Woo-hoo! I finally get time to review a Christmas record, at Christmas!* Open your arms and ears to Run DMC Christmas In Hollis, 12″ from 1987.
Sampling ‘Back Door Santa’ along with Jingle Bells, Joy To The World and Frosty The Snowman, this is a bit of a jolly jape and not too much more. The tall tale of spotting an odd gentleman in the park,
It was December 24th on Hollis Ave after dark
When I seen a man chilling with his dog at the park
I approached them very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an illin’ reindeer
But then I was chillin’ because the man had a beard
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o’clock had neared
Essentially Santa, for it is he, drops a wallet containing a cool million bucks, our hero tries to return it only to find it was a gift from the S man! I love this single unreservedly, its fun and funky happy and fresh and you get the feeling it was made purely for the joy of the thing. Plus, I’m a real sucker for the video – check out the reindeer!
My fave Christmas songs, like most people’s are all those hoary old 70’s glam rock numbers as well as all the old crooners, so it’s nice to have something a bit newer and hip-hoppier in there too. ‘Christmas In Hollis’ also makes me realise again how angry I am at Jam Master Jay’s death, shot at 37 and no-one ever convicted for it. RIP.
But let’s not get mawkish Christmas In Hollis is a hell of a 12″ because it throws in RUN DMC’s best ever track**, ‘Walk This Way’ gratis along with ‘Peter Piper’ from Raising Hell and ‘King Of Rock’ from their previous LP. It was great value for your cash and almost all the DMC you’d ever need – ‘It’s Tricky’ being the only one I’d add here to improve it, possibly at the expense of ‘King Of Rock’ which like LL Cool J’s ‘Rock The Bells’ is a historically important genre-smasher, that sounds a little clunky in light of what came afterwards.
And it was for charity too, the Special Olympics no less, Christmas In Hollis was originally released on A Very Special Christmas,^ one of two Christmas albums I own. What’s not to like?
But I’m forgetting my hosting duties, more egg nog anyone?
My name’s DMC with the mic in my hand
And I’m chilling and coolin’ just like a snowman
So open your eyes, lend us a ear, we want to say
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
*loosely broadly speaking, sort of – well it’s snowing outside so that has to count for something!
**third single I ever bought and arguably still the best 7″ I ever did.
^25 Down!! Jeez, that was hundreds of years ago.