TIS THE SEASON (Segue of the Day: 12/16/16)

Recent Christmas seasons, my “shopping” consists of a trip to the local antique mall, where I can usually find what I need for the one or two people I still exchange actual gifts with. This little spree is usually accompanied by sitting down for lunch somewhere, a few errands, riding around in the car, the kind of activities that expose you to Christmas music.

I’m not saying I never hear anything good, but even if I do, it’s an awful lot of the same old same old. Which made coming into contact with the Christmas Elvis–the later incarnation, not the “Blue Christmas” one–was a jolt to the system as I browsed the book stall, looking for what I was going to get myself (the rest was already bought).

It was even more of a jolt to realize that the whole album was playing. I picked it up near the end, so I heard these three in a row, the last as I was checking out (when your pockets are short, it takes even less time to shop for yourself than for the few remaining others).

And I wondered, yet again, who could range so broadly across so much American space with so much off-handed ease–on three songs for a kinda-sorta throwaway Christmas album no less?

You know the answer to that.

Nobody. That’s who.

Wake up Putt….

21 thoughts on “TIS THE SEASON (Segue of the Day: 12/16/16)

  1. NDJ

    Never understood the negative reviews that THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHRISTMAS has received consistently since release. As Christmas albums go, it’s rather amazing.

    Isn’t it wonderful how hearing a familiar record in unfamiliar surroundings can waken us to aspects of the music we never heard in the familiar surroundings? One of the reasons why I miss a good oldies radio station …

    EDN

    • Me too!…I think I spent an extra ten dollars because it put me in such a good mood. Besides, I wanted to keep standing there even though it was close to closing time, because I knew “Merry Christmas Baby” was coming…

      And if I stand in front of a shelf of books long enough….grocery money be damned!

      Agree with you on the album btw…maybe another case of Elvis not doing what the intelligentsia thought he “should” be doing and there being some attendant desire to punish him for his unacceptable behavior.

  2. To be fair to the critics, there was a noticeable decline from the Elvis of 1968-1970 to the Elvis of 1971. His voice WAS weaker, he WAS less engaged with a lot of the material. Whatever the Presley People wrote it off as then, a few people close to Presley say that ’71 was the year that the drugs really became a serious issue.

    That said, in that year he recorded WONDERFUL WORLD, the marvelous HE TOUCHED ME album, and enough material to have made a fine pop album (including but not limited to “Early Morning Rain,” “For Lovin’ Me,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “It’s Still Here,” “I Will Be True,” and “I’m Leavin’.” The latter is truly amazing in stereo, on headphones, whilst high …

    • It’s true the release schedule was still a mess, and issue that somebody (the Colonel, the label, E himself) should have resolved once the movie contracts were out of the way. And the voice did become mor ehit and miss, though I’ve never been quiute sure how much was just questional choices and how much was physical wear and tear (which could certainly be explained by drug use). But I doubt many others recorded three albums worth of first rate material in that year, and if anybody did, they probably got recognized for it then and now. But, hey, setting them straight is what we’re here for!

  3. I think both RCA/BMG/Sony and FTD has missed the boat: after the success of the 50s, 60s, and 70s boxes, there should have been the release of each album in order with related singles, outtakes, etc.

    “Missing” albums like the one from 1963 and the folk-rock-pop album from 1971 should have been issued as single disc albums, so holes in the chronology could be filled in.

    That way, there would be three albums from 1971, but there would be no LOVE LETTERS, NOW, or FOOL compilation albums. I could go on, but won’t.

    And with that, I’m off to bed!

  4. I got a copy of this lp when I was a kid, and have many fond memories of it. The more religious songs like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “The First Noel” sound pretty good to me, despite the beginning of Elvis’ decline.

    Also, the sentimental side of me will always ALWAYS love “If I Get Home On Christmas Day.” Sappy? Maybe, and there’s a good chance I’d be a little less enamored with it if I heard it for the first time as a cynical ol’ grumpus. Thankfully, I first heard it as a kid, so I’ll love it forever.

  5. Had the album been programmed with “If I Get Home On Christmas Day” as the opening track and “I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day” as the last track (both of which I love!), then they could have titled the album HOME ON CHRISTMAS DAY. It would make more sense, the programming would sound better, and it probably would have received better reviews in 1971.

  6. But, these are the people that gave us such amazing packages as LOVE LETTERS FROM ELVIS and THE OTHER SIDES and I GOT LUCKY! I have a right to expect the same consistency and quality from Christmas album, yes?

  7. Had THE OTHER SIDES been sequenced chronologically, it would have been a brilliant complement to the first boxed set. Instead it was a hodgepodge that made Elvis look clueless.

    And the Camden albums could have been a fabulous reissue series … but wasn’t.

    Presley product wasn’t handled well until Greg Gellar took over in 1985. And Ernst Jorgensen has been a blessing. He should have a shrine at Graceland …

    • Yeah, Elvis should have been handled as well in life as he has been in death….Naturally he bears some responsibility for his own decisions, which were hardly stellar (business wise, image wise, etc), but it would have been nice for him to catch a break somewhere along the way while he was still around to enjoy it. Then again, bad decisions and bad luck tend to ride together (as I have reason to know from personal experience!) Best perhaps to be grateful for what we have.

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