Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas: The Youtube Essentials

I've been usually wrapped up in holiday spirit this year. In keeping with this anomaly, I've been listening to quite a lot of Christmas tunes, admitting to myself that yes, even the super-sentimental ones (as if any weren't) have that special charm that wears out just as the 25th comes to a close. Since my (and probably   your) desire for such celebratory, sticky-sweet numbers has such a short shelf-life, I didn't go through the trouble of making an actual mixed file. Instead, I chose a more disposable medium - the youtube channel. Here's the track listing for the channel, which you can find here:

1. Paul McCartney - "Wonderful Christmas Time"

How could I not start off with this energetic number by Sir Paul? Some of my readers probably know how I carry a candle for this often maligned Beatle, so here it is: the man can write a hook. That synth line!

2. Donny Hathaway - "This Christmas"

The man with the golden voice (Sorry, Sinatra). 

3. The Ramones - "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)

Love this video. This track got the edge on that Kinks song, I just feel like soul, not snottiness.

4. The Drifters - "White Christmas" 

Recently watched "Home Alone" for the first time since childhood. What's the deal with that aftershave scene? Did Kevin actually shave and get razorburn or what? The furnace scene wasn't as scary as when I was a kid.

(Two I almost forgot!!!!)

5. Clarence Carter - "Back Door Santa"

6. James Brown - "Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto" 

7. Louis Armstrong - "Zat You, Santa Claus?"

Honorable mention: that song about "all that meat and no potatoes".

8. Run-DMC - "Christmas in Hollis"

This is a new one for me this year. Great video, signature sound. Pretty sure that's the Clarence Carter song in the sample, too.

9. Ray Charles - "Merry Christmas, Baby" (Live in a German Monastery)

Oh yeah.

10. Stevie Wonder - "I Wish"

So this isn't a christmas song by genre - but he mentions it in the first verse, and it's all about growing-pains nostalgia, certainly a part of the holiday experience... plus this is way better than anything on "Someday at Christmas".

11. Jacob Miller and Ray I - "Natty No Santa Claus"

Because if there was ever a time for feeling irie, it's the holidays.

12. Bruce Springsteen - "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

I don't even like this guy that much (Sorry, Tim!), but this song rules.

13. Tchaikovsky - "The Nutcracker Suite"

Jammed to this last night in "Fantasia". Something that lines the floor of my subconscious and that will never be removed :) ... but what better way to close this list out? This is actually a shorter version, you can the Op 71a version here.

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