The Beatles Christmas Album (1970)
The Last Beatles Album
FROM 2011: I had just joined The Beatles Fan Club in early 1970 when, one day out of the blue, this arrived at my doorstep. No notice… it just showed up free of charge. Being new, I was clueless about the yearly Christmas messages they sent out, in the form of flexi-discs, and, unless I’m mistaken, the Official Fan Club dissolved not long after I got this (or maybe I just stopped paying dues after the band split by mid-70). But The Beatles Christmas Album, which I kept for decades before finally cashing it in, is all I remember about the whole fan club experience. Of course, these days the title has been bootlegged and expanded, and is now gettable as a padded 2CD download, which tends to show up around this time of year. This, however, is the original… and it contains at least a couple of hidden gems. “1967” is a lost slab of pure Beatles psychedelia – with a catchy dirge, “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” – alongside some stoned shenanigans. A fun, repeat-listen track that’s often forgotten, since most people only remember the Christmas Album as little more than the boys reading those dumb ‘thanks for buying our albums’ scripts year after year. But, do not miss “1968,” featuring John 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 hear 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 yields some fun results. Click the grey boxes at the top (or the Beatles’ names at the bottom) for tons more from The Fabs. You can find The Beatles Christmas Album at Amazon (HERE), but it’s hard to know if it’s legit or not, since Amazon openly sells bootlegs of this album, too.