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A Very Special Christmas is the first in the A Very Special Christmas series of Christmas-themed compilation albums produced to benefit the Special Olympics. The album was released in mid October 1987, and production was overseen by Jimmy Iovine for A&M Records. A Very Special Christmas has raised millions of dollars for the Special Olympics.[3] The cover artwork was designed by Keith Haring.

A Very Special Christmas
A Very Special Christmas.jpg
Cover art by Keith Haring
Compilation album by
Various artists
ReleasedOctober 12, 1987[1]
GenreChristmas music, Children's music
Length50:57 (Original version)
51:11 (Revised version)
ProducerJimmy Iovine
Various artists chronology
A Very Special Christmas
A Very Special Christmas 2
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]

On January 16, 1998, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of four million copies in the United States.[4]

As of November 2014, A Very Special Christmas is the 19th best-selling Christmas/holiday album in the United States during the SoundScan era of music sales tracking (March 1991 – present), having sold 2,520,000 copies according to SoundScan.[5]

Track listingEdit

Track Song Title Writer(s) Artist Time
1. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie The Pointer Sisters 3:22
2. "Winter Wonderland" Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith Eurythmics 3:36
3. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker Whitney Houston 3:33
4. "Merry Christmas Baby" Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 4:53
5. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane Pretenders 4:42
6. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" Tommie Connor John Cougar Mellencamp 2:39
7. "Gabriel's Message" Charles Bordes and Sabine Baring-Gould Sting 2:14
8. "Christmas in Hollis" Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell Run-D.M.C. 3:00
9. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spector U2 2:21
10. "Santa Baby" Joan Javits, Philip Springer and Tony Springer Madonna 2:35
11. "The Little Drummer Boy" Katherine Kennicott Davis, Harry Simeone and Henry Onorati Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band 3:32
12. "Run Rudolph Run" Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie Bryan Adams 2:43
13. "Back Door Santa" Clarence Carter and Marcus Daniel Bon Jovi 3:54
14. "The Coventry Carol" Traditional Alison Moyet 3:25
15. "Silent Night" Josef Mohr and Franz X. Gruber Stevie Nicks 4:37
  • On later pressings of the album, "Back Door Santa" was replaced with "I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas", also by Bon Jovi.
  • Also, on later pressings of the album, a spoken introduction on The Pretenders' "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", presumably by a child, was omitted.


  1. ^ A Very Special Christmas Vol. 1 | A Very Special Christmas
  2. ^ A Very Special Christmas at AllMusic
  3. ^ McGee, Matt (2008). U2: A Diary. Omnibus Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-84772-108-2.
  4. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2014-08-30. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
  5. ^ Staff, Billboard (2014-12-01). "The Gifts That Keep on Giving: Biggest Radio and Album Hits of the Holidays". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-12-02.

External linksEdit