Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stevie Wonder – Someday at Christmas [Vinyl Reissue] (Album Review)

Since its original release on November 27, 1967, Stevie Wonder’s beloved Someday at Christmas album has been re-released and repackaged in a variety of different formats. This year, Universal Music Group is celebrating the Christmas classic by both reissuing it on vinyl (for the first time in years) and also restoring its original red-and-green, “young Stevie” cover art. 

Wonder was only 17 when the album was first released, but you’d never imagine it by listening to the young prodigy’s stunning seasonal songcraft. His impressive vocals on the original songs like “Someday at Christmas” and “What Christmas Means to Me,” as well as his own takes on such standards as “Silver Bells” and “The Christmas Song,” make the album a yuletide must-hear from the first song to the last. Even on its own, the title track has become an unquestionable seasonal standard, with my own favorite interpretations coming from The Jackson 5 and Pearl Jam. 

"Someday at Christmas" - Pearl Jam (2004 Ten Club 7" holiday single)

"Someday at Christmas" - The Jackson 5 (Jackson 5 Christmas Album)

Originally released on Motown-imprint Tamla Records, Someday at Christmas is one of the label’s most renowned Christmas releases. Considering the label also released Christmas with The Miracles, Merry Christmas by The Supremes, The Jackson 5 Christmas Album, The Temptations Christmas Card, and its own double LP of holiday favorites A Motown Christmas, that’s saying quite a lot. The restored cover art drives home the Motown connection even more, as the back jacket promises "The Motown Sound" and contains snippet ads for holiday albums from The Miracles and The Supremes.    

Bookended by “Someday at Christmas” and “That’s What Christmas Means to Me” - its two most classic cuts – Someday at Christmas sounds (and looks) totally worthy of UMG’s reissue. The audio sounds warm and polished in its vinyl setting and the restored artwork captures the nostalgic snapshot of the album’s original incarnation. Be sure to pick this one up as a present for the music fans in your life or as a sonic stocking stuffer for your own Christmas music playlist.

Proving both the lasting appeal of "Someday at Christmas" and also Wonder's unending musical legacy, check out Apple's newest Christmas commercial for this year (just released earlier this week):

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