Retro Crimbo 2016/ Playlist: Listen, my stocking rockers and plum-pudding popsters!
In the words of Moby Grape… listen, my friends! Yes, it’s the (hopefully) monthly playlist presented by George’s Journal just for you good people.
There may be one or two classics to be found here dotted in among different tunes you’re unfamiliar with or never heard before – or, of course, you may’ve heard them all before. All the same, why not sit back, sip a glass of mulled wine, munch on a mince pie and listen away; for in the words of Noddy Holder, ittttttt’s… well, I’m sure you know what comes next…
CLICK on the track titles to hear them
Enrico Caruso ~ Cantique de Noël (1916)¹
The Barron Knights ~ Merry Gentle Pops (Parts 1 and 2) (1965)
Simon & Garfunkel ~ 7 O’Clock News/ Silent Night (1966)
Original Broadway Cast of Promises, Promises ~ Christmas Day (1968)
Nancy Sinatra ~ It’s Such A Lonely Time Of Year (1968)
Isabelle Aubret ~ Savez Vous Ce Qu’il Faut au Sapin de Noël? (1969)²
Bert Jansch ~ In The Bleak Midwinter (1974)
Dick Shawn and George S Irving ~ The Snow Miser/ Heat Miser Song (1974)³
Electric Jungle ~ Funky Funky Christmas (1974)
Greg Lake ~ I Believe In Father Christmas (1975)4
Basil Brush ~ Christmas Wishes (1977)
Piotr Tchaikovsky ~ Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy (1977)5
Jerry Goldsmith ~ The Gremlin Rag (from Gremlins) (1984)
Elaine Paige ~ Father Christmas Eyes (1986)
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem ~ Jingle Bell Rock (1987)6
Dina Carroll ~ The Perfect Year (1993)
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt ~ What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (2011)
¹ A version of the truly awesome carol O Holy Night from the 20th Century Italian opera superstar, recorded – yes – exactly a century ago
² An exquisite French-language take on John Barry and Hal David’s Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown? from the soundtrack of festive-themed Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
³ From, of course, the Rankin-Bass Claymation Christmas favourite, The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)
4 Prog rocker Greg Lake’s critique of the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, which reached #2 in the UK festive chart in its year (memorably, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was the runaway #1); its video gives us something of an anti-war message too, featuring as it does footage from the then very recently concluded Vietnam War. Lake passed on December 7, aged 69. RIP, Greg.
5 From the American Ballet Theatre’s sumptuous and sublime version of The Nutcracker featuring the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov in the title role, originally broadcast on December 16 1977
6 As featured in the 1987 TV special A Muppet Family Christmas – it actually marked a rare crossover, involving characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and even Muppet Babies.