For seven straight holiday seasons, from 1963, during the beginning of their rise to fame, to 1969, just prior to the group’s breakup, The Beatles released a specially recorded Christmas greeting available exclusively for the members of their official fan club.
Produced on either 45 or 33 1/3 rpm flexi discs which played on regular turntables, the recordings lasted anywhere from five minutes to just under eight, and featured the Fab Four evidently acting with spontaneous zany singing and skits. And as each year evolved, the more off-the-wall they became.
An album containing all seven of the greetings – called The Beatles Christmas Album – was sent out by the U.S. chapter of the fan club in 1971.
Since then, numerous bootleg versions have appeared on both vinyl and CD.
Starting today – for seven consecutive days – I’ll be featuring one year’s greeting per day, in chronological order – and in crystal clear HD.
You may have not heard these for years, or even more likely, not at all. But if you’re a fan, I’m sure they’ll make you at least smile – and hopefully laugh!
Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets or connected devices. A laptop, desktop PC or Mac may be required for optimal enjoyment.
THE BEATLES’ CHRISTMAS RECORD
(The First Beatles Christmas Record)
December 1963 / LYN 492
Written and produced by the group’s press secretary at the time, Tony Barrow, the first year’s fan club greeting contains separate monologues from each of The Fab Four, thanking the members for subscribing and for buying their records, and for all the cards and letters.
Each “speech” is interspersed with self-styled versions of Good King Wenceslas and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Ringo); The program is listed below.
All four Beatles still sound so innocent and star-struck – and this was before they’d achieved the world-wide fame which still laid ahead.
Recording Date: October 17, 1963
Release Date: December 6, 1963
Running Time: 5:00
Good King Wenceslas
Good King Wenceslas (Reprise 1)
Good King Wenceslas (Reprise 2)
Good King Wenceslas (Reprise 3)
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Ringo
Ones You May Have Missed: (The holiday season is busy!)
THE BEATLES SECOND CHRISTMAS RECORD (1964)
THE BEATLES THIRD CHRISTMAS RECORD (1965)
THE BEATLES FOURTH CHRISTMAS RECORD (1966)
THE BEATLES FIFTH CHRISTMAS RECORD (1967)
THE BEATLES SIXTH CHRISTMAS RECORD (1968)
THE BEATLES SEVENTH CHRISTMAS RECORD (1969)
Related: PHIL SPECTOR’S CHRISTMAS ALBUM (Tracks 1-13)
Track #1 WHITE CHRISTMAS / Darlene Love
Track #2 FROSTY THE SNOWMAN / The Ronettes
Track #3 THE BELLS OF ST. MARY’S / Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans
Track #4 SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN / The Crystals
Track #5 SLEIGH RIDE / The Ronettes
Track #6 MARSHMELLOW WORLD / Darlene Love
Track #7 I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS / The Ronettes
Track #8 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER / The Crystals
Track #9 WINTER WONDERLAND / Darlene Love
Track #10 PARADE OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS / The Crystals
Track #11 CHRISTMAS (Baby Please Come Home) / Darlene Love
Track #12 HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS / Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans
Track #13 SILENT NIGHT / Phil Spector and Artists
Record Sleeve Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat