Published on December 17th, 2012 | by Katy Evans0
Add a Little 1965 Tacoma to Your Holiday Playlist
If you’re like me (and I refuse to believe that I am the lone fanatic in this town), you harbor an appreciation for holiday music. You may never voice it or you may be audacious about it, but either way, you can stand a little carol now and then. Or maybe heaping, endless hours of it (like me).
And perhaps (also like me) you have exhausted the classics and are yearning for something a little more, oh, Tacoma-esque in your playlists. Well, way back in 1965, The Ventures were there to help out.
You know The Ventures, right? This classic Tacoma band formed in 1958 and gained significant popularity through the 60s. These days, The Ventures’ catalytic impact has gained them the moniker “The Band that Launched a Thousand Bands,” induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, and wild popularity in Japan. The Ventures’ may not have been the first instrumental rock combo, but they were definitely the most popular with nearly 40 of their albums charting and 17 of them hitting the top 40, including “The Ventures’ Christmas Album.”
The Ventures recorded a dozen of the most popular holiday standards arranged with their signature garage/surf flair and embellished with musical quotes from their own songs, as well as phrases from then-contemporary popular songs like “I Feel Fine” and “When You Walk in the Room.”
Now, unlike the reviewer over at Allmusic, who does NOT enjoy “the ubiquitous overdubs of annoyingly corny sleigh bells,” I love the additional jingle. The Ventures’ Christmas Album stands the test of time and can be considered one of the better rock and roll holiday albums. Though, if you haven’t spent any time with Brenda Lee’s Decca Christmas Recordings, or the endearingly psychedelic choral/soul album “Peace” by The Rotary Collection you are missing out. These albums may not be made by Tacomans, but they do definitely sound good when played in Tacoma.
The Ventures’ Christmas Album is easy to find via Itunes and Spotify but I would recommend that you put a call in to some of our local record stores – maybe someone’s got some Christmas vinyl hidden in their stacks!