Now That’s What Seb Calls A Christmas Album! (2012)

It’s the beginning of the first working week of December, so of course, once again, this annual festive tradition is here to brighten up the chilly Monday lunchtimes of those of you who haven’t just kept it saved on your computer from last year.

You should know the drill by now, but if you don’t (and I seem to have picked up a fair few new twit-o-chums in the last year or so, so this might actually be the case for once), then it’s a Christmas compilation album (designed to fit on a single CD, so if I want to bring new stuff in – which I do some years – then something else has to make way), made up largely of tracks that are a bit different – whether that just means they’re an indie/rock interpretation of a classic, or if they take a slightly fractured or unusual perspective on the festivities. There are one or two exceptions – stone-cold classics that I just couldn’t bring myself to leave out – but on the whole these are songs you’re less likely to hear while you’re out and about doing Christmas shopping, but which still (for me, at least) convey a lovely and festive feeling.

This year’s tracklisting is identical to last year’s, so if you’ve already got the 2011 version, all you’ll find that’s changed is the file name… so as ever, Merry Christmas, and enjoy!

Download Now That’s What Seb Calls A Christmas Album! (2012 edition) (via Dropbox)

1. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here (2:44)
2. Murray Gold & Neil Hannon – Song For Ten (3:29)
3. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (4:01)
4. Fountains of Wayne – I Want an Alien For Christmas (2:19)
5. Loudon Wainwright III – Christmas Morning (3:49)
6. Low – Just Like Christmas (3:08)
7. The Ronettes – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (2:41)
8. The Ventures – Sleigh Ride (2:22)
9. Grandaddy – Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland (2:59)
10. Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas (2:19)
11. Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas (2:48)
12. The Vandals – Oi To The World (2:15)
13. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (2:10)
14. Zombina & The Skeletones – A Chainsaw For Christmas (3:11)
15. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) (2:06)
16. The Kinks – Father Christmas (3:43)
17. Rilo Kiley – Xmas Cake (5:24)
18. Jonathan Coulton – Chiron Beta Prime (2:51)
19. Spitting Image – Santa Claus Is On The Dole (3:48)
20. The Long Blondes – Christmas is Cancelled (4:29)
21. Half Man Half Biscuit – It’s Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas (3:48)
22. She & Him – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (3:42)
23. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen (4:19)
24. My Chemical Romance – All I Want For Christmas Is You (3:45)

This year, though, I’ve also decided to throw in an extra little treat. You may or may not already be aware that a few of the above tracks come from an XFM-produced compilation album from 2000 called It’s a Cool Cool Christmas. This album’s pretty hard to track down these days – it’s long out of print, second-hand copies are rare, and I don’t believe there’s a legal download of it available – so I’ve decided to make a copy of it available for those who want to hear the whole thing (personally, I think I’ve already picked out the best cuts from it and used them above, but you may well disagree). You can get that here, at least for as long as it’s there before someone important notices and shouts at me to get rid of it.

What I will say, however, is that it was originally put out as a charity record in support of The Big Issue, an organisation that I consider to be a highly worthy cause (particularly around Christmas, when many of those suffering homelessness tend to feel it most acutely). So if you are going to download it, perhaps you might want to think about dropping them a small (or even a not so small) donation at the same time?

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