B-side of The Christmas Song
(Written by Smokey Robinson)
If it seemed a bit strange to be writing about The Christmas Song when it wasn’t actually Christmas, well, that turns out not to be a problem with Christmas Everyday – because that’s the theme of this B-side, which isn’t actually a Christmas record in any real sense (despite the title and its inclusion as the only original number on the Miracles’ seasonal LP Christmas With The Miracles).
Effectively, this has almost nothing to do with Christmas at all; it’s a love song written by Smokey Robinson back in the summer of 1962, and feels very much shoehorned in to the tracklisting of Christmas With The Miracles where it rubs shoulders with a crateful of competent covers of songs like Let It Snow and O Holy Night. The tenuous Yuletide connection comes from the song’s central theme: if you fall in love with me, then for me every day would feel like Christmas.
That’s it; a simple lyrical conceit, pressed home in slightly plodding fashion and stretched almost uncomfortably thin in places, poor scansion and unimaginatively obvious choices leaving the song’s skeleton badly exposed – and the skeleton in question turns out to be that of a jaunty, throwaway mid-’62 Miracles B-side, nice enough but nothing spectacular.
What saves it is a combination of great vocals – the Miracles’ harmonies are again enchanting, especially in the genuinely catchy chorus (All mine, all mine), but Smokey’s on particularly fine form here, his audible smile in full effect, and he turns in a warmly winning performance, such that you want him to get the girl, right from the start – and some ripping, unexpectedly rough-edged sax. It’s eminently listenable, very likeable, and a better record than a song.
It’s often referred to, mistakenly, as the proposed A-side for this cancelled single release, and from there some sources have dubbed it a “great lost Miracles single”, conferring an aura of mystique upon this record which it doesn’t really deserve. I can’t agree with that “great lost single” assessment, but that being said, even if it’s not a great record, even among the rest of the Miracles’ output in 1963, it’s charming, bouncy and joyful, and I still (whisper it, blasphemer!) actually prefer it to Mickey’s Monkey.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
(I’ve had MY say, now it’s your turn. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, or click the thumbs at the bottom there. Dissent is encouraged!)
You’re reading Motown Junkies, an attempt to review every Motown A- and B-side ever released. Click on the “previous” and “next” buttons below to go back and forth through the catalogue, or visit the Master Index for a full list of reviews so far.
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“The Christmas Song”
“May What He Lived For Live”
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