Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday 80s Flashback for December 16, 2011

[Winter Holidays Week 3 Redux] -- As mentioned in last week's flashback post, I did four straight weeks of music about "Winter Holidays" for the 80s posts in December 2010. Well, with Christmas Eve just a week away, I am once again plucking a post from the archives. Hey, just like some of you out there, I'm behind on cards, shopping, and food prep for the holidays. So I'm taking advantage of my previous work. Besides, there may be a few new 80s-philes who weren't following my weekly posts last year. And even if you've been along for the ride since the beginning, do you remember what I offered for your sonic stockings last year at this time? (*ahem* without Googling it?) Well, read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1:  Instrumental

In October 2010, I posted a Flashback set highlighting Jazz/Fusion in the 80s. Well, jazz musicians record Christmas music, too. In 1988, the luminaries of GRP Records came together to record their very first Christmas compilation. All but one of the tunes on A GRP Christmas Collection fall under Smooth Jazz. That one tune that's somewhat out of place was courtesy of Chick Corea, who really wasn't doing mellow during his Elektric Band days. That makes the virtuoso keyboardist the perfect pick to remake "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." Now, the video has been pulled from YouTube, but you can listen to it on my Box account.

Flashback #2
"I take a look at the driver next to me | He's just the same | Just the same | Top to toe in tailbacks | Oh, I got red lights all around. | I'm driving home for Christmas, yea | Get my feet on holy ground." 

Following in the footsteps of last week's second flashback, we have something of a moody holiday song. Like the first flashback, this was released in 1988 (on The Christmas EP). Unlike the first flashback, this tune was re-released in 2007. It broke the top 100 in the UK both times. Anyone who has tried to drive home for Christmas, especially in or around a major city, will certainly resonate with Chris Rea's "car version of a carol."

Flashback #3
"Il est né le divin enfant, | Jouez hautbois, résonnez musette. | Il est né le divin enfant, | Chantons tous son avènement. | Depuis plus de quatre mille ans."  

"Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant" is a traditional French Christmas carol. Siouxsie and the Banshees are a traditional favorite among 80s-philes. What happens when you place a traditional French carol into the repertoire of an 80s pop-gothic band from the UK? Something wonderful! The lyrics are mid-19th century while the melody is from the 17th century. In case you're not up on your French and cannot follow the lyrics, they speak of the child who has been promised by the prophets for over 4000 years. According to historical novelist Catherine Delors, the use of horns, drums and cymbals in this arrangement is true to that found in the original 17th century music.

Even during the holiday season, Flashbacks follow the rule of Three Wise Men. Or is that wise guys? Either way, three shall be the recalling of Flashbacks, and the number of Flashbacks shall be three! Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

No comments: