12 December 2018

Next of Kin - Merry Christmas/ Sunday Children Sunday Morning

Interesting attempt at festive ska from Mitch Murray and friends

Label: MCA
Year of Release: 1969

Well, ho ho ho, what have we here in Santa's sack? Blow me down if it isn't a bit of cod-ska co-written by the songwriter Mitch Murray, of "How Do You Do It?", "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Is This The Way To Amarillo?" fame. Ho ho ho, off you go young man, get off my knee, there are others waiting, this record didn't bloody sell and I've got tons to get rid of, you know.

Mitch was, it's safe to say, not a man who had probably even holidayed in the Caribbean, much less been a member of a ska band. The Mike Leander production credit also indicates that there wasn't somebody from that background present to steer the ship towards those waters, so by rights, this disc should be a hopeless shambles.

It's interesting to find out that it's not terrible, then. It wouldn't pass muster with the average sixties skin who would almost certainly sniff out the distinctly Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da styled fake accents, but those cheap brass sounds, the raw production and the repetitive nature of the tune make it a strong parody of a late sixties ska track at the very least. It's unquestionably a cynical cash-in on a "current sound", but the attention to detail is impressive.

In time, Christmas reggae and ska records became much more commonplace, to the point where inauthentic attempts at boardroom skanking became surplus to requirements - if indeed there ever were any real requirements as such - and this single has been shoved under the radar ever since. That is, until now. 


merry christmas gif said...

❤❤❤ Merry Christmas ❤❤❤

Unknown said...

I have this record on mca lable in Australia, my sister and I love it it gets spun every. Christmas.