|| Christina Aguilera, B.B. King - Merry Christmas Baby
Like other blues legends Etta James and Aretha Franklin B.B. King left it until very late into his career before he focused on putting his first Christmas album together. 2001’s ‘A Christmas Celebration of Hope’ was a ringing (!) endorsement of his unwavering fret play, on his beloved guitar Lucille, and craft in turning other people’s song into his mirror image. The album had 2 originals, one of which ‘Christmas Celebration’ he had released as a single 41 years earlier but was re-recorded for the album. The other original, also written by King, was a brand new instrumental track called ‘Christmas Love’.
Many of B.B.’s choices were obvious owing to their bluesy background so Charles Brown’s ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ was as faithful as you’d expect. Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore’s ‘Merry Christmas, Baby’ was also garnished with King’s famous licks as was Clarence Carter’s ‘Back Door Santa’ which included a pleasing moments of brass. The blues singer also proved he was unafraid to go off-piste when he included little known ditties such as ‘Blue Decorations’ and ‘Christmas Comes But Once A Year’. Both were given the B.B. makeover so they sounded like they were coined by the great man himself.
With over 50 year in the industry prior to its release ‘A Christmas Celebration’ showed that this blues man still had plenty to offer. And with all proceeds from the album going to cancer charity City of Hope it made for a Christmas album with a genuine heart for making things better.Author: Kevin