And now, for one last Yule-related missive: Christmas music that I dig, on the pop side:
- “The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole. You cannot escape ! This is warm smoothness defined.
- “I Was Born On Christmas Day” — Saint Etienne. Just because I heard it while shopping the other day. Very sleek and just the thing to spend money to.
- “Thanks For Christmas” — The Three Wise Men (a/k/a XTC). Even the man who wrote “Dear God” has good things to say about this season.
- “Little Drummer Boy” — Joan Jett. This rocks. 'Nuff said !
- Pretty much of all of A Christmas Gift for You (a Phil Spector production featuring the Ronettes et al.), but especially “Christmas (Baby Please Come)” as sung by Darlene Love. The gold standard of pop Christmas albums.
- “Jingle Bells” — Hollyridge Strings. The warhorse given an echo-laden easy-listening arrangement. So normal it’s weird. (It’s on one of those Ultra-Lounge collections.)
- “Things Fall Apart” — Christina. Holiday anomie, early 80s NYC-style. “He licked me like a candy cane...” I think you can get this on CD somewhere, maybe the Ze records Zetrospective compilation.
- “The Man With All the Toys” — Beach Boys. Has a special place as my first record with my first record player (a Christmas gift, of course). Pretty cool that my parents were hep enough to get me started during the Pet Sounds era, eh ? Brian Wilson in a simpler mode than “Good Vibrations” but still a fun song and great production.
- “Christmas In Hollis” -- Run-D.M.C. “Mom’s in the kitchen cooking collard greens.” So long, Jam Master Jay...
Also, did ya ever notice how some early hip-hop like “Microphone Fiend” by Eric B. and Rakim uses percussion that sounded like sleigh bells ? Well, the folks at Tino Corporation did, and they did an entire breaks LP around this concept. I wonder if it’s ever coming out on CD...