Folks, it’s just a couple of days until Christmas, and I’m sure that by now you’re getting really tired of hearing the same ten Christmas songs playing on every radio station, coming out of every car, in every mall or every store you walk into. I mean, I love Mariah Carey and all, but if I have to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You” one more time, I’m gonna slap someone.
So in the spirit of the holidays (and a much more festive than last week’s suicide attempt-inducing tunes), here are a couple of not as popular holiday jams that are sure to put a little spring in your step and a little ho ho ho in your heart as we move towards the end of the holiday season.
In between Bobby Brown leaving and that awful Fifties cover album, New Edition put out an album called Christmas All Over the World. In addition to a couple of covers, there was also a track on it called “All I Want for Christmas is My Girl” that I remember getting some airplay in Detroit back when I was living there. Check the fellas out (in their shiny suit best) performing the title track on “Solid Gold” circa 1985 (and check out Ralph’s rattail, y’all).
In another part of Boston around that time, Maurice Starr was smarting from New Edition’s defection and had put together a group of five white kids that would ultimately exceed NE in terms of immediate success (but not in influence). New Kids on the Block were every-fucking-where for a good three years or so, and they were on Arsenio seemingly every month. They popped up at the end of ’89 to sing “Funky Funky Xmas”. Unlike NE, they’re not working the Christmasy look, but much like NE, they’re missing a member. In this case, Jonathan Knight was absent (and I don’t know if that was ever explained, either).
As a massive Dave-head, you had to know I was gonna post the DMB “Christmas Song” at one point or another. This song has never been released on a DMB studio album, but has appeared on several live comps and is also on one of the “A Very Special Christmas” CDs (although I can’t remember which one). The version I have is over ten minutes long, and my attention span just ain’t good enough to be able to sit through that, no matter how much I love Dave. Here’s a shorter version, from a Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds performance.
Finally, what’s Christmas without a little funk in your life? As I mentioned in this morning’s post, The Ohio Players came up with one of the stankiest funk jams in the history of Christmas with “Happy Holidays”. Although there’s no live performance footage of this song available (at least not to my knowledge), it’s worth posting if only to listen.
Merry Christmas, y’all!!