Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for December 17, 2010

[Winter Holidays: Week 3] -- Oh, we're counting down the days now, aren't we? One week from Christmas Eve. If you're like me, you're caught in the midst of preparing for the Solstice and the upcoming full moon, and you're behind on Christmas cards and shopping. Maybe it's time for a break. Hey, flashbacks make for great breaks! What flashbacks do I have for your sonic stockings this week? Well, read and hear more after the jump.

Flashback #1
:  Back in October, 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."

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.

During the holiday season, Flashbacks follow the rule of Three Wise Men. Or is that wise guys? Maybe it's just one Weis guy. Therefore, three shall be the recalling of Flashbacks, and the number of Flashbacks shall be three! See you next time, 80s-philes!

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