'A Very Special Christmas' (1987)
Record industry titan Jimmy Iovine organized this all-star benefit album for the Special Olympics in 1987. Suffice it to say the guy had some pull; it's a veritable yuletide Yalta of Eighties greats: U2's version of "Christmas Baby, Please Come Home" has real R&B swing, Bruce Springsteen's live version of "Merry Christmas Baby" is peak E Street cut with eggnog-y looseness, the Pretenders do a moving version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and John Mellencamp knocks out a roots-rockin' "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." The big highlight is Run-DMC's classic "Christmas in Hollis," which samples Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" and features the imitable declaration: "My name's D.M.C. with the mic in my hand/And I'm chilling and coolin' just like a snowman."
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