By Kate Lillie
Originally published on Global Comment
Chris Rea was one of the voices of my childhood. Every summer we used to make the drive from Birmingham up to Sunderland to visit my grandparents and one of the albums that we used to listen to in the car was Chris’ Road To Hell.
I don’t remember this Christmas song from my childhood though – I only remember becoming aware of it in the 1990s, although it was released in 1986 after being recorded in 1984. Interestingly I also think it sounds different to a lot of the other music around in those years, but maybe that’s just confirmation bias.
Driving Home For Christmas has never been a ‘big’ Christmas hit – it charted at number 53 in 1988 and has never reached higher than 33 in the charts, but it is consistently one of the most-played songs on radio and TV (this might be why I don’t remember it from the 80s). I think the great thing about this song, like all of Chris’ music, is his voice. It’s just so husky! And this song is a pleasant little meander through a driver’s Christmas journey home – there’s nothing taxing about it but it’s just nice and easy and you can listen to his voice soothe away all your troubles… highly recommended.