Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Official MFD Christmas Album, Side Two

Last month, with the help of Dirk Digglinator over at Hambonian Studios, I put together my very own Christmas compilation album. Click here for more on that "release."  Here's a closer look at side two:

"Last Christmas" by Wham
single release (1984)

When the idea for this compilation first popped into my head, my initial thought was, "Side two, track one will be Last Christmas."  And it was so. There's no real chorus or bridge to speak of, but no matter; this is pure pop with sleigh bells.  The bouncy bass line belies the depressing lyrics. After "Everything She Wants," this could be my second-favorite Wham tune.

"Please Come Home for Christmas" by the Eagles
single release (1978)

A cover of a Christmas classic, originally written and recorded in 1960 by blues great Charles Brown. Anyone who has ever been apart from the person they love at this time of year know the misery described in this slow 6/8 blues shuffle.  Tight background harmonies on the second verse mix things up a bit and lead into a rather tame guitar solo and then it's over all too quickly.

"Merry Christmas Darling" by the Carpenters
from the album Christmas Portrait (1978)

My three all-time favorite Christmas albums, in no particular order, are as follows:
This song is one of my favorites from that last one.  Karen Carpenter's pure voice smites me every time.  It's as if she's singing just to me.  Love the brief sax solo and the vocal harmonies that tie it all up at the end. Just writing about this song pretty much ensures that I'll listen to that album at least two times today, mostly like singing along with every word.

"Santa Claus and Popcorn" by Merle Haggard
from his album Goin' Home for Christmas (1982)

Included for no other reason than it's an old family favorite.  I'm pretty sure I first heard the song when my father brought home a compilation from the local Firestone dealer.

The lyrics are delightfully, horrifically memorable.  When Merle cheerfully sings, "We celebrate 'cause the King was born/with Santa Claus and popcorn" it becomes one of those moments where you ask, "Did he just say what I think he said?!?"

"One Christmas Catalog" by Captain Sensible
single release (1984)

I didn't discover this pop gem until after the fact, but it's a catchy thing.  Love the chorus and bridge. I first heard this piece of "bouncy new wave fun" on the compilation disc Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Xmas. Speaking of Christmas catalogs, I wonder how much time I spent pouring over the pages of this thing:

"Christmas Medley" by The Salsoul Orchestra
from their album Christmas Jollies (1976)
100% Christmas, 100% disco, 100% wonderful.  Funky bass lines like you've never heard before on any Christmas tunes. Twelve minutes of danceable medley with religious and secular Christmas favorites:
  • Joy to the World
  • Deck the Halls
  • O Holy Night
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Jingle Bells
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • The Christmas Song
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland
  • The First Noel
  • Joy to the World
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
My Favorite Decade wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

1 comment :

  1. I can hardly wait for next year's sequel, "Christmas 2: Electric Boogaloo!"