I know it can be a loaded topic and many people have very strong opinions on the matter but I’m just going to come out and say it: I like Christmas Music. In fact, in 1998, when I got a cd burner, the very first disc I made was Christmas music.
When I say that I have to immediately put a few caveats in place and make a few qualifying remarks as there is more bad/soulless/clueless/schlocky Christmas music out there than good stuff to be certain. Anybody can sell a Christmas record. I like choral music for sure. There are very few things in life that bring such deep joy as the human voice. I also like traditional instrumentals (think: Canadian Brass, Boston Pops). I’m also a fan of a number of ‘modern classics’. These are generally simple tunes from somewhere in the mid-40s to the early 70s (Carol Burnett singing “The Christmas Song” or Julie Andrews singing just about anything). I also like some of the stranger tunes that are clearly meant as amusement (Gayla Peevey’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” and Bob and Doug McKenzie’s “12 Days of Christmas”).
My favorite Christmas track? This very rare remix of Little Drummer Boy called the Exuberant Mix.
My enjoyment of Christmas music has grown over the last decade. I play a stack of records (32 albums at last count) at work over the last month of the term. This started because I found a couple old beat up records in a storage closet at work. Someone asked if I could play them. So I brought in the right gear and people loved it. Everyone in the office brought in an album from their formative years and we had a ball. Some of the records are good. Some not so much. But they are fun and many people comment on how much they like that I do this. Here are a few from the collection:
Bought for $1 in Pipestone, MN. It sounds like a funeral. But hey, red vinyl!
Christmas Disco! From 1980. Sounds exactly like you think it does. Bonus: There is a Volume 2!
Just one variation of the odd marketing of Christmas music. Light, swelling instrumentals. A passable listen.
A very good album from a very strange source. Volume 18.
From my friend Drew. A brilliant album end to end.
This is an all time classic in my collection. It also revealed to me the answer to a lyrical mystery. Thanks Firestone and Julie Andrews!
If you are interested in discovering a few very good, but not well known, Christmas songs I suggest looking these up. They are all in my top tier:
Prince – Another Lonely Christmas
Enoch Light – Snowfall
Chuck Berry – Merry Christmas Baby
The Beach Boys – We Three Kings of Orient Are
Ella Fitzgerald – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 12.22.16
NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.
Song – Artist – Album
Disappear – Phutureprimitive – Kinetik.
Goto 10 (Kryptic Minds Remix) – Amon Tobin – Box Set.
Bug – Underworld – Second Toughest In The Infants (2015 Remaster Disc 3 Unreleased Demos/Outakes).
Beauty Never Fades (Animatrix Edit) – Junkie XL Feat. Saffron – Animatrix: The Album.
Absurd (Marine Parade Mix) – Fluke – Progressive History XXX (Disc 3).
Fantastique – Carmen Rizzo – Ornament of an Imposter.
The Weight Of Darkening Skies – Ulrich Schnauss – A Long Way To Fall.
Motor City – Xaver Naudascher – Kompakt Label Family August 2009 Sampler.
Moan (Trentenmoller Remix) – Trentemøller – Moan.
The Spectacle (Ott Remix) – STS9 – Peaceblaster (The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes).