Capitol (2016, Reissue)
It's no secret to those around me that I absolutely love Christmas music. Every year at this time I break out my Christmas playlist and fine tune it. Adding new songs and removing ones that just don't cut it anymore. It's a constantly evolving organism and every year I get just a bit closer to it being perfect. Additionally, I've been trying to snag at least one of my favorite Christmas albums on vinyl every year. This year I actually ended picking up three, so I'll sprinkle their reviews in over the next week.
The Beach Boys Christmas album really should be a total slam dunk. And on the A side it is. Six straight songs of good time, rock and roll Christmas music. We've got the Beach Boys original staples like "Little Saint Nick," "The Man With All The Toys" and "Santa's Beard." It's the very best of 1960s Beach Boys meets the Christmas Season. They also do a really fun, spirited version of "Frosty The Snowman." The A side of this album is pretty flawless.
Unfortunately the same can't be said for the B side. The album just grinds to a screeching halt with a series of slow, traditional covers. "We Three Kings of Orient Are" is comically terrible and they even manage to ruin some of my traditional favorites like "Blue Christmas" and "White Christmas." The only thing worthwhile on the B side is "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," but even that can't hold a candle to anything on side A.
I wish that when they were recording this album, they just kept writing original Christmas songs. Those are the highlights here. When they veer from that, a lot of this record becomes skippable. Still, that A side is so white hot, it's a record that has to be in my collection.
The Beach Boys - "Little Saint Nick":
The Beach Boys - "Santa's Beard":