And here it is- the end of the line. I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration! Remind me to never do this again.
Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school! I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them. And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!
I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”. At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track. I had basic microphones, too. Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer. But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference. I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!
My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too. I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it. Next time, though!
I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise. I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process. Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!
Welcome to the first-ever Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video in high definition, which I’ve dubbed, “LSHD”. I’m so excited to be on the cutting-edge of technology and hope that more YouTube viewers will see my cover song music videos because of the enhanced new look.
But, what a project doing this for the first time… Even on my fast Mac Pro, it still took almost an hour just to render this video, and then the audio and video sync kept going off. So, it was a project that took WAY more time than anticipated. I think I have a pretty good system going now, so I hope the future music videos will be a bit easier to produce.
Tonight, I enlisted the help of my colleague Noreen’s 1967 Gibson 12-string acoustic guitar. It’s pretty sweet, as you see in the video, but also sounds pretty great, as well. It’s really easy to play and has a very powerful sound. As soon as I picked it up a couple weeks ago, “Holiday” from the Bee Gees just popped into my head. Something about that 12-string sound that just reminded me of this song. So, I knew I had to have it for this video, and I knew I wanted something special for my first one in HD.
Actually, this is also my first music video from my new house, which I share with my new wife. Yes, the awesome studio is long gone now, but I’ve got a pretty good setup here in one of our spare bedrooms. Someday I’ll rebuild the studio, but I don’t think it’ll be in the house. We’ll see.
“Holiday” is one of those songs I’ve known for all my 25 years. My father put it on his famous Christmas compilation cassette tape set and we heard it every year. It took me quite a long time to realize that this wasn’t necessarily a Christmas song, though I do hear it on the oldies stations during this time of year. I thought it would be a nice way to usher in the “season”. Actually, there are a lot of songs that aren’t really Christmas songs, but I’ll always consider them to be: “Another Morning” from the Moody Blues (off of Days of Future Passed, which is about “a child’s world”, which my father thought reminded him of Christmas), “Eyes of a Child” by the Moody Blues (off of To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which my father took to mean like the birth of a child, like Jesus), “Christmas” by the Who (which is only loosely based on the holiday of Christmas), and “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison (which is a song praising God, but says nothing about the holiday). Again, they’ll always be Christmas songs to me.
I’m glad I got to know this song- it’s a good tune. The early Bee Gees were really good and I enjoy many of their early hits. They’re a band that really re-invented themselves in the seventies. It’s almost like two completely different bands. Plus, you know I love a group of brothers that write their own songs and sing in harmony, so it’s a perfect fit!
I never really understood the words to this song, but now I know why- it’s because I still had the kid’s understanding of the lyrics that I thought I “learned” when I was little. I mean, I learned the words maybe 20 years ago, but my vocabulary then was not what it is now. So, the line, “put the soft pillow on my head” always came out as “but there’s something upon my head”. No wonder it never made any sense to me.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my first LSHD video and hope you’ll come back next week for another (and a REAL) Christmas classic! Welcome to the new era of the Laptop Sessions.
Welcome to your Christmas 2010 edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! I couldn’t let the Christmas Season go by without presenting a cover song music video for you, so I present Elton John’s Christmas classic “Step Into Christmas”.
You know, growing up, I never loved this song. I think my father wasn’t a huge fan of it, so that tainted my view. But, as time went on (and I became a bigger Elton John fan) I realized that this is a pretty great tune. In it, Elton says, “I’d like to thank you for the year.” Obviously, he’s talking to his many fans and I’d like to do the same: THANK YOU for another great year here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! In the past year, I’ve seen the term “Laptop Sessions” come up as a search suggestion in Google. That’s pretty cool and means that plenty of people have been searching for this site! Also, I’m only a few days away from reaching 800,000 YouTube views- 80% of the way towards my ultimate goal of a million! I have had renewed ambition lately to promote the Laptop Sessions blog and my YouTube videos, so I hope I keep it going- my goal is to reach a million YouTube views sometime in 2011- hopefully the first half!
A funny note about “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John: the chorus always seemed odd to me. I, for the first 26 years of my life, always thought he said, “Eat in the evening, come along with me.” I thought that was such a stupid line! I mean, Bernie Taupin couldn’t think of anything else you could do at Christmas other than eating in the evening?? Well, I decided that I should find out for sure if that was the line- turns out I was wrong. He really says, “Eat, drink, and be merry; come along with me.” Wow- I was WAY off! Well, to be fair, I don’t think I ever would’ve guessed that- how did they fit those words into that short of a time-span? Well, I figured it out and included it in my song. I’m glad I did- there’s been a few Laptop Sessions cover songs videos where I sang incorrect words because I thought I knew them. They’ve always haunted me. For instance, on Brian Wilson’s “Live Let Live” video, I sang, “Pure Pacific, just as sure as the sky.” I had no idea what that meant, but since Van Dyke Parks wrote the lyrics, I figured I shouldn’t ask questions. Well, I did decide to ask questions, and it turns out the line is, “Blue Pacific, as azure as the sky.” Ohhhhh, THAT’S what he said! Brian has gotten a tad bit of a slur in his later years, and “as azure as” is hard enough to say anyway! So, I botched that line. I’ve never been proud of that video as a result.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Christmas!! I’ll be back right before New Year’s with another video, but I happy I got in this Christmas cover song today. This year, I’m hoping to have one of the most memorable Christmases ever and I’ll be sure to tell you all about it after the big day comes. I can’t believe it’s just a week away! Until then- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Welcome to Day 2 of Jim Fusco’s Rock’n’Roll Christmas! I think you’ll all agree that getting a brand-new recording of a Christmas song you can download for FREE is MUCH better than getting a couple of turtle doves. I mean, what do you even feed those things??
Today’s song is a unique one- it’s a cover of Mavis Staples’ “Christmas Vacation” that she recorded for the movie, “Christmas Vacation”, one of the absolute classics. In fact, we just had our yearly watching of this movie the other night with our friends Bob and Sue. Of course I have the high-definition Blu-Ray version. I just had to see Clark Griswold fall off that ladder in glorious HD!
I actually noticed that Mavis Staples sings a different final verse in the version that begins the movie. I chose to go with the version from the soundtrack, which is the one I’ve been listening to for about ten years now. Over at WCJM Free Internet Radio, we actually named our final Christmas show after the movie and featured this song!
I hope you enjoy tonight’s song. I think I did a pretty good job of recreating the sound without going too late-80s (like the original). This was a fun one to do and really stretched out my vocal chords. And you KNOW I did it in the original key. Take care, everyone, and come back tomorrow for Day 3!