It was originally released as a stand-alone single in 1973 with the B-Side 'Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas), peaking at number 23 in the UK.
Due to Billboard magazine's editorial policy it was held off the Hot 100. It did, however, make number 1 on a specially designated Christmas chart, and it appeared in the Cashbox Top 100 charts. It was later included as a bonus track on the 1995 remastered reissue of the album Caribou, even though it was released in the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days.
According to liner notes about the song by Elton John and Bernie Taupin (in 'Rare Masters' and 'Elton John's Christmas Party'), the track and its b-side, both produced by Gus Dudgeon, were recorded during a quickie session at Morgan Studios in London, owned by drummer Barry Morgan, who had played on several of Elton's early albums. 'Step Into Christmas' was mixed to sound like one of producer Phil Spector's record, using lots of compression and imitating his trademark "wall of sound" technique. This was according to both Elton and Taupin intentional, an homage of sorts to Christmas songs by Spector-produced groups such as The Ronettes. In 2009, 'Step into Christmas' was the 9th most played Christmas song in the UK.
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Ho Ho Ho (Who'd Be A Turkey At Christmas - B-Side