Friday, December 22, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 41 - Various Artists - A Very Special Christmas

Album - A Very Special Christmas
Artist - Various
Key Players - Various
Produced By - Various

Release Date - Fall of 1987

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Its Christmas!

Overview - This was the first, in a series of holiday themed records to be released to benefit the Special Olympics. Since 1987 it has raised over $55 Million dollars. There are four volumes (1,2,3 and 5) of "Very Special Christmas" a Jazz version, a world music version, a live version and an acoustic version. All the versions are still being pressed today.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
1. "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" - The Pointer Sisters - Clarence Clemmons famous of Bruce Springsteens "E Street" band plays sax on this version. We can almost forgive the Pointer Sisters fo "I'm So Excited".

2. "Winter Wonderland" - Eurythmics - What a version of this song. Annie Lennox has one of the best voices in music. Listen to it again and see if I am wrong.

3. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Whitney Houston - Before Bobby, before the drugs, before all of it America fell under this diva's spell. We had no idea what a Diva was but this woman had pipes and the version still makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

4. "Merry Christmas Baby" - Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band - Love em or hate em Bruce does good versions of Christmas tunes. Recorded live at Nassau Coiseum in Uniondale New York the audience knew they were in for a treat that night. How often does anyone do a "non goofy 30 second version of a christmas song" when they are on tour around this time of year.

5. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Pretenders - To me this is "THE" version of this song. Crissy Hynde has one of the most recognizable voices in all of music.

6. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - John Mellencamp - Even though the song is funnier when you hear versions on the old Dr. Demento Radio Show this is pretty tollerable.

7. "Gabriel's Message" - Sting - As much as his pompus and arrogant ass gets to people this a very cool tune.

8. "Christmas In Hollis" - Run-D.M.C.- Run D.M.C were one the heels of the break out crossover smash "Raising Hell" record and were on the lips of everyone new to "rap". An infectious and funky Christams had many Americans asking just what are "Collard Greens".

9. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - U2 - U2 actually recorded this during a soundcheck in Scotland in July of 1987. Some people can't stand U2 but even those anti-fans agree this is a pretty great version of the song. Darlene Love offers backing vocals on the tune (google her..she has done more than you'd imagine)

10. "Santa Baby" - Madonna - remember the Madonna of the 80's? Yeah me too. Singing about Santa while channeling Marilyn Monroe. Here infantitle sounding vocals are a little grating but its one of the most heard tracks from this collection. If they were to redo this version I'd put money down on Gwen Stefani doing it.

11. "Little Drummer Boy - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - A very strong version of the song. It can be very bare boned but the band add a little horns to it, yet they keep it true to form.

12. "Run Rudolph Run" - Bryan Adams - Yet another live song recorded for this record. Recorded in London in June of 87 (the fans that night must have been checking their calendars). Its a version you'd hear Brian Setzer do. Adams fills the track with rockabilly riffs and a hammering piano line.

13. "Back Door Santa" - Bon Jovi - The version of the cd that I have has this particular song. Doing some reaserch later pressings of the cd/album/tape had changed over to "I wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas", done also by Bon Jovi. Check your version as you may have a "collectors item" . This was also recorded live in the fall of 87 from the Nassau Coliseum.

14. "The Coventry Carol" - Alison Moyet - A very pretty song by yet another sadly overlooked terrific vocalist. I sang her praises in the past on this very blog.

15. "Silent Night" - Stevie Nicks - again, many view this as "the" version of the song. Either you love or dislike her vocal style but this version is pretty great.

FDF Overall Take - Sure we all love the standard classic Christmas songs and many of these are now considered "THE" version of said songs. A very strong collection of music that has enormous re-playability..and you can even sneak it in during the summer months and not feel too weird about doing so.


At 12:48 PM, Blogger The Guinness Tooth said...

What happened to volume 4?

At 9:24 PM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

they skipped one..but the live or acoustic one was #4...i can check.

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous BBS said...

Funny I blew the dust off this one as well last week, and ripped it to my i-tunes...


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