Monday, December 14, 2009

Xmas Music

Christmas Deluxe (Columbia Japan XS-11-C) US Columbia artists
Wonderful interior photo from a Japanese 60's Xmas LP! Presents!
"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town / Dancing Christmas" by Nobuo Hara and his Sharps & Flats (CBS/Sony SONP 50125-J) cover detail
Home Christmas Deluxe (Nippon Columbia XS-150-N) dig the obi!

12-14-09 Xmas Music

It’s the 14th and, believe it or not, I am not sick of Christmas music yet! How can this possibly be? Well, I changed offices at the end of August, and at my new office, they do not play any music in the communal area – a few people may have it playing in their offices – but nobody out where I sit is blasting mass-market KBIG / Xmas music!


So, without the “Xmas Music O.D.”, I am actually thinking of making a new Xmas CD-R this year! Last summer, on a visit to Santa Cruz, California – I found some weird old Xmas 45’s:


GOLDSBORO, BOBBY – A CHRISTMAS WISH, U.A. US 7” promo

ROYAL GUARDSMEN – IT KINDA LOOKS LIKE CHRISTMAS, LAURIE US 7”

These two were what really got me thinking about Xmas records! The Bobby Goldsboro sounds like his attempt at a Dylan-like Xmas song; The Royal Guardsmen were, of course, the novelty group who made the “Snoopy & The Red Baron” records. Hmmm.


Another cool Xmas CD that we found was the Alan Lomax / Various Artist CD “Sing Christmas and Turn The New Year” (or thereabouts) – a BBC (England) Christmas day 1957 radio broadcast! I must dig out my Alan Lomax book and take another look at it.


A few years ago, I found a very cool book from Japan put out by the magazine called The Dig, all about collectible Christmas records. Yes, Christmas records / CD’s are known in Japan! In ’08, I ordered the Café Apres Midi Christmas CD – of course, it arrived from Japan in February ’09. Very groovy, as are all compilation from Café Apres Midi.


Being a record collector, I know that there is still a lot to learn about Christmas records – some other amazing old Japanese 60’s/70’s LP’s I got were:


HARA, NOBUO / SHARPS & FLATS – SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN, CBS/SONY JPN LP

TWIS WOOD-WINDS QUINTET / AMATI STRING – HOME CHRISTMAS DELUXE, COLUMBIA JPN LP

V.A. – CHRISTMAS DELUXE, CBS JPN LP


Do you have a favorite oddball Christmas record? A co-worker told me that the first Oak Ridge Boys Christmas CD is pretty good, and not even very C&W. OK, I am willing to check it out!


I am sure KBIG is still flogging the same old chestnuts; I still hear a bit of background Xmas music when I’m out in shops, restaurants, businesses…never the stuff I actually want to hear – some of it is rather inoffensive, I guess. But tightly playlisted radio stations do wreck some otherwise cool Xmas stuff – as you well know.

3 comments:

Jim said...

Just in the last decade I've heard the Three Wise Men single a LOT while in grocery stores and the like. It's probably a big source of income for Andy Partridge. Fortunately, it does sound great, still.

Brian Ware said...

That's one of my favorites as well, Jim. Always a pleasure hearing that at a place like Target or Lowes.

We've bought a few rock and roll Xmas CDs over the years. Our favorite is Chris Isaak's, but the funniest one is Billy Idol's. Traditional arrangements and he sings them totally straight! Even the cover is a hoot - no leather, no sneers - just dressed up sitting at the piano looking almost normal.

Jim said...

The only xmas music I have is the Los Straitjackets album, which is good enough to listen to any time of the year.