Friday, December 25, 2020

W.O.C.K on Vinyl: Bob Dylan - Christmas In The Heart (2009)

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Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny..

Using his own excellent band and a group of singers whose mellifluous responses to his own rheumy growl hark back to the sounds of the Andrews Sisters, Dylan finds an appropriate setting for each of these Christmas chestnuts, from the reverent to the jovial. The blend of idioms is familiar from Love and Theft and Modern Times, in which he brought together elements of country, bluegrass and a sort of genteel salon music to provide a background to his renewed fondness for old-fashioned crooning.

The result is polished without being glib, and a sympathetic listener may find it addictive. The musicians Dylan brought to Britain in 2009, augmented by David Hildalgo of Los Lobos on accordion, mandolin, violin and guitar, and the great Chicago session guitarist Phil Upchurch, whose earliest successes predate Dylan's own, distinguish themselves on even the most unpromising material. 

According to Hildalgo, quoted in the current issue of Uncut magazine, the sessions were both impromptu and highly concentrated: Dylan and the musicians listened to various recordings of each of the selections, and then decided on the best approach. It seems safe to say, however, that no one has ever tackled O Come All Ye Faithful quite like this.

Is he sincere? Does he mean it? You can only chuckle at his ability to keep us guessing when you turn past the conventional cover painting of a horse-drawn carriage speeding through snowdrifts to find a photograph of Bettie Page (see above), the famous cheesecake model, dressed up in a Santa outfit complete with suspenders and bulging bra. [review by Richard Williams, The Guardian]

For me, I think Dylan enjoyed making this album, and at times sounds more like Tom Waits  than the young troubadour we grew up with, who sang anti-establishment songs and dared to trade his acoustic guitar in for an electric one.  

So, with out any further Christmas jingles and O Come All Ye Faithfuls, I'd like to wish you all a joy filled Christmas and a New Year that provides quantious amounts of new and rare music.

Thanks to Deutros for the Rip (Taken from CD / MP3)

Tracklist
01 Here Comes Santa Claus
02 Do You Hear What I Hear?
03 Winter Wonderland
04 Hark The Herald Angels Sing
05 I'll Be Home For Christmas
06 Little Drummer Boy
07 The Christmas Blues
08 O' Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
09 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
10 Must Be Santa
11 Silver Bells
12 The First Noel
13 Christmas Island
14 The Christmas Song
15 O' Little Town Of Bethlehem


1 comment:

  1. Hi AussieRock love your site. But I was wondering if you know of a site that has Quadraphonic Albums that they post. Seeing as how most of the Quadraphonic vinyl that was ever released had different mixes. I'm trying to see if such a site exists

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