November 22, 2006

Big Bowl of Christmas

Let me just say, the songs PC has posted this week—Simon and Garfunkle, Lennon, The Band—are all knockouts. I’d never heard those songs by S&G and The Band. It’s disturbing listening to S&G and thinking about today. And, of course Lennon’s song—never ceases to punch me in the gut. If only the message of that song could come true…

And now, one last heaping post of Christmas goodness before Turkey Day tomorrow. I’m continuing to clean out the modern vaults. But, for good measure, have some great classics here as well. Don’t worry—there are still lots of modern tracks in the coming weeks.

If You Came on Christmas Day – Captain Polaroid

A poppy Christmas song from a relatively unknown (to me) band. It’s catchy and, if you read my post yesterday, you’ll recognize some much beloved handclaps.

They Say It’s Christmas Day – Anne McCue

A dark tune. McCue’s vocals are vulnerable here, which fits the content. This is probably a good fit with PC’s post from earlier today. Reminds me quite a bit of Lucinda Williams.

Sock It to Me Santa – Marshall Crenshaw

I first discovered Crenshaw several years ago. This probably isn’t his best song, but it’s nice nonetheless. He’s a master of the 60s power pop sound. His Rhino Greatest Hits is definitely worth picking up.

Santa is Flying through the Sky

Another song first posted on Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else. Seriously, check out that site. The artist of this track is unknown, but it sounds like it dates back to least the 1940s. It’s great fun and nostalgic.

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty

Off the Home Alone 2 soundtrack, Petty tears it up on this song. It’s rollicking fun and Petty’s wishlist at the end is amazing. Christmas is a rocking time!

Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Though is from Elton’s later period, which I generally dislike, it’s a catchy—I love that kickoff after the soft guitar intro. And that chorus is killer… until the computer sound fx kick in. Yeah, it’s a tad dated.

All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey

Mariah’s voice usually sounds like a squeal to me—I’ve heard more melody and subtly come from fingernails on a chalkboard. But this song—it’s the only one I’ll listen to by her. Her version is great—sure, it’s overproduced and a little cheesy but just go along with it. It’s fun.

Just Like Christmas – Low

The drums in this song, that off key sound of everything, the jingle bells… I love this song. It’s like this comes from a really old cassette tape. Great production.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland

Talk about production—the beginning of this song, delicate and warm, slowly opens up with soft strings. Adding Garland’s voice certainly doesn’t help either. This remains one of my favorite holiday songs—there is just something so sad about this. Maybe it’s the promise of “Next year, all our troubles will be miles away.” No matter who sings this, I can’t help but think that this promise never comes. In the coming weeks I’ll post Mel Torme’s version, my personal favorite. For now, you can’t really go wrong with Judy.

O Holy Night – Nat King Cole

This isn’t open to argument: no one sings this song better than Nat King Cole. The man’s voice is just beautiful. And those soaring strings, the backing chorus, and, to cap it off, a climax that just sends chills down your spine—listen, right before the 2:00 minute mark. God, it’s just beautiful.

Discovering 77 Santas late? Want to hear a song with a deadlink? Post a request and we’ll get it up back up for you.

A little preview of what’s to come Friday, the "official" start of the holiday season…

All Alone On Christmas – Darlene Love

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