Saturday, December 07, 2013

A Very 2013 Christmas Mix AKA The Jamaican Christmas Mix

Yes my friends, it is time for another Yuletide Season and that means only one thing around here... the Jamaican Christmas Mix!  And here it is, ready for your downloading and listening pleasure!  As I proclaimed two years ago, the days of the 25 track extravaganzas has long since passed but I've got an hours worth of Jamaican Christmas cheer for you to mix in with the eggnog!  Amazingly, I was also able to dredge a few gems out of the stripped mine of reggae Christmas music and mixed them in with the time-honored and beloved classics from years gone by.  So without further ado... let's get to the music!

We start things off with Inner Circle and the Fatman Riddim Section with a tune that may seem familiar but is actually the dub version of Jacob Miller's "Deck The Halls."  This one comes from a CD on the Blood & Fire label from 1999 called Heavyweight Dub/Killer Dub and unfortunately for many the title may hit a little close to home for some, it's called "Unemployment Rock."

Next up is the DJ take on Carlene Davis' "Santa Claus Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto" by Trinity and since it doesn't technically have a title, I'm giving it my own... let's call this "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  It was lifted from the 1981 various artists LP on the Mic label called Yard Style Christmas.

Jackie Mittoo is up next with a smooth tune that everyone knows and loves, presumably.  This is Jingle Bells and it comes from the Studio One LP called Christmas In Jamaica.  Not really much reggae going on here but Mittoo can make anything sound cool and to keep it from being lumped in its spelled "Gingle Bells" - but that may just be a typo.

Next up is DJ legend, King Stitt with a tune that I shared way back in 2006 and I felt was ready for another appearance.  The song is called "Christmas Tree" and it rocks just as much as it did when it was recorded way back in 1970!

Horace Andy follows it up with "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" from the VP Records CD reissue of the 1979 Joe Gibbs production Wish You A Merry Rockers Xmas.  Let me tell ya, this song gets better to me every year and I proudly proclaim that this is my favorite recorded rendition of this classic Christmas Carol, bar none!

Next up is a mash-up of sorts... haven't done one since the Aggrovators met Santa Claus Conquers The Martians years ago.  This one I'm gonna call "Scientist & The Roots Radics Meet Aretha Franklin On The Night Before Christmas Inna Winter Dub Stylee"  Yes, the Radics and Scientist are providing the backdrop for The Queen of Soul's modern interpretation of the classic story.  It is a good one, if I do say so myself.  

We follow that up with a set of ska Christmas classics!  The Wailers give us "Sound The Trumpet," The Granville Williams Orchestra provides "Santa Claus Is Ska-Ing To Town" and we wrap it up with The Maytals' "Christmas Feeling Ska."

Now excuse me while I bite my tongue for a second because next up is a.... wait for it... John Holt Christmas song.  I had badmouthed Mr. Holt's Christmas album for many years but I bit the bullet and threw one in the mix.  Its a cover version of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" and though it isn't my favorite track in the mix, it's pretty listenable.  I know that doesn't sound like a glowing recommendation but believe me, it works.

Freddie McGregor follows up Happy Christmas with a pretty nice tune called "Reggae Christmas" which comes from a album called Reggae Christmas from the early 90's I think, on the Famous Records label.

We're going early 90's with the next two... this comes from an album also called Reggae Christmas... are you seeing a trend here when it comes to naming these albums?  This album is from 1991 on the Profile Records label and the song is by Trevor Sparks and its called "Christmas Time."

We segue into the next tune on the same riddim, and off the same album and its by Bobo General and called "Christmas Daya."  I know this is beyond the scope of my usual coverage but when it comes to Christmas mixes, anything remotely enjoyable will make the cut.  That's not to belittle Bobo General's track because it is a good one.

Lloyd Lovindeer is back with a number he calls "Christmas Breeze" and it was lifted from his Christmas album called Caribbean Christmas Cheer on the TSOJ label.  A nice tune I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Let's take another run at Jingle Bells!  This time we're taking another ride with our old pal "Tennessee Brown" and it comes from the Reggae Christmas From Studio One CD.  It has more of a calypso flair but it is a lot of fun and I'm sure you'll remember it from a previous playlist.

One of the events that heralded the end of the 25 track Christmas extravaganzas was when I had used every track off Jacob Miller's classic Natty Christmas and with the ability to rehash previous favorites it makes the mix that much better.  One of my all-time reggae Christmas favorites "On The Twelve Days of Ismas," it's like visiting an old friend!

Kashief Lindo brings tears to my eyes again with "Someday At Christmas."  This song originally recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1967 never ceases to please - a beautiful rendition of an absolutely beautiful song that always makes me a little teary eyed.

We wrap up A Very 2013 Christmas Mix with a mento tune... this one is by the Jolly Boys and it comes from a single they released in 2011 called Jamaican Christmas on the Funzalo Records label.  The song is called "Long Time Ago In Bethlehem" and it is yet another beautiful rendition of a classic song and the perfect way to put the 2013 mix to bed.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy what you hear!  I want to wish everyone a merry, happy, healthy, peaceful, relaxing and joyous Christmas!  Lots of love my friends - see you again soon and God bless!


klayymann said...

Awesome!! another great job!! can you repost 12 and 11 as i had a HD crash and lost them

John AKA Reggaexx said...

Sure! I'll dig 'em up tomorrow!

Muddy said...

Thanks so much. I've been looking forward to and hoping for this for several months now. At last, the wait is over. Thanks.

Christofari/Duppy Hi-Fi said...

Happy Christmas John!

I gotta say, you had me at Unemployment Rock; Jacob's vox version is a Christmas staple here, but I hadn't heard the dub version. Thanks!! Plenty of standouts in your great mix - your Aretha/RootsRadics piece is excellent and will sure tickle the missus. 'Sound The Trumpet''s got to be my all-time favourite Christmas song (reggae or otherwise) so you do no wrong by adding it! I can't quite enthuse the same way about John Holt covering John Lennon - but that's my problem; I know I'm badly prejudiced towards pre-digital Jamaican music (er, I can immediately think of dozens of exceptions; but spirit and soul seem to have been rarer ingredients since).
Anyway, loved how you wrapped it all up with Someday at Christmas - and the Jolly Boys dispensing some unrecontructed Yuletide vibes. Yeah, I was moved too.

Love and Peace to all you hold dear
- and THANKS again for the Christmas present!

Anonymous said...

Santa's Jammin'! Look forward to each Christmas mix after stumbling upon them in 2010. Can you repost '07 and '09 also?