Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Car Boot Christmas Countdown 2016 - Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of the Car Boot Christmas Countdown 2016.  Over the next ten days, leading us up to Christmas Eve, we'll be looking at some of the seasonal records I've found at car boot sales and charity shops since the last countdown in December 2014.

We'll start with an absolute belter, The Ventures' Christmas Album, for which I paid an entire fiver (I know!) in April of this year.

The Ventures' Christmas Album (1965)

Don Wilson, Bob Fogle and the rest of the guys bring a touch of summertime to Christmas, packing twelve festive standards into under half an hour of glorious surf rock instrumentals.  Each one has a snippet of a 60s pop hit expertly melded to it, so Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer opens with the unmistakable riff from 'I Feel Fine', their wonderful rendition of Blue Christmas has the Searchers' 'When You Walk In The Room' lick applied, and one classic meets another on Sleigh Bells where their own 'Walk, Don't Run' appears throughout.

The sleeve notes talk about the adaptations the group made to these well known songs "to suit their own power-packed style".  This youthful power, the twang-tastic racket it produces, added to the sleigh bells a-go-go from start to finish, make this jingle bell rock an essential December listen.

Bought from a charity shop and sent to me by a dear chum (thanks Matt!) is Mary's Boy Child: The Christmas Album by Boney M.

Boney M - Mary's Boy Child: The Christmas Album (1981)

Known throughout the rest of the world simply as "Christmas Album", the extra bit in the title was added to the UK version due to the success of the single Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord, a medley of the Harry Belafonte song and and one written by BM mastermind and real male vocalist Frank Farian, which sat atop the chart for four weeks in 1978. 

International sleeve
The album is just how you'd expect it to sound: lightweight melodic Europop with a mildly Caribbean flavour.  Things are upbeat and feelgood for the most part (Jingle Bells, a reggae-lite White Christmas, José Feliciano's Feliz Navidad), with most of the second side given over to more solemn fayre such as the boldly named Christmas Medley, the much-covered When A Child Is Born, and a version of Handel's "Tochter Zion" translated to Zion's Daughter.  The solemnity doesn't last though; the album ends with the bouncy bubblegum of I'll Be Home For Christmas - no, not that one, but a song written by Farian, who also supplies the lead vocal (under Bobby Farrell's name of course).

An enjoyable record, its effect is probably best summed up by the following customer review on Amazon:
"I bought a Xmas (sic) vest and actually danced with my mom."

There can be no higher recommendation for a Christmas record!

You can hear tracks from both of these albums and much, much more on Car Boot Christmas 2016, over an hour's worth of vinyl-only car boot and chazza Christmas tunes introduced and played by yours truly.  Use the player below to stream, or click on the link to go directly to it on Mixcloud.  It's totally family-friendly (no swears), and your shares and likes will be much appreciated.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow (Friday the 16th of December) for Part 2 of the Car Boot Christmas Countdown and two more albums.

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