful Christmastime” making an appearance on your slow jam, dance party playlist right between “Step in the Name of Love” and “Don’t Stop the Music”—Yarbrough and Peoples edition, natch.

And, if Christmas isn’t your bag, don’t worry. Tuxedo knows that the dance floor is a 365 proposition. Check out their recently-released video for “Do It” featuring the gorgeous glide of dancer Isaac Tualaulelei, and never, ever underestimate the valet’s ability to out-dance you.

The gents’ first LP will be released by Stones Throw Records on March 3, 2015. In the meantime, you can download their EP Tuxedo Funk and their borderline miraculous resuscitation of “Wonderful Christmastime” on Soundcloud.