Christmas with The Smithereens is more than a Christmas- time cover album. This quartet does an impressive job of channeling the spirt of 1960s rock, and solidly interpreting each memorable tune. The band’s originals add a nice twist to the disc and are written with such ‘60s-savviness that without prior knowledge it would almost be difficult to decide which songs were covers and which were originals. Lead singer Pat DiNizio wraps his husky voice around a smartly selected collection of classic seasonal rockers such as “Run Rudolph Run” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” along with more obscure fare. It’s the latter that makes this such a delight, as the band tears into rugged re- workings of the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight),” the Who’s crunchy “Christmas”(from Tommy) and even a rare Beatles track grabbed fromthe Liverpool band’s ’60s fan club only discs.
Sunset Blvd. Records is re-issuing Christmas With The Smithereens on November 18, 2022. The green vinyl will be a limited edition of 1000 and it marks the first time the collection will be available in the LP format in a decade.
In the words of drummer Dennis Diken “…Beginning at a tender age, records became my favorite and the most meaningful gifts I received at Christmas. Kiddie” 45s and 78s and the scant Christmas records that my parents bought served as my introductions to the wonderful world of recorded sound when I was 2 or 3 years old. I’d sit hypnotized in front of the small “Pal” phonograph.
My earliest recollection of owning any kind of LP was Sing A Song Of Christmas With Woody The Chipmunk And All The Gang, a cheap, rather weird knockoff of Alvin & company, with garish sleeve art, bedecked with tin-foil snow flakes. Around this time, my mom turned me on to a 10” long-player of a capella Carpathian Christmas carols, sung by a soulful, wailing choir that chilled me to the bone. I still listen to it. Although I swore allegiance to all things non- square (as much as my pre-school barometer could detect) I gave special dispensation to Christmas records.”
Waking Up On Christmas Morning
Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Christmas Time All Over The World
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
Run Rudolph Run
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)
Auld Lang Syne
Christmas Time Is Here Again