……sick of Noddy Holder, Shakin’ Stevens, Wham and the rest of ’em? Well, here is the result of (quite literally) minutes of office debate/research, as to the very best vinyl records with a festive flavour currently in stock, not a turkey in sight…..
WHITE STRIPES Candy Cane Children: Jack gets in on the Xmas action with this rare 2002 US limited edition 3-track White Vinyl 7″ single, featuring The Reading Of The Story Of The Magic and The Singing Of Silent Night, all done in a White Stripes styleee, picture sleeve with ‘Merry Christmas From…The White Stripes’ message – aah, makes you all warm inside…More info here CAT POWER Dark End Of The Street: 2008 UK ‘Strictly Limited Edition’ 6-track 2 x 10″ vinyl EP set – For Christmas 2008, Cat Power presents a selection of unreleased tracks recorded during the ‘Jukebox’ sessions. In keeping with the theme of the ‘Jukebox’ album, all songs on this EP are covers, including songs by The Pogues, Sandy Denny [Fairport Convention], James Carr & Aretha Franklin, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Otis Redding, gatefold picture sleeve too, more info here LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS This Is The Blues: Bringing a slice of much needed realism to the Xmas table, Lightnin’ Hopkins offers the following; Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I’m Wild About You Baby & Cemetery Blues, recorded 29.7.53 – all on a tasty German issued 1963 7″ single, more info here LAURA NYRO Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat: On this 1970 LP the greatly missed singer/songwriters seldom heard Xmas song ‘Christmas In My Soul’ which posits children as the saviours of Christmas (not all the nasty politicians and straights) and even manages a ‘shout out’ to the Black Panthers before a deft a nod to the plight of the American Indian all in one verse – right on! More info here ST ETIENNE I Was Born On Christmas Day: Hey, why don’t they ever play this 1993 7″ Xmas single featuring Tim Burgess on the radio? Double your Christmas fun with My Christmas Prayer on the flip More info here What a sleeve! Coming on like a well known supermarket’s value brand this Boosey & Hawkes Library LP works as much as functionalist art as it does vinyl record, more info here THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN Snoopy’s Christmas: Tasty slice of garage pop from 1967 on this South African 7″ single, more festive fun on the flip with It Kinda Looks Like Christmas, love the wraparound advertising Springbok Radio sleeve too! More info here BLONDIE Yuletown Throw Down: Debbie and chums offer up this cracking little slice of festive fun with their ‘Christmas’ version of Rapture – who knew? Originally given away with UK magazine ‘Flexipop’, its got ‘The Christmas Song’ and The Brattles on the flip! More info here VARIOUS Wonderful Time Out There: This 1981 UK LP, was released as a ‘Christmas gift’ by Stiff Records and features a collection of tracks by artists signed to the label with several Christmas messages thrown in between songs! Madness, Department S, Ian Dury and more all feature – more info here THE KNICKERBOCKERS Gotta Stop This Dreaming / I Want A Girl For Christmas: This cracking slice of US garage pop laid in the vaults for forty years before top US reissue imprint Sundazed dusted it down for release in 2006: What do you get? 2 unreleased tracks taken from an original session demo tape recorded in 1966, with its amazing vocal arrangement, this’ll remind one and all that the Knickerbockers made better demos than most groups’ masters, more info here ABBA Polydor Wenst U Prettige Kerstdagen En… A Happy New Year: The motherlode to end all motherlodes in the Xmas single rarity stakes – This promo only one-sided red label vinyl 7″ was created exclusively by Polydor in Holland & sent out in December as a Christmas greeting & gift back in 1980/1981. The cover greeting translates, “Polydor wishes you a Merry Christmas and… A Happy New Year” – this rare release was also given the significant catalogue number 0001981 – Be warned, it’s expensive, being not only Xmas themed but also a top Abba rarity in its own right – More info here