1001 Albums: A Christmas Gift For You

#37

Album_37_Original

Artist: Phil Spector

Album: A Christmas Gift For You

Year: 1963

Length: 34: 12

Genre: Christmas

 

 

“The world is your snowball, see how it grows,
That’s how it goes, whenever it snows.
The world is your snowball just for a song,
Get out and roll it along!”

 
What? Fucking what? A Christmas Album? Why is there a Christmas Album? Why am I listening to a goddamn Christmas album in fucking March? As if I’m not already subjected to this nonsense way too damn early in freaking November, it has to come back to plague me nowhere near Christmas? Dear Lord, what is happening? Why is this here? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHY???

Christmas music… as if we couldn’t get enough of the same tunes being done over a thousand times by every artist, I now have to sit through 35 minutes of old school Christmas music. Don’t get me wrong (or do, I don’t care) I enjoy a good Christmas tune, especially when it’s around the holiday it’s meant to be part of. I don’t understand why malls and stores start playing this stuff right as Halloween ends. You don’t even get a chance to put away your costume and you’re already met with Christmas tunes blasting through the radio. I wouldn’t mind this, but my dad LOOOOOVES this stuff and can’t wait until the fire log channel appears and he keeps it on… alll dayyyyyy. Well, if I am going to endure it, I will do it with my best Christmas Spirit. Santa hat on head, red and green tights on legs, red converse on feet and ugly Christmas sweater on chest. I am good to go.

But wait… the hot chocolate… don’t forget the hot chocolate!!!!

Fuck off, I have my peppermint mocha latte ready…. it’s delicious… slurp.

Honestly, when the Holidays come around, this is the Christmas music I want to hear. It embodies the spirit and feeling of the holiday so damn well. It’s exactly what you want during Christmas: Cheery, Happy, Joyful, Fucking FUN!!! What the hell happened to all the damn Christmas music? When did it become so damn slow and depressing? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rendition of White Christmas that actually felt energized.

Speaking of which, I never got that song… Maybe it’s because I live in a place where we experience a very snowy (very… snowy) Christmas, that the song never quite made sense to me. I mean, the blanket of snow outside is beautiful but it’s damn infuriating and cold. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT SNOW!????? Did you ever have to clean your car out of a snowbank? I have, it’s the worst. THE WORST!!! You know how difficult it is to drive on snow? ON ICE?!?! VERY! Try walking through a snowstorm, you can’t see for shit with all the snow pellets blasting you in the face. You think we shut down after a snow storm? No, everything is still fucking open. Schools, jobs, offices, malls… everything stays open. Unless the snowstorm is big enough to create a major power outage you can guarantee you’re going to work (or school, mine was never closed). This idea of a snow day is literally that, a regular day… but with SNOW! and tons of it. Thankfully, these past few years the weather ha been crappy and we have been experiencing warm winters. Sure, I miss the look of the snow, especially around Christmas, but I definitely don’t miss the HELL!

Also, it’s cold… so damn cold. Bone-chilling cold. I would trade with Florida any day of the week (minus the mosquitos of course… please no).

Where was I? Oh yeah.

This is basically what Christmas music should be like. I’m getting really annoyed that when Christmas comes around I can’t have music that gets me in the mood. Instead I get these sad ballads of sad Christmases and slowed-down, mo-town covers of our favourite songs and the GODDAMN LITTLE DRUMMER BOY!!!!! Seriously, if I have to listen to another Christmas song about some mother with cancer who wants shoes or how I won’t be home for Christmas, boo-fucking-hoo or dreams of a good Christmas like I used to have but don’t now because I’m a raging alcoholic and life sucks sometimes, I’m gonna lose it. Why did these songs become so depressing all of a sudden? Did someone go, “Hey, you know what Christmas needs? Sadness and lots of it”. Jesus Christ (Happy Birthday by the way, dude).

You know what my favourite recent Christmas song is? You’ll be very surprised because it easily gets lost in the plethora of Michael Buble covers and tearjerking Christmas songs. It’s the fucking Spongebob Christmas Special song.

This one:

 

Yeah, Yeah, I know it’s stupid. But it does something most newer Christmas songs aren’t doing. It’s actually capturing the vibe and feel of what Christmas is. It goes through every cliche known to man and packs in a fun box topped with a cheerful bow. It may not be great but by God is it ever fucking fun. BRING THE FUN BACK IN CHRISTMAS MUSIC!

Maybe I’ve grown to be a little cynical when it comes to Christmas music. I mean, I am and adult now and I’ve realised the holiday season doesn’t really capture me like it used to. The magic is kind of gone for me. I remember being a kid and being surrounded by everything Christmas. Doing the Christmas play at school, singing all the carols in class, in the car, at home, consuming all the Christmas specials on tv, watching the house be decorated with a ton of Christmas decors. THE TREE! The village under the tree. My dad’s cookies, the fireplace, the stockings. THE FREAKING ITALIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER THAT MY MOM COOKS! NINE FREAKING COURSES FOR THREE PEOPLE! COME ON!

Things aren’t the same anymore. These years I barely even notice it’s the Holidays until it’s the actual day of Christmas. Then it zooms by so quickly I felt like I didn’t get to experience it at all. Other than the food and some decorations, things have changed. We don’t use a real tree anymore, the village is gone, it’s illegal to sue the fireplace. Working full time, I don’t have time to watch the specials and other than when I’m home or in the mall, I don’t get the music the way I’d like… Christmas is just not the same anymore, but I do get my family time in, which that’s all that matters to me.

Recent years I’ve been getting into Christmas Techno music to take me away from the rest. You’ll come to learn that I’m an energized guy who lvoes energized things that keep me dancing and moving. It’s fun, I like to be happy and have fun, sue me.

This is what I’m talking about:

Always manages to put a smile on my face. D-D-D-DROP THE BASS. Fucking ridiculous haha.

Speaking of ridiculous, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is one disturbing song. Here’s this kid, stumbling on his mom being a cheating whore, kissing some fat piece of shit in their living room, and he/she is giggling  heir ass off in their naive stupidity. How cute and innocent, eh? “What a laugh it would have been, if daddy had only seen”, Oh yeah nothing screams hilarious fun during the holidays like you’re dad catching your mom cheating and the ensuing divorce that will occur. Fantastic. Maybe this actually makes me love this song more.

I realise I’ve really tracked away from the album itself, but what can I really say about it? it’s a Christmas album… filled with Christmas music we’ve heard so many times. It makes sense I’d go off on a tangent because I can’t really talk about this album without mentioning any other Christmas music since it’s all part of one big mix. They’re practically interchangeable, same songs, different styles.

I guess this particular album really set the standard of what we know as Christmas music today. A lot of people cited this has very influential for the sound itself and even acknowledged Phil Spector on his technique known as The Wall of Sound. Basically he tried to create the perfect sound that would emit through radios and players and it required using a rather large orchestral ensemble to do that. The Wall of Sound would create  backdrop of music that all together would sound amazing, but you wouldn’t be able to hear the individual instruments playing. They would blend together seamlessly creating… a wall of sound. It’s true, other than a few moments of obvious sounds, it’s really hard to distinguish exactly what’s going on in the background of the Singer’s vocals. This technique would be praised by The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson who would even call this album, yes this Christmas album, his favourite album of all time, just to add to the musical anomaly that is Brian Wilson.

Phil Spector really did something magical with this album and there’s a nice moment right at the end where he actually takes the time to thank you for letting him give this gift to you. Usually I don’t like that in albums, but here it seemed to fit the spirit of the holiday, the idea of giving thanks and showing appreciation. Especially since it was supported by Silent Night playing in the background. Unusual, yet nice way to end the album. There’s this nice, serene quality to his speech that makes you feel warm, almost like father Christmas himself tucking you to bed.

spector.jpg

Yes, definitely a man I want tucking me into bed… very grandfatherly… not a murderer at all. Nope… no murders here… He definitely didn’t murder any actresses or anything… he just made delightful Christmas music… right… right? Oh god….

Song of Choice: Parade of the Wooden Soldiers

-Bosco

P.s. That hair though, damn son.

P.P.S also, this was one of those weird times where Spotify had the album but for whatever reason didn’t have one song. Seriously, go check it out, the first song is grayed out… One of the few times I will have to go check out an album on youtube. Oh well.

 

 

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