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Funky Christmas

December, 22 2017 | Variety Playhouse

Ring the bells and hang the mistletoe, Collective. It’s that time again. There are a lot of great Christmas albums out there, with many a classic (and roasted) chestnut. But we’re keeping Nat King Cole and the Bing Crosby and the Harry Connick on the shelf this season. Instead, we’re spinning the Godfather himself. Mr. Dynamite. That’s right. James Brown. Between 1966 and 1970, arguably his creative peak, James Brown recorded three Christmas albums. Funky Christmas (1995) is a compilation of the best tracks from these three releases. It’s a diverse collection that ranges from sweet to sweaty to socially relevant. This is not your momma’s Christmas album. Mr. Brown leaves nothing on the table, leaves no note unsung. Rolling Stone ranks it third on their list of the best Christmas albums ever. Refill your eggnog. You’re about to hear why.

Side 1:

1. Santa Claus, Santa Claus
2. Believers Shall Enjoy (Now Beliebers Shall Suffer)
3. Soulful Christmas
4. Tit For Tat (Ain’t NoTalking Back)
5. Christmas Is Coming

Side 2:

6. In The Middle
7. Let’s Unite The Whole World At Christmas
8. You Know It
9. Santa Claus Gave Me A Brand New Start