Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Time (Is Here Again)

Richard Furnstein: The secret is O-U-T spells out: this is a top tier Christmas song of all time, up there with "Wonderful Christmastime," "Merry Christmas, Darling," and "Christmas Don't Be Late." Would you expect any less from The Beatles? They practically invented the modern Christmas with their regular winter album releases and continued new product for the holiday season. I sure hope the George Harrison Living In The Material World book is sitting under my tree this year! But yeah, this song includes the best elements of that magical period after Sgt Pepper's and before The White Album. Ringo's drums sound huge, the band seems to be having fun (even George!), the lyrics are a fun mess. I'm feeling the spirit, heavenly angels.

Robert Bunter: Me, too! The Beatles observed Christmas just about every year of their career, with the charming fan club flexidiscs as well as their wonderful Christmas albums, like "A Collection Of Beatle Oldies" and "1962-1966." I wouldn't expect any less from them - after all, Christmas represents an utterly primal, crucial aspect of human existence. Long before Christ, we have annually celebrated rebirth and renewal during the bleakest, coldest part of the year. Naturally, The Beatles, which represent the finest aspects of the spirit of the Universe, aren't going to play it cool like other famous beat groups and let the celebration pass unremarked. Lift up your hearts and give thanks and praise. Yeah yeah yeah!

Richard Furnstein: The Christmas singles are an interesting listen this time of year. John's usually impersonating mentally handicapped Scottish people. Paul genuinely hopes you have a wondrous day and all your wishes for the new year come true. Ringo is usually confused by something in the recording studio, but manages to say something witty. George surprisingly played the droll card. "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" is the only real song on these discs, but what did you expect? They were busy writing like 35 great songs a year. They didn't have time to actually try to write carols in their downtime. There were drugs to take and islands to buy. Let's all give thanks for these supermen

Robert Bunter: There would be plenty of time for that when they got to the solo years. Let's consider that output. Lennon managed the best hook, I think, on "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." It's kind of wonderful that he would even make an attempt. Paul's "Wonderful Christmastime" is catchy but it reminds me of stores. Stores like Bamberger's and the long-gone House of Bargains in Springfield. That is not a good association. C-minus. George whipped out his "Ding Dong Ding Dong" in 1974. It's pretty weak, frankly. The Roy Wood-esque arrangement is welcome, but he was capable of much more. Ringo was "wrong-o" when he allowed "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" to reach the marketplace. It's awfully repetitive and nobody's ever going to like it. 

I'm feeling the spirit, heavenly angels.

Richard Furnstein: I think you are wrong. I love those songs, except for Ringo's song because it is garbage. I can probably do without hearing "Happy Xmas" ever again. Melissa Ethridge and her Ovation 12-string may have ruined that song forever. "Wonderful Christmastime" and "Ding Dong" are personal favorites. Sometimes I want to be reminded of going to Amesway with my mother, man. And George had the nerve to write a New Year's song.


Robert Bunter: I'd like to say "Happy Christmas" to all the people, everywhere. I hope you find a copy of the 2009 remastered mono box under your tree, and that it's not counterfeit like THIS GUY'S was.

Richard Furnstein: Happy Christmas, everybody and I hope you're having a lovely time and all the best for the New Year, peace and prosperity and all that. And much love (kissing noises).

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