A few weeks ago, when Bobby asked if I wanted to contribute to the blog, I asked him what he had in mind. “I just want you to share what you’re listening to week by week” he said, adding that he thought it would be interesting for me to share it with you. Unfortunately I don’t think either of us considered that we were so close to December 25th and that my listening habits in the coming weeks would be far more predictable then interesting.
Christmas is the Bermuda Triangle of my musical radar. It’s that scary time of year that will see me humming along to Wham! and Mariah Carey without even noticing. As a precaution I’ve decided to share the three albums which I feel are the most essential to help you make the most of the next few days.
A Christmas Gift for You (1963)
from Phil Spector
For me, Christmas sounds best when it’s produced by Phil Spector and in 1963 Spector put together ‘a Christmas gift’ for fans of his trademark ‘Wall of Sound’. The album features The Crystals, The Ronettes and many more with each performing a number of Christmas classics. This really is the Christmas album to own. It also just happens to be Brian Wilson’s favourite album of all time, so if that that’s not an endorsement to go out and get it then I don’t know what is.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Another favourite of mine is Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. While it may have originally been the soundtrack to the Peanuts television special for me it’s become the soundtrack to nights curled up on the couch with a good book and enjoying a nice drink by the fire. What makes A Charlie Brown Christmas so special is that it’s one of the most popular Christmas albums of all time and yet it still sounds fresh.
The Home Alone Soundtrack (1990)
by John Williams
Speaking of soundtracks, it’s fair to say that for many Home Alone should be the perfect reminder of what it felt like to be a kid at Christmas. If, like me, you grew up in the 90’s then this is the way to remember how much you wanted to be Macaulay Culkin. The score is beautifully sweeping in that trademark John Williams fashion and it should easily help stir up memories of other great film adventures Mr. Williams has helped you go on as a kid.
If you’re still looking for more music then there’s certainly been plenty of new releases this year to satisfy your Christmas cravings. I’ve really been enjoying Dent May’s excellent Holiday Face which you can check out over on Gorilla Vs Bear. Likewise Beach House have delivered a really great track called I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun, available here. Finally Target have put together an exclusive Christmas compilation that features people like Best Coast, Wavves and Coconut Records. The whole thing is free and it’s got a few gems on it, download it here. Best wishes for the Holidays!