Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cultural Christmas Gifts and Red 311

A nice looking book
The 1970's  saw some of the best and most successful Christmas Pop singles and one that occurs to me is I Wish it could be Christmas everyday (Wizard) - for many of us now effectively every day is - we can have most of the things we want for 'free' or close to it - think of looking for music on the internet - the favourites we love on TV are there 'on demand' and the shops have the foods we like regardless of season and place.

I suppose one of the common themes running through my Christmas presents for most of the last 50 or so years have been what me might think of as Cultural Gifts (although I suppose practically all gifts certainly of mine  could fit that category).

Delighted to report that two of the gifts I requested for Christmas 2015 very much fit in with this description.

Having heard about The Alchemist by Paul Coelho from several sources (here's one reader who particularly valued it)  I decided that it was worthy of investigation it's been named by many high profile figures as important to the personally and listening to that author on an Archive edition of Desert Island Discs it's clearly something that's important to the author.

Coelho specifically mentions that the tracks are by artists he values (and this includes the McCartney penned The Long and Winding Road as well as the more Lennon-y Because).

 [Tangentially - This throws some light on 'Because' and the new to me fact that Yoko was a classically trained pianist who had studied composing. ]

Coincidentally Coelho's The Alchemist is the chosen 'book' of three Desert Island Discs guests.

And the other gift

The other item (and again it harks back to the Book and Record voucher gifts of years past) is the Art of McCartney which features a selection of (perhaps) unlikely covers of Paul McCartney songs (and the edition I've been given has an accompanying video too.

I'll let you know if Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson bring something new to the songs they cover.

Red 311

Here amusements in London

An idea of glamour in London's West End at 'The Crystal Rooms'.

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