With only 10 more days until Christmas I finally present for your Yuletide enjoyment... the "Shitter Was Full" Jamaican Christmas Mix 2011! As I discussed earlier this month, it wasn't easy coming up with a good selection this year, due partly to the fact that I used every track off Jacob Miller's Christmas album about 2 years ago and because I didn't want to include a bunch of crap. But you're not here to hear me complain you're here for the mix so let's get to it!
We start off the 2011 Jamaican Christmas Mix with tenor sax superman Dean Fraser and his rendition of the traditional English Christmas carol "Deck The Halls." This one comes from the Blue Mountain Christmas Party from 1989 on the Blue Mountain label and it's the perfect festive tune to get things rollin'!
Next we get a little wacky with a tune from the Wackies stable... this one is by the man John C and it was unceremoniously ripped from the Wackies Reggae Christmas LP. Mr C gives us a nice interpretation of "We Three Kings" another traditional Christmas carol done inna Wackies reggae style!
Ken Boothe is up next with a good one... this song is called "This Christmas" and it comes from the Sonic Sounds 1990 CD Vintage Christmas. Good vibes on this one that is sure to put a smile to your face... Ken Boothe's smooth voice has a way of doing that regardless of the time of year!
The organ maestro Glen Adams follows up Mr. Boothe with a tune that absolutely kicks ass! A bad ass song called "Joyful Tidings" which is in fact a hardcore roots version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen! Reggae Christmas at its finest! This little gem is off a 7" on the Clocktower label.
Next we're taking a trip from downtown straight uptown with Byron Lee & The Dragonaires giving us a smooth violin embellished version of Doris Day's Winter Wonderland... called appropriately enough "Winter Wonderland Reggae" and lifted from the 2005 various artists CD called The Reggae Christmas Collection on the Pulse label.
Sticking with the cold weather theme here and taking it ska with the next track is the king of the trombone Don Drummond and a sweet tune from 1963 called "Snowboy" on the Island label. Not an obvious Christmas tune but the Snowboy title brings to mind good ol' Frosty the Snowman... I think you'll dig it!
Barrington Levy is up next with a song that I've held back from using for a few years now... it's called "Flash Your Dread" telling the tale of riding his Honda CB 400 with his dreadlocks flying in the breeze sung to the tune of Jingle Bells!
Trinity finishes this track on the same riddim with his DJ verse on "Flash Your Dread." Trinity gets a little more involved with including the Christmas vibe and it makes for a pretty wicked DJ tune! This track and the Barrington Levy ahead of it were both from the 1983 LP Yard Style Christmas on the MC Productions label.
Hopping over to Studio One for the next track. This smooth number comes from Johnny Osbourne and Jennifer Lara... it's called "Christmas Medley" and was borrowed from the Studio One LP Christmas Stylee from the late 70s... you can't go wrong with a Coxsone Christmas Carol which comes complete with a wicked version as well!
Horace Andy is up next with "Hark The Herald" which is incorrect because it's actually "The First Noel"... his take on the classic Christmas fare from the 18th century and covered and sung ad nauseum every Christmas since we were born. Mr. Andy does a good job with this one and it sure as hell beats any other version I have of this song... that includes you Mr. Sinatra!
Giving the mix a little "punch" is the man D.D. Dennis with a soulful and heartfelt sentiment called "Christmas Message." This one is from a 1971 7" on the Punch label.
Jumping back over to the aforementioned Reggae Christmas Collection on the Pulse label is Wain Nelson with a musical tribute to the jolly ol' elf that makes Christmas so much fun for kids all over the world... obviously it's called "Santa Claus."
Going from Santa to the booze, which just so happens to be one of my favorite Christmas traditions as an adult... and taking this runaway sleigh on a calypso path is Egbert Moore AKA Lord Beginner and a lighthearted hangover tune called "Christmas Morning The Rum Had Me Yawning." This baby comes from a CD called Where Will You Be Christmas Day? on the Dust To Digital label. Raise a glass of cheer to fully enjoy this one!
Raymond Harper is up next with his ska take on Irving Berlin's classic "White Christmas." This is an awesome tune that came off a 7" on the Doctor Bird label circa '63 or '64. The mellow horns combined with the upbeat ska bounce makes for one helluva Christmas tune! I could listen to this one on a loop for hours!
The man Jimpy is up next with a nice take of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" sung more in a Jackson 5 style than that of Bing Crosby. This one comes from a late 80s 7" on the Studio Starr Gate label. I could find no substantial proof but I would assume this Jimpy is the same Jimpy Haldane who produced a ton of good stuff back in the mid-80s!
I don't know where the next track has been hiding for the last couple years but here it is... Ripton Hylton AKA Eek A Mouse with his take on "Long Time Ago In Bethlehem" which Ripton entitled "Merry Little Xmas" and from his greatest hits compilation CD on the Shanachie label called The Very Best Of Eek A Mouse Vol. 2 It's actually pretty nice.
Niyah and The Sunflakes are up next with an upbeat number called "Merry Christmas" from a 1969 45 on the Sonet label. This is one of those tunes I came across this summer and though the pressing is not perfect I think you'll get the gist.
Its been a couple years since I featured anything by Lloyd Lovindeer but this drought is about to end... rippin' it up inna rub-a-dub style and taken from a 1982 7" on the Weed Beat label this one is called "Christmas Feeling." This too is one that I dug up this summer... kind of weird but I bought about 95% of my Christmas music in July and August... you can't say I wasn't planning ahead!
Don Carlos and Glenice Spencer give us "Jingle Bells" from the 2003 Trojan Christmas CD boxset on the Trojan label of course. There is something so funny about hearing Don's sweet voice singing songs of sleigh bells instead of Dice Cups and Dance Gates.
You remember a couple years back when I included Mutabaruka's "Postpone Christmas?" This one throws a bit of reality back into the Christmas season by wondering why Santa never visits the ghetto and praising Rastafari all at the same time... it's called "Dedicated To Santa" by Tippa Lee, Nardo Ranks, Half Pint and David Brevett and comes from a 7" on the Studio One label, circa 199os.
Staying with Studio One but goin' old school again... The Silvertones are up with a real scorcher on the classic Swing Easy riddim and borrowed from the Studio One LP Christmas Stylee. It also includes a bad-ass version at the end that I think you'll dig.
Dennis Brown is up next with "Ding Dong Merrily On High" from the various artists album 8 Stars For Christmas on the Josiah label. This is a super cool tune from Dennis Brown - probably one of my favorites on this years mix!
Sticking with the Ding Dong theme for the next track. Gregory Isaacs gives us a severely digital tune called "Ding Dong Bell." This little baby comes from the LP Christmas Party on the Jammys label and produced by the great King Jammy from the late 80s. Not Gregory's best Christmas offering but not bad either!
Sticking digi with the next one... the man Junior Roots and his tune "Christmas Time Again" from the Sugar Minott produced LP Youth Promotion Christmas Jamboree is the twenty fourth tune in the mix on the Youth Promotion label. Nice smooth tune...
Finally, we're wrapping it up with Owen Gray with the song "Collins Greetings" released as a 7" in 1967 on the Collins Downbeat label. I really wanted to end the mix on a high note and I think the old school vibes from this tune get the job done pretty well.
Give it a listen and have a very Merry Christmas! Lots of love everyone!
The Complete Jamaican Christmas Mix 2011
Here's the tracklisting minus the verbiage...
1. Dean Fraser - Deck The Halls
2. John C - We Three Kings
3. Ken Boothe - This Christmas
4. Glen Adams - Joyful Tidings
5. Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Winter Wonderland Reggae
6. Don Drummond - Snowboy
7. Barrington Levy - Flash Your Dread
8. Trinity - Flash Your Dread (DJ Version)
9. Johnny Osbourne & Jennifer Lara - Christmas Medley
10. Horace Andy - Hark The Herald
11. D.D. Dennis - Christmas Message
12. Wain Nelson - Santa Claus
13. Lord Beginner - Christmas Morning The Rum Had Me Yawning
14. Raymond Harper - White Christmas
15. Jimpy - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
16. Eek A Mouse - Have A Merry Little Xmas
17. Niyah & The Sunflakes - Merry Christmas
18. Lovindeer - Christmas Feeling
19. Don Carlos - Jingle Bells
20. Tippa Lee, Nardo Ranks, Half Pint & David Brevett - Dedicated To Santa
21. Silvertones - Merry Merry Christmas
22. Dennis Brown - Ding Dong Merrily On High
23. Gregory Isaacs - Ding Dong Bell
24. Junior Roots - Christmas Time Again
25. Owen Gray - Collins Greetings