Among all the John Lennon tributes yesterday, a friend of mine — Stripwax creator Jeff Moody — posted a link to a YouTube video featuring one of the Beatles’ wackier departures, “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)“.
This, in turn, reminded me of all the non sequitur humor and hijinks contained in the Beatles’ Christmas records.
The Beatles Christmas Records
As you may or may not know, these were special holiday messages the Beatles recorded each year from 1963 to 1969 and mailed free to the British members of their fan club, on 7-inch flexi discs. They included greetings from John, Paul, George, and Ringo, bits of Christmas songs, and wacky sketches and sound effects. The video above features their 1966 installment, “The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas“.
In 1970, after the Beatles broke up, Apple Records released a collection of all seven messages as The Beatles’ Christmas Album. You can still find copies of The Beatles’ Christmas Album for sale, but they tend to be very expensive collectors’ items.
For fans who just want to enjoy the Beatles’ Christmas records, there is a resource you should know about:
- TheBeatleSource has a Beatles Christmas Album page including not only MP3 files of the official Beatles’ Christmas records (click on the record labels), but also some outtakes and Christmas-related bonus tracks, such as the complete “Christmas Time Is Here Again,” John and Yoko’s Happy Christmas sketch re-edited, Paul’s 1968 Happy Christmas re-edited, a home demo of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and more.
Here’s hoping these recordings bring a smile to your chilly face.