A little something to energize the day: a few tracks from I.R.S…Records, that is. These groups were either associated with Miles Copeland’s International Record Syndicate, or released on A&M. Here is a 3-fer of tracks from artists who once recorded for that A&M-distributed label.
First out of the gate is Payola$, named after something the record industry would just as soon forget:
Then there was Klark Kent’s “Yo Ho Ho.” Stewart Copeland seems to know who Klark Kent is. Here’s this rarity, which didn’t even make it onto his Kollected Works anthology:
You’re really up the junction if you don’t check out Squeeze’s “Christmas Day”. And yes, that’s Jools Holland on the keys, doing what he does best.
We have a double-header of rare Julius Wechter tracks for our late edition of A&M Holiday Tracks. The first is the non-album track “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” available on the A&M holiday compilation !Something Festive!.
Even more rare is this demo of a tune composed by Julius and Cissy Wechter: “Without You It’s Not Christmas.” It has not been recorded by anyone, outside of this demo. Enjoy!
Meet “Mississippi Charles” Bevel was an album released on A&M in 1973 by Charles Bevel. This track concluded the album, on side two. Perhaps not a true “holiday” song, but we’ll consider the mention of that big bearded white guy to be “close enough” to include it here. A true obscurity. Because, that’s what we do. Enjoy!
(Apologies for the poor audio quality…)
What may perhaps be our most unusual sounding holiday track, here is J&K’s “Little Drummer Boy,” buried on their A&M/CTi album Betwixt & Between. This jazz album features trombone legends J. J. Johnson (“J”) and Kai Winding (“K”). This one never made it to any holiday compilation that we are aware of. At any rate, here it is…
This is a swingin’ little folksy tune performed in a storytelling mode by Shawn Phillips, who recorded for A&M in the 1970s. This was originally a single, and it now appears on the reissue of his Faces album. It is somewhat a rarity, yet it’s one of A&M’s coolest holiday singles of all time!
One of the more popular rare Brasil ’66 tracks is “The Christmas Song.” It can be found on a couple of scattered holiday compilations (in a badly edited, extended version), but it is a non-album track that originally appeared on the A&M Something Festive compilation.