The Beatles Christmas Album (1969)
The Last Beatles Album
I had just joined The Beatles Fan Club a year earlier, when one day, out of the blue, this arrived at my door. No notice… it just showed up free of charge. Being new, I was unaware of the yearly singles and, unless I’m mistaken, the Official Fan Club dissolved not long after I got this (or maybe I just stopped buying in). But The Beatles Christmas Album, which I kept for decades before finally cashing it in, is all I remember about the whole experience. Of course, these days the title has been expanded and is now gettable as a padded 2CD boot, which tends to show up around this time of year. This, however, is the original and it contains a few hidden gems. “1967” is practically a lost slab of pure Beatles psychedelia – with a catchy dirge, “Christmas Time (Is Here Again),” and some stoned shenanigans. A fun, repeat-listen that’s often ignored, since most people only remember the Christmas Album as little more than the boys reading those ‘thanks for buying’ scripts year after year. Do NOT miss “1968,” and Lennon’s bitter tirade (disguised as a nursery rhyme) about the newly drawn line-in-the-sand between “two balloons called Jock and Yono” and his “beast friends.” The tension, and Lennon’s pointedness, is astounding, and you’ll quickly catch on to why The Beatles recorded their parts separately that year (for the first time). George introduces Tiny Tim to sing “Nowhere Man.” Jeez… even George was gettin’ pissy. By “1969,” Jock had chilled, and he and Yono submitted a typically meandering, but fun musical performance piece. Cherry-picking The BCA can yield a few fun results.