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

“R U Ready?” by Ringo Starr

Originally posted 2010-01-11 23:53:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Ringo Starr chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Okay, okay, so I know what you’re thinking: how could I have screwed the lyrics up so badly at the end of the song.  You see, when I say, “That’s the real thing, ain’t it?” it should actually be “That’s the real thing, i’n’t it.”

Hopefully you can see past my error…

Seriously though, I welcome you to the Monday night Laptop Session.  This is my first song choice in anticipation of a new music release this year — in this case, tomorrow’s release of Ringo Starr’s Y Not.  Based on the quality of Ringo’s past several albums, I can only imagine that this oddly titled release will be excellent.  There appear to be some promising collaborations with such artists as Van Dyke Parks, Ben Harper, Joss Stone, Richard Marx, and — most exciting — Paul McCartney.

I’ll be honest — the title does throw me off a bit.  After all, can there ever be a good justification for a man of Ringo Starr’s age and stature to use Instant Messenger shorthand in his album or song titles?  I certainly can’t think of one.  And this isn’t the first time that Ringo has utilized such abbreviations.  As you can tell, my song choice tonight was based on the fact that “R U Ready?” — from 2008’s Liverpool 8 — uses IM shorthand for “Are You.”  I can’t tell you why Ringo made this decision when writing the song, but I can tell you that it is indeed a great song.  It was fun and easy to play, and I got to break in my “D” harmonica.  Ever since I started exploring the different keys in my array of harps, I’ve been having more fun than ever breaking them out and playing them.

I’ll have to think of another harmonica-ready song for next week…

But, for now, I hope you’ll enjoy my cover version of “R U Ready?”  Then, consider taking a listen to the new Ringo Starr album Y Not, to be released tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12th, 2010.  He has truly been on a roll these past several years, releasing outstanding records in 2003, 2005, 2008, and now a mere two years later in 2010.  I know where I’ll be heading after school tomorrow — to my local Newbury Comics store for a copy of Y Not.

With Ringo’s recent track record, I ask you: y not?

“You’re Sixteen” (Ringo Starr Cover)

Originally posted 2008-09-29 00:42:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to a slightly-belated Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions!  Due to Rosh Hashanna celebrations, Jeff asked if Mike could step in.  When that didn’t work out, it was left up to me to fill the space so the Laptop Session a day project can continue!  I’ll have tonight’s video and tomorrow’s, as well, so Jeff will replace my regularly-scheduled acoustic cover song on Friday.  Whippee- no video for me until Monday!

Tonight, you get Ringo Starr’s only Number One Billboard Hot 100 hit in “You’re Sixteen”.  This has to be one of the most fun videos I’ve ever done and if you watch it, you’ll know why.  My version even features the famous kazoo solo, originally played by one Sir Paul McCartney!

I love listening to random mode on my iPod (the “old” 80 gig model).  I heard this song again (I’ve known it for years- who hasn’t?) and then decided to listen to the entire “Ringo” album.  What a great one, including (no pun intended) the song “I’m The Greatest”, which I believe was written by John Lennon.  Ringo always did collaborations well.  Fans will hopefully remember “Never Without You” that he did for George Harrison with a guitar solo by the great Eric Clapton.

I suppose I should give Ringo songs a rest for a while, as I’ve done two recently.  Which one, you ask?  Well, the best way to find out these things is to visit the Laptop Sessions music video blog every single day, but if you missed it, you can just go to the Categories menu in the left bar and click on “Ringo Starr songs”.  Until tomorrow, have a great one!



“Honey Don’t” (Beatles and Carl Perkins Cover)

Originally posted 2010-09-30 20:02:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, everyone, to another new edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!  I’m sorry the post is a bit later today- I was busy yesterday training for an upcoming 5k race with my Traveling Acai Berries member, Steve.  It’s tough motivating myself to run every other day, but I know it’s healthy for me to do so, and I’m using that as extra motivation.

The other day, I was searching online for Beatles covers and Beatles cover songs, but The Laptop Sessions page didn’t come up in my searches!  Well, that has to change.  I’m going to make it a personal goal of mine to get the Beatles category page up in the search engine rankings!

Tonight, I bring you a Beatles song that Ringo got to sing.  All the members of the Beatles (especially George and Ringo) were big Carl Perkins fans.  So, they took this song, “Honey Don’t”, and gave it the Beatles treatment.  I’m glad they let Ringo sing it, as his voice is perfectly suited for it.  Something about the chords on the verses gets me every time.  This song is pretty easy to play, but it’s got such a great tune.  And hearing Ringo sing it in a way only Ringo Starr can, it makes for a great combination.

Apparently, Carl Perkin’s brother even initially refused to play the song, citing its odd chord progression (for a blues song) in the verses.  I’m glad he finally came around!  The song has such a driving beat, too- I’d love to play this live with a band someday.  One of my favorite parts is the guitar solo.  I actually got to play it pretty spot-on even though it’s a solo acoustic version.  The guitar solo in the Beatles version is basically the E and C chords played as barre chords higher on the neck.  I never get to solo during these videos- it was fun!

I’ve wanted to play this song for the Laptop Sessions ever since I heard Ringo singing the song during his concert at the Mohegan Sun this past June.  He sounds exactly the same and they do such a good job of reproducing the energy and the sound of the recording live.  Actually, if I had my way about it, this would be “The Ringo Sessions with Jim Fusco”- I can’t exactly explain it, but I LOVE Ringo’s music.  I especially like his solo albums starting with 1992’s “Time Takes Time”, but there’s something about Ringo’s songs in general that really resonate with me.  Heck, he even makes “Honey Don’t”, a sad song when you think about it, into a jolly good time. :-)

I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and stay-tuned next week for a very, very special Jim Fusco announcement!  I think you’re going to love it, but you’ll have to keep checking back to see what it is.  See you then!