ANOTHER Throwback Thursday post about Christmas - this time from me. Merry Masshole Christmas!
As many of you know, I often talk about working at Bow Wow Records. I can't help it, that place ruled. One of the funnier aspects of working there was the sheer zoo that the place turned into in the weeks preceding the Christmas holiday.
Every year, we emptied out the display rack closest to the front door and filled it with our favorite Holiday albums. We placed some garland around it and sparkled it up a bit, too. We had fun with it, putting our favorite kitschy ones in front, typically an Esquivel, or one of the "Ultralounge" series, and very likely a James Brown album but NOT this one....
You see, if there's one thing about Bow Wow that you may remember, it's that all the "guys" that worked there (in my 5+ years there only two women were employed, sadly...) had two main personality characteristics- One is that we were genuinely nice. That is to say we really liked people and turning people on to great music and especially anything that was under the radar or potentially genre-busting, or (in our minds) destined to be the great next thing.
The second personality characteristic is the smarmy underbelly diametrically opposed to that "shiny happy people" view that I maintain-- We were mostly opinionated, smart aleck know-it-alls. With good intentions, natch. God forbid someone should come in and ask for Ace of Base... As cliché as it sounds, it was actually very much like this:
So it will surprise no one when I say that my list of Best Christmas Albums For the Rest of Us steers as far away from Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Michael Bublé as you can get (although, ironically I LOVE Der Binger- buy one of those hats!- and Burl Ives) this time of year....
Now without further ado, here are the albums that I would be honored to hear at your soirée celebrating the Birth of Jesus:
James Brown's Funky Christmas
The Roches "We Three Kings"
Reggae Christmas from Studio One
A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
The New Possibility: John Fahey Guitar Soli Christmas Album (Buy it here in MP3 format, cheap, with Vol. II included as a bonus)
A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (which looks like this now)
But when we stocked it at the store it looked like this:
Jackie Gleason Merry Christmas (tragically, this is out of print and will set you back 30-50 bucks...)
And finally, The Ultralounge Christmas series I mentioned earlier... there are three volumes AND a "Best Of"
Did I miss any? Sadly, two more of my favorites are now out of print and probably even MORE impossible to procure than the Jackie Gleason listed above-- El Vez's "Merry Mex-mas"
and Punk Rock Xmas, a various artists (including the The Dickies, Fear, The Damned, as well as Pansy Division doing "Homo Christmas", among others) compilation with no equal, geared toward the anti-establishment set.
Please offer your own faves, I promise not to judge....