The Goods


104 Bill Bryson, Damien Hirst

._ Records

107 Cypress Hill, Jill Scott

; Games

1 09 Xbox



ah and, indeed, humbug. Christmas B comes but once a year only now, rather

depressingly, it starts at one second past midnight on Halloween when that first LSD- crazed Argos advert hits our screens in a blitzkrieg of Harry Potter jim-jams and Homer Simpson bath mats.

And record companies, never ones to miss a chance to rip the piss out of us and our wallets, are at the head of the pack in terms of punting over-priced, repackaged, buffed-up tat at us. So as the deluge of pointless best ofs, compilations and boxed-sets hits the shelves, it’s time to fuel up on all that weird-flavoured booze you wouldn’t dream of drinking any other time of year (sherry, Malibu, wine-heated-up-with-nuts- and~berries-floating-in-it, you know the drill) just to numb the moronic tackiness of it all. Give us a hit of that eggnog shit, and in we go to the belly of the beast . . .

Video/ DVD

1 1 0 Together

1 1 1 Min Peaks, Caroline Quentin


1 12 Christmas Gifts

It seems

.0... Excellent 0... Recommended Good 0. Flawed

0 Poor

1 Travel

1 15 Last Minute Festive Breaks


1 1 6 Streetsmart

est Hits:



M ii


entirely likely that Jesus was nailed to the cross to the strains of ‘The Winner Takes

It All’

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without Abba. It seems entirely likely that Jesus was nailed to the cross to the strains of ‘The Winner Takes It All’, and The Definitive Collection (Polar O... ) is the same bunch of spangly pop that gets released every year and you already own.

Same goes for The Greatest Hits (BMG COO ) of Boney M which should only be about four songs long, but sadly isn’t. Just like Madonna’s GHV2 (Maverick O. ) which is gash and has none of the early classics that are the real Christmas party fodder you’re after.

At least Perry Como’s Gold - Greatest Hits (BMG 0.. ) has a bit of easy listening class about it, and of course it’ll keep granny off your back until the sherry kicks in.

White Christmas (Marks & Spencer 0.. ), is worth listening to if only for the surreal experience of hearing a record that contains both Dean Martin and Roger Whittaker. For wacky twats there’s A Very Special Christmas 5 (A&M ), which contains Wyclef Jean and

is utterly without point. And for absolutely no one on Earth there’s Michael Crawford’s The Disney Album (Disney ), which is skin- crawlingly abysmal.

Next up, the padded-out albums. All Hits (London 0 ) by All Saints has some pish remixes and a cack DVD as filler; The Cure’s Greatest Hits (Fiction 0 ) has a second CD of acoustic drivel; and The Very Best Of. . . Deacon Blue (Sony 0 ) has ‘Dignity’ followed by 146 minutes of torture.

And so finally to the true spirit of Christmas, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Or to be more precise, Elektra Records’ cynical cashing in on the man’s deteriorating mental condition with The Dirty Story (Elektra O... ). Still, what better way to celebrate the festive season than revelling in a crack-smoking, gun-toting, jail-breaking, schizophrenic, psychotic loon? And he once changed his name to Big Baby Jesus, you know. What the fuck is eggnog anyway?

(Doug Johnstone)

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