Sunday, July 25, 2010

December 23, 2009: Happier Crimble!: The Complete Beatles’ X-Mas Records Part II

Last Friday, Psychobabble brought you the holiday records The Beatles sent out to members of their Official Fan Club from 1963 through 1966. Today we’ll focus on the latter part of their career, so get out yer mistle toe and mop top wigs, because here comes The Complete Beatles’ X-Mas Records Part II

1967 saw release of the most famous Beatles’ fan club record, thanks to the inclusion of their first (and only) full-band holiday song: “Christmastime (Is Here Again)”, a number as tunefully frothy as their recent number one hit, “Hello, Goodbye”. Inter-cut within the song are snippets from a broadcast on Radio LSD, which features that beloved, old, World War II chestnut, “Plenty of Jam Jars” by The Ravelers.


To commemorate 1968, Paul McCartney does a “Black Bird”-reminiscent improv, John name-drops his new paramour amidst his usual verbal gobbledygook, Ringo goes insane, and a very stoned-sounding George pals around with Tiny Tim, who lays down a characteristically shrill version of “Nowhere Man” on his uke! All of this is glued together with some avant garde tape-tomfoolery straight out of “Revolution 9”. Freaky.


Sure, The Beatles hated each-others’ guts by 1969, but that neither stopped them from tossing together another holiday record or kept Yoko Ono (who sloshes through the snow with her new hubby and sings like a Disney songbird) from getting in on the fun. A bit of “The End” played beneath this recording gives a good idea of where The Beatles’ heads were at in late ‘69. Ringo plugs his burgeoning acting career, perhaps because he knows he’ll soon be without a job. However, a little X-Mas ditty presented in two versions (one sung by George; one by Paul) provides an unexpectedly sweet holiday treat.


Having called it quits long before the 1970 holiday season, fan club members were deprived of their yearly jumble of skits, songs, and unsentimental sentiments. But they would get a late present when an LP containing all seven previous holiday flexi-discs called From Then to You shipped out in early ‘71. A nice final souvenir to commemorate one of the stranger corners of a most wondrously strange career.

Back to Part I...

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