snuh (snuh) wrote,
snuh
snuh

happy chrismas to ya list'nas

Each year, between 1963 and 1969, the Beatles recorded special Christmas messages for their fan club. What makes them so interesting, each one gives a good road mark of the band at that particular time. The series starts out with four cheery, eager voices and ends in a spacey end-of-sixties haze. I included summations from Wikipedia with each recording.




The Beatles: Christmas Record (1963)

  • Recorded: 20 October 1963
  • Released: 6 December 1963
  • Total time: 5:00

    The first Christmas recording from the Beatles featured several renditions of the traditional carol "Good King Wenceslas," individual messages from the four, and ended with a closing chorus of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo."




    The Beatles: Another Beatles' Christmas Record (1964)

  • Recorded: 26 October 1964–28 October 1964
  • Released: 18 December 1964
  • Total time: 4:05

    The carol "Jingle Bells" is sung, followed by individual messages to the fans. Finishing up the record is an original jingle, titled "Can You Wash Your Father's Shirts?"




    The Beatles: Third Christmas Record (1965)

  • Recorded: 19 October 1965
  • Released: 17 December 1965
  • Total time: 6:26

    Several off-key, a cappella versions of "Yesterday" are dispersed throughout the record, alongside Lennon's "Happy Christmas to Ya List'nas," "Auld Lang Syne," a one-and-a-half-line version of the Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song", which they quickly stop before they violate the copyright, and an original poem titled "Christmas Comes But Once a Year." A second version of Auld Land Syne segues messily into a cover of Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction.




    The Beatles: Pantomime - Everywhere It's Christmas (1966)

  • Recorded: 25 November 1966
  • Released: 16 December 1966
  • Total time: 6:40

    A disjointed collection of original songs and dramatic skits are featured in the 1966 offering. The songs include "Everywhere It's Christmas," "Orowanya," and "Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back." The sketches performed include "Podgy the Bear and Jasper" and "Felpin Mansions."




    The Beatles: Christmas Time Is Here Again (1967)

  • Recorded: 11 November 1967
  • Released: 15 December 1967
  • Total time: 6:10

    An elaborate production, Christmas Time is Here Again! was developed around the concept of several groups auditioning for a BBC radio show. The title song serves as a refrain throughout the record. The Beatles portray a multitude of characters, including game show contestants, aspiring musicians ("Plenty of Jam Jars," by the Ravellers), and actors in a radio drama ("Theatre Hour"). At the end John reads a poem, "When Christmas Time Is Over."



    The Beatles: Happy Christmas (1968)

  • Recorded: Separately, Autumn 1968
  • Released: 20 December 1968
  • Total time: 7:55

    The first Beatles Christmas fan club disc to be recorded separately, the 1968 offering is a collage of odd noises, musical snippets, and individual messages. McCartney's song "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year" is featured, along with John's poems "Jock and Yono" and "Once Upon a Pool Table." Also notable is a rendition of "Nowhere Man" by the ukulele-playing Tiny Tim. Also included is a sped-up snippet of the Beatles' own "Helter Skelter". Also featured is a brief snippet of "Baroque Hoedown" which in three years was used in Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade.




    The Beatles: Happy Christmas (1969)

  • Recorded: Separately, Autumn 1969
  • Released: 19 December 1969
  • Total time: 7:42

    The final Beatles Christmas offering was also recorded separately, as the band was crumbling at this point. It features an extensive visit with John and Yoko at their Tittenhurst Park estate, where they play "what will Santa bring me?" games. Harrison only appears briefly, and Starr only shows up to plug his recent film, The Magic Christian. Paul sings his original ad-lib, "This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas."web hit counter
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