Christmas with The Beatles
From 1963 to 1969, The Beatles recorded annual Christmas messages for the official members of their fan club. The records are extremely rare, and up until now I had only heard about them before. Thankfully, someone posted all seven years worth of them in mp3 format for us all to hear now.
Honestly, I don't know how you can listen to these tracks -- especially the early ones -- and not grin like an idiot. The four guys seem to be having such a great time with each other, and their enthusiasm is both palpable and contagious.
All seven tracks provide a fascinating trip through the group's history, starting in '63 when they were just boys, still shocked at their own fame, through the middle years when they combined their hilarious group antics with more individual influences, and ending with musical surrealism and a hint of resentment as the four recorded the last greetings separately.
For me, however, they are the very beginning of my slow switch into the holiday mood. Gifts have been purchased and travel plans made, but it wasn't until I heard these recordings that I felt like it was truly Christmas time. "Christmas Time Is Here Again" as the boys sing...