Christmas, Volume 3 – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-12-11 10:30:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

And so we come to the final installment of the ever-so-cleverly titled “Christmas” playlist series.

I don’t have much to say here, as I’ve already explained the process I went through and the purpose of these three Christmas playlists I’ve posted on the blog.  I will mention that this third volume seems to be a more relaxing, laid-back set than the previous two, especially after the first couple songs.  I didn’t mean for it to work out that way, but I’ve found this one quite soothing to listen to as I do some work around the house tonight.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through them, and don’t miss next Saturday, when I’ll publish the final “Playlists on Parade” post of the year, which will serve to wrap up my work with Christmas music this season.

1. “Angels We Have Heard on High” – Relient K

2. “Elf’s Lament” – Barenaked Ladies

3. “Christmas to Remember” – America

4. “The Christmas Guest” – Johnny Cash

5. “December Snow” – The Moody Blues

6. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – The Beach Boys

7. “Mele Kalikimaka” – Bing Crosby

8. “The Christmas Blues” – Bob Dylan

9. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee

10. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Bobby Helms

11. “Santa Claus is Back in Town” – Elvis Presley

12. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” – Elmo and Patsy

13. “What I Really Want for Christmas” – Brian Wilson

14. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen / We Three Kings” – Barenaked Ladies (with Sarah McLachlan)

15. “Merry Christmas Darling” – Mike Fusco (with Jim Fusco)

16. “Holiday” – The Bee Gees

17. “Step Into Christmas” – Elton John

18. “White Christmas” – The Drifters

19. “Santa’s Beard” – The Beach Boys

20. “Joy to the World” – Brian Wilson

A Christmas Music Catalog – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-12-18 10:30:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

There’s a LOT of Christmas music.

As is to be expected, some is excellent, some is terrible, and much of it is mediocre.  Over the years, in a variety of formats, I’ve been exposed to a lot of Christmas music.  This year, I assembled all the songs that have survived over the years, and I’ve created a 340 song playlist for your perusal below.  This master list has served as the source from which I derived my “Christmas, Volumes 1-3” playlists the past several weeks.

I’m sure I’m missing some tunes here that are very meaningful to you, so I encourage you to comment below to recommend any tracks I should seek out for a listen.

From our blog to you, I wish you the merriest of Christmases and a happy new year!


Alvin & the Chipmunks:             “Christmas Don’t Be Late,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

America:                                     Holiday Harmony

Band Aid:                                    “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Barenaked Ladies:                         Barenaked for the Holidays

The Beach Boys:                        Ultimate Christmas

The Beatles:                                     “Christmas Time is Here Again,” “Everywhere It’s Christmas”

The Bee Gees:                         “Holiday”

Ben Folds:                                    “Lonely Christmas Eve”

Bing Crosby:                                    “Mele Kalikimaka,” “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” “White Christmas”

Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans,

the Crystals, Darlene Love,

the Ronettes, & Phil Spector:  A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

Bob Dylan:                                    Christmas in the Heart

Bobby Helms:                         “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle”

Bobby Helms, The Brian

Setzer Orchestra, Charles

Brown, Clarence Carter,

Nat King Cole, Darlene Love,

Johnny Mathis, David Newman,

Lou Rawls:                                     The Jingle All the Way Soundtrack

Brenda Lee:                                     “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Papa Noel”

The Brian Setzer Orchestra:             Boogie Woogie Christmas

Brian Wilson:                                     What I Really Want for Christmas, “White Christmas,” “Little Saint Nick” (Web Version)

Burl Ives:                                     “Holly Jolly Christmas”

The Carpenters:                         “The Christmas Song,” “Merry Christmas Darling”

Chicago:                                     Christmas: What’s It Gonna Be, Santa?

Chris Moore:                                     “Christmas From Now On,” “Feliz Navidad” (with Jim Fusco & Dana Camp), “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” “Green Christmas” (with Jim Fusco), “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Moment,” “Must Be Santa,” “The New Year,” “A Winter’s Tale”

Chris, Jim, & Mike:                         Our Christmas Gift to You

Chuck Berry:                                     “Run Rudolph Run”

Copeland:                                     “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Death Cab for Cutie:                         “Christmas”

The Drifters:                                     “White Christmas”

The Eagles:                                     “Please Come Home for Christmas”

Eartha Kitt:                                    “Santa Baby”

Eisley:                                     “The Winter Song”

Elmo & Patsy:                         “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” “Percy the Puny Poinsettia”

Elton John:                                     “Step Into Christmas”

Elvis Presley:                                    If Every Day Was Like Christmas

Emerson, Lake, & Palmer:             “I Believe in Father Christmas”

The Fold:                                     “Oh Holy Night”

Fountains of Wayne:                         “I Want an Alien for Christmas”

Frank Sinatra:                                     “I Believe”

Gene Autry:                                     “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)”

George Harrison:                         “My Sweet Lord,” “Ding Dong Ding Dong”

The Harry Simeone Chorale:             “The Little Drummer Boy”

Hawk Nelson:                                     “Last Christmas”

Ingrid Michaelson:                         “Winter Song,” “Snowfall”

Jack Johnson:                                     “Someday at Christmas”

Jeff Foskett:                                     “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”

Jethro Tull:                                     “Ring Out Solstice Bells”

Joe Pesci:                                     “If It Doesn’t Snow for Christmas”

John Lennon:                                     “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” “Happy Christmas & Give Peace a Chance”

Johnny Cash:                                     Classic Christmas

Jose Feliciano:                         “Feliz Navidad”

Joy Electric:                                     “What Child is This?”

Judy Garland:                                     “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Lady Gaga:                                     “Christmas Tree”

Mae:                                                 “Carol of the Bells”

The Magnetic Fields:                         “Everything is One Big Christmas Tree”

Mavis Staples:                         “Christmas Vacation”

The Moody Blues:                         December, “Another Morning,” “Eyes of a Child,” “What Child is This?”

The Moonglows:                         “Hey Santa Claus”

MoU:                                                 MoU Holiday Party 2006

Nat King Cole:                         “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “The Little Boy Santa Claus Forgot”

NewSong:                                     “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

The Orioles:                                     “Crying in the Chapel”

Paul McCartney:                         “Wonderful Christmastime”

The Percy Faith Orchestra:             “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”

Ray Charles:                                     “What Child is This?”

Relient K:                                     Let it Snow Baby… Let it Reindeer

Ringo Starr:                                     I Wanna Be Santa Claus

Roger Whittaker:                         “Ding Dong Merrily on High”

Roy Orbison:                                     “Pretty Paper”

The Royal Guardsmen:             “Christmas Bells”

Simon & Garfunkel:                         “Seven O’Clock News/Silent Night”

Smashing Pumpkins:                         “Christmastime”

Spike Jonze:                                     “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”

Starflyer 59:                                     “Christmas Time is Here”

Stevie Wonder:                         “Someday at Christmas”

The Temptations:                         “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: “Christmas All Over Again”

Weezer:                                     Christmas with Weezer

Wham!:                                     “Last Christmas”

The Who:                                     “Christmas”

The Wilsons:                                     “Hey Santa!”

Barenaked Ladies & Wallflowers Non-Album Tracks – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-05-08 15:09:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

While I always have been and always will be an “album guy,” I have to admit that the ability to download singles does indeed have its merits.  Until recently, music fans haven’t had very good options when their favorite artists and bands record non-album tracks.  We’ve essentially had two options: 1) buy the soundtrack, import, etc. that the song was released on, or 2) wait years for an official compilation album to come out.  In the first case, you’ve spent more money than it’s probably worth and you’re left with a handful of songs that you don’t want and won’t listen to.  In the second case, well…

Who wants to wait that long?

So, I’ve just recently been putting aside my distaste for downloading music and started scavenging iTunes for songs I’m interested in.  What I never expected to find was a wealth of non-album tracks from two of my all-time favorite bands: the Barenaked Ladies and the Wallflowers.  I was thrilled to find twenty songs that weren’t forgettable throw-aways.  For the most part, the twenty songs I found and downloaded were well worth the price of admission.

Of course, I couldn’t help myself:  I just had to create a playlist!

The twenty songs you’ll find below run the gamut from demos to covers to generally unheard gems.  I couldn’t get enough of the Wallflowers’ take on the Rubber Soul classic “I’m Looking Through You,” so that quickly became the lead-off track.  Odd as it may seem coming from a guy who regularly contributes to a cover song music video blog, I don’t consider myself a fan of covers.  (You’d better believe, for instance, that I laughed out loud about two sentences into a serious article about an upcoming Phil Collins album of Motown covers.)  That being said, there are some phenomenal ones here, not the least of which are BnL’s cover of “Oh Yoko” and Jakob Dylan and Dhani Harrison’s take on “Gimme Some Truth.”  There’s something special about hearing a performance by the sons of two of the best singer/songwriters in rock music history, one of whom is a distinguished singer/songwriter in his own right.

I was blown away by the Barenaked Ladies originals that I found.  Typically, a band saves their crummiest little numbers for this sort of fare, so I certainly didn’t expect a BnL song on the Simple Life soundtrack to be anything stellar.  Go ahead, though:  listen to “The Other Day I Met A Bear” and just try to stop yourself from dragging and dropping it into your BnL music folder.  While “One Little Slip” isn’t anything outstanding, it’s a fun track, as much as “La La La La Lemon” is a funny track.

What weaves these covers and originals together on this playlist are the great live takes, particularly the iTunes Originals versions.  “After the Blackbird Sings” hails from the Wallflowers’ forgettable self-titled 1992 debut, but it is more than resurrected here.  I was thrilled to finally get a live version of “It’s All Been Done,” made all the more enjoyable for me because it reminds me of singing backup during MoU performances of this great track.

If you’re a Barenaked Ladies and/or Wallflowers fan, and especially if this year’s All in Good Time (BnL) and Women & Country (Jakob Dylan) releases weren’t enough to satiate you, then I know you’ll love the songs on this playlist.

1)  “I’m Looking Through You” – The Wallflowers

2)  “One Little Slip” – BnL

3)  “After the Blackbird Sings” (iTunes Originals Version) – The Wallflowers

4)  “The Other Day I Met A Bear” – BnL

5)  “Everything I Need” (iTunes Originals Version) – The Wallflowers

6)  “Easy” (acoustic) – BnL

7)  “6th Avenue Heartache” (Live) – The Wallflowers

8)  “La La La La Lemon” – BnL

9)  “God Says Nothing Back” (Demo Version) – The Wallflowers

10)  “Gimme Some Truth” – Jakob Dylan (feat. Dhani Harrison)

11)  “It’s All Been Done” (Live) – BnL

12)  “Whispering Pines” – Jakob Dylan

13)  “Sleepwalker” (iTunes Originals Version) – The Wallflowers

14)  “Oh Yoko” – BnL

15)  “Here He Comes (Confessions of a Drunken Marionette)” (Original Demo) – The Wallflowers

16)  “Into the Mystic” – The Wallflowers

17)  “Eat You Sleeping” – The Wallflowers

18)  “They Long to Be Close to You” – BnL

19)  “Letters from the Wasteland” (iTunes Originals Version) – The Wallflowers

20)  “Don’t Cry No Tears” (Live) – The Wallflowers

Christmas, Volume 1 – Playlists on Parade

Originally posted 2010-11-27 17:27:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Living for years with a friend who made it his business to know, love, and compile Christmas music, I’ve never really taken much ownership of the hundreds of holiday songs that are on my iPod, many of the older and/or more obscure selections having been discovered through him.  Of course, there are certain albums that I look forward to hearing every year.  These albums are collections of music that really help me get into the spirit of the season, ranging from classics like the Beach Boys’ sixties Christmas album to 2004’s Barenaked for the Holidays.

The problem I encountered last year was that the albums were easy to isolate in my iTunes, but the individual tracks from artists that I only listen to at Christmas time were more difficult to call up.  Some of the more legendary singers are easy to remember, like Bing Crosby and Burl Ives, but it is still inconvenient to flip between artists after every song or two.

This year, I was struck by the desire to hear the songs I missed last season, so I woke up early this morning to sort out all the yuletide tracks.  In the end, I had 340 songs in a playlist titled simply “Christmas Collection.”  Now, this is an excellent list to play on random when friends or family come over, or when you’re simply looking to mix it up.

But it could also be a drag to suffer through all your least favorite versions of your favorite songs or to keep hoping a song you’re thinking of is coming up next.

Thus, I sorted out my favorite songs into a separate playlist.  After I had picked through all 340 tunes, I found myself with 70 songs.  Still too many, so I forced myself – forced! – to cut out ten more.  With sixty remaining, I set about separating them into three more manageable lists of twenty each.

This is volume one of the creatively titled “Christmas” playlist series!

In this first playlist, I’ve included some of my absolute favorites, like the Beach Boys’ “Little Saint Nick” and the Moody Blues’ “Don’t Need a Reindeer.” I’ve also added some lesser known but equally excellent holiday themed tracks, like Clarence Carter’s “Back Door Santa” (a song I definitely did NOT fully understand when I first heard it at age 12) and Relient K’s “I Hate Christmas Parties.”  One of the most difficult decisions for me here was whether to use the original and unarguably classic Band Aid version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”  In the end, I went with the BnL version, which is on the whole much more listenable, as it’s louder and clearer.

When they remaster the Band Aid version, I may need to revisit this playlist…

I’ll be back with more commentary on the tracks in specific and my process overall next Saturday, so be sure to check back for volume two!

1. “Little Saint Nick” (Single Version) – The Beach Boys

2. “Christmas Vacation” – Mavis Staples

3. “Don’t Need a Reindeer” – Moody Blues

4. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Barenaked Ladies (Band Aid cover)

5. “Back Door Santa” – Clarence Carter

6. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love

7. “Holly Jolly Christmas” – Burl Ives

8. “The First Snow” – Mike Fusco

9. “Winter Wonderland” – America

10. “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” – Ringo Starr

11. “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley

12. “I Hate Christmas Parties” – Relient K

13. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon

14. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Judy Garland

15. “Christmastime (Oh Yeah)” – Barenaked Ladies

16. “Christmas Time is Here Again” – The Beatles

17. “Christmas Don’t Be Late” – Alvin & the Chipmunks

18. “Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry

19. “Here Comes Santa Claus” – Bob Dylan

20. “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole