The Christmas Caveats series was born one Christmas while I was looking for Al Green’s Christmas album. I initially thought that the Reverend released a lot of Christmas albums and I’d have to get on my horse to collect them all. Turns out the record company was trolling me. Let’s unpack this.
Al Green has released one album of Christmas music.
Myrrh/A&M Records, 1983
9 different versions 1983-2017, 4 different titles, 9 songs, 6 different covers
This is perhaps the most egregious example of the recycling of a performer’s music. Keep in mind that Reverend Al has only recorded nine Christmas songs though Discogs lists 9 different versions; one for each song! You see what they’ve done, though. They’ve taken a song with a unique title and used it for the name of a reissue. iTunes offers only Feels Like Christmas with the addition of a Green original – “Glory, Glory” – to bring the meagre song total to double digits. I do love the cover they’ve used, though.
I see Amazon has this same cover and title offered on CD for $12.85. The digital version on iTunes is $9.90 so either way you’re good – and, yes, you should buy the album. Al puts his soul stamp on these favourites and does particularly well on the venerable “O Holy Night”.
The modern-looking cover shown above with Al in the dark suit coat is particularly devious. This image really makes it look like a brand new release.
So, caveat emptor, yes. But with Al Green, things are much easier as there is only one 9-song album to concern you; any version you find is good. Just be aware and go with the knowledge that you don’t have to buy more than one Al Green Christmas album.
Stay tuned for more Christmas Caveats and happy hunting!