Often derided as a location for spiriting away unwanted tracks the humble b-side has thrown up numerous classics over the years. Inevitably there have been plenty of Christmas singles with more illustrious matter on their flipside and so what follows is a veritable packed sleigh full of songs that have become festive standards in their own right...
Christmas music gets such bad press and unfairly so given that most people have only dipped their toes into about 1% of what is available. So in an attempt to redress the balance here is a list of 10 Christmas songs that you probably have never heard before but will soon be occupying your annual playlist of cherished favourites.
For many people, the biggest day of December begins the morning after Santa pops down the chimney. But, for an array of pop stars, Facebook campaigners, charity singles and chart watchers, attention is focused on another day - the day the Christmas Number One is confirmed. The race for the Christmas Number 1 is as festive as turkey and mulled wine. And this year, with the big day falling on December 22 (and BBC Radio 1's counting down the Top 40 from 4-7pm), it is likely to be as spicy a race as we have seen for some time.
My friend from Brazil tells me that much as he loves our traditional seasonal music, he feels it's always sad too. I think he has a point. Even in more recent Christmas songs there's a pang, isn't there? Note how it's always Cold Outside, the weather outside is frightful, and yet...if you really love me so... well then... the boys of the NYPD choir will still sing Galway Bay.