Classic Albums: Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek

OK, I’ve not written any of my Classic Albums posts this month, so far also I’ve not got anything by Mark Kozelek and/or any of all his bands/projects but now it’s December/Christmas so can I do this one? I’ll make clear right here at the very start of this post I totally hate/loath Xmas songs/albums, I can’t make it much clearer that out of every possible style of music this is just all total rubbish and just shit music. It was pale novally and clichés music to start with and created to celebrate this time of the year but now 99.9% of it is just one long huge ad to sell shit no one needs. Anyway that one reason of a few I hate it and I’ve cover more as I write this. So why the hell or in god’s name have I got now a Christmas album here in my Classic Album collection? The idea was to use this thingy here to write about my all my fave albums of all-time which are off-course that but I do think I should have came up with a different title to file all these pages under.

This one album goes against everything I’ve said for along time, this blog is pretty new really but if you known me in real life not in blogland you’ll know that but also I’ve always say you can find something you like in each style of music or just has something great in it but you just have to find it. You know it’s always down to personal taste too. Xmas songs were just advertising for me until this album pop up only two years ago. Yes, it’s only two years old now so maybe it’s just to new to be called a Classic Album but it’s the greatest Christmas album ever but I guess, it’s just my opinion and you can dismiss me, this post and even the whole blog has some mad rant if you want but I’ll stick to my guns here and say again and again Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols is only great Christmas album, if you stick with my mad ranting I’ll tell you why I think over this page. I promise this will be the one and only silly season album that will make it onto this list.

So if Pitchfork website can make a top 50 Xmas song of all-time list this year and have at number three Mariah fuckin’ Carey I can say this album is my fave and it’s better than anything and everything else out there that you can file under this style of music. You might say I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about and have you even listen to any of these songs? YES! is the answer because an ex-gf would soon as it hit December or even late late Nov. would start to play any and every Xmas songs/album she could, it didn’t matter who or what it was and she would play it all. I didn’t say anything at the time, well maybe I did but it drove me insane but I mostly bite my tongue and let her have her fun with it all, I even join in with her buying her Bob Dylan’s shit Christmas album the year it came out. Then if I put on something she didn’t like say she never got/understand some odd/weird old Aussie bands I really liked say Essendon Airport, Primitive Calculates, Laughing Clowns etc. she wouldn’t never stop saying over how bad she think they all are and in the end I wouldn’t even play them at all well, only if she was out of the house/home. I guess we broke up in the end maybe it was down to music taste, who knows? Anyway the point I’ve listen to all this Xmas music and yet another reason why I dislike it is always so fuckin’ jolly and happy, I guess that’s the point because it’s a holiday or leading up to this end of the year holiday.

Mark and his guitar

Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols is to tell you the truth at this point when I heard this album I’d not listen to his music for years and years maybe even since the 90’s and Red House Painters band. Yet another reason this album why I’ve got to include in here in my fave album collection. In 2014 he also released the epic Benji by Sun Kil Moon but I heard this album first and then worked backwards through all his stuff I’d missed and they is so much great stuff and maybe I’ve got to do another post about that. I don’t remember where/when in 2014 heard it but I think it was down to the simple fact that it’s a depressing Xmas album and you don’t get alot of them. I’ve made it clear here on this blog of mine I do like a few sad songs but I don’t find this time at the end of year jolly/happy at all, I could be the saddest time of the year and this album is so perfectly clear some it all up.

In the opening songs Christmas Time Is Here Mark even quotes Charlie Brown “not understanding Christmas” and going on to say “I always end up feeling depressed” as the funny reply from someone else comes after the singer’s spoken word part/bit:

“Mark you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe she’s right of all the Mark Kozelek’s in the world, you’re the Mark Kozelekiest.”

It’s all very beautiful versions of all these old songs/carols but with a total saddest in them and that line of him not understand it are really even more funny than that reply because he understand better than almost everyone by making this album. Removing it from the overproduced gloss of almost all Xmas song because you couldn’t possible recycle any of these tracks into advents selling shit or anything thing the like. Mark does hold a very special place in my heart really so that’s yet another reason so this is the one album that got me back into to him and it does seem like the right one to do so because he’s got a long history of singing carols, he’s got no less that two live albums named after Christmas songs so it seems he played those kind-of songs for years. He’s got even more cover albums too but I’ve really got to write another whole post about that now maybe after posting this today, I’ll do something like maybe my Top Tens post for all that, maybe tomorrow OK?

Almost all the tracks are old traditional carols but he does throw in 2,000 Miles written by Chrissie Hynde too but it does works so well for him to do. He does so much cover songs is the fact that even if it’s written by someone else he really does make it his own because it’s making it sound so totally new. He sound like no one else and when he does covers he really does make them his, he always chose greatest tracks and simply make them now belong to him. Years of playing those songs live lead up to this studio album and this album seems to be his last nylon acoustic guitar for the moment, at least. It’s really unbelievable listening after hearing years and years of those very, very bad versions of these songs.

So if you do have a listen of Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols please let me know what you think about it too? If you don’t know him and all his projects and coming to this as someone who came here because it’s a Xmas album and never heard Mark’s music in the last five years he’s been at his most prolific and has released ten studio albums in that time plus he’s already got his next two new albums done, ready for next year too so I will write more about Kozelek tomorrow but this is not the first time I’ve written about Mark, Sun Kil Moon etc. click those links or just check my tags if you want more right now, OK?

Sings Christmas Carols track listing

1. Christmas Time Is Here
2. Do You Hear What I Hear?
3. 2,000 Miles
4. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. O Christmas Tree
6. Away In A Manger
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
9. Silent Night
10. The First Noel
11. I Believe In Father Christmas
12. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
13. What Child Is This?
14. The Christmas Song


All my Classic Albums posts are linked below. Off course it’s a work in progress but today is number 30 of these posts so here them all rated in popularity but it’s listed in order of appearance:

(4th) Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

(6th) Station To Station by David Bowie

(15th) Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

(1st) Rust In Peace by Megadeth

(12th) Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

(5th) Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

(11th) Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

(2nd) Gala Mill by The Drones

(9th) Black Monk Time by The Monks

(14th) Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

(7th) Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

(24th tied) In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

(3rd) The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

(8th) Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen

(21st) Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones

(17th) The White House by The Dead C

(18th) Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten

(13th) Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica

(24th tied) Kaira by Toumani Diabaté

(26th) Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants

(10th) Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males

(20th) Aerial by Kate Bush

(16th) The Future by Leonard Cohen

(25th) Rock For Light by Bad Brains

(27th/last) Last Splash by The Breeders

(23rd tied) Sex by The Necks

(19th) Emergency Ward by Nina Simone

(23rd tied) Paradise by My Disco

(22nd) Batman by Prince

Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your own comments below about each album because I would love to hear what everyone think and has to say about them? cheers!


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