Happy Holidays! Since it’s the first year of my blog, and since it’s the last year for my Annual Holiday Show on my little 20-year-old 80s radio program, STUCK IN THE 80s (on WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine), I wanted to present to you THE 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS, or, 31 of my favorite 80s holiday musical treats.
The song for Day 13 of the 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS will take you a shorter amount of time to listen to than it will to read this blog post (clocking in at 73 seconds), but for nearly 30 years, it’s been a music staple for me every Xmas – R.E.M.’s rendition of “Deck The Halls.”
In early November 1988, R.E.M. had just released their first Warner Bros. album (GREEN) about the same time the promotional Warner Bros. Xmas compilation, WINTER WARNERLAND, was being sent to radio stations, recording artists and other folks in the music industry.
For WINTER WARNERLAND, Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe contributed an extended holiday ID, if you will, by playing a lovely instrumental version of “Deck The Halls,” complimented with some backing vocal harmonies, and then a simple “Best of the season from R.E.M.” ID at the end.
One of the reasons R.E.M. chose to sign with Warner Bros. over other record labels that were offering them more money was because, with Warner Bros., the band was assured of “total creative freedom.” A 73-second holiday song is pretty non-traditional (much like most of the songs on WINTER WARNERLAND), however, it’s a short but very sweet holiday offering by R.E.M. (one of my all-time favorites), and was prolly recorded on their terms. Fa la la la la…