Jimmy Barnes, the iconic Australian rock legend, known for his soul-stirring performances, has graced us with a special Christmas gift this year. His 2023 expanded edition of “Blue Christmas” is more than just a festive album; it’s a heartwarming family singalong that captures the spirit of the holiday season.
In his own words, Barnes expressed the essence of this collection, saying, “This album is my gift back to the kids, the grandkids and everyone out there who just wants to sit and sing with their family on Christmas.”
What makes this edition truly unique is the inclusion of a special family rendition of a classic Christmas song. In a delightful twist, we discover that Jimmy Barnes’ family has a longstanding tradition of spreading Christmas cheer through music. The story goes back to 1991 when his children, known as “The Tin Lids,” released “Hey Rudolph!” This Top 10 hit sold over 100,000 copies and featured an original Christmas song titled ‘If Santa Forgets,’ written by producer David “Froggy” Froggatt.
Barnes himself lent his powerful vocals to the original version of ‘If Santa Forgets,’ singing alongside his children. Now, in the deluxe edition of “Blue Christmas,” we witness three generations of the Barnes family – Jimmy, The Tin Lids, and the young tin lids of The Tin Lids, who are Jimmy’s grandkids, coming together to revisit this touching song. This rendition holds a deeply personal place in Jimmy’s heart, as he reflects, “‘If Santa Forgets,’ it always made me very emotional. Singing with my children when they were so small seemed to pluck the heartstrings even more than usual. Now I have some of my grandchildren singing too, and it has gone to the next level.”
Produced by the acclaimed Kevin Shirley (known for his work with Cold Chisel, Silverchair, and The Barnestormers), the expanded edition also features Jimmy Barnes taking on the traditional Christmas song ‘O Holy Night.’ Jimmy shares his enthusiasm for this addition, saying, “‘O Holy Night’ is a song that I know from an amazing version by Mahalia Jackson. As a few of you probably know, I named my daughter after her. The reason I did that was because Mahalia Jackson’s voice had a huge impact on me as a young fellow. She is powerful and full of love. So is this song. I love it and can’t wait to sing it around the tree at Christmas.”
If Santa Forgets’ and ‘O Holy Night’ now join Barnesy’s renditions of classic Christmas carols such as ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Little Drummer Boy,’ and ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ in this special edition.
“Blue Christmas” marked Jimmy Barnes’ 20th studio album and his 15th solo number one, an incredible feat that solidifies his place in Australian music history. With this achievement, he surpasses The Beatles (14) and Madonna (12) for the most chart-topping albums. He has also had five number one albums with Cold Chisel, bringing his remarkable tally to 20. Jimmy Barnes proudly holds the distinction of being the only Australian solo artist to have had number one albums in Australia in every decade since the ’80s.
In the spirit of his song ‘Run Rudolph Run’ on “Blue Christmas,” where he sings Chuck Berry’s words, “All I want for Christmas is a rock ’n’ roll electric guitar,” we can’t help but wonder what’s on Barnesy’s Christmas wish list this year. This expanded edition of “Blue Christmas” not only provides a delightful soundtrack for your holiday season but also offers a heartwarming glimpse into the cherished traditions and bonds that Jimmy Barnes holds dear.