Saint Etienne

I Was Born on Christmas Day

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In 1993, Saint Etienne took part in the time-honored pop tradition of the Christmas single. "I Was Born on Christmas Day" is a duet between Saint Etienne vocalist Sarah Cracknell and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess set to a house beat. The melody is very sweet and the vocals blend together nicely, Burgess displaying a healthy (and unusual) dose of restraint. "My Christmas Prayer" is a cover of British rocker Billy Fury's somber ballad. It isn't very a very successful effort; the arrangement is very sparse, which forces Cracknell to attempt to carry the song. She tries, but her wispy voice isn't up to the task. "Snowplough" and "Peterloo" are instrumental, the former being a naggingly repetitive slice of dance-pop, the latter a moody ballad bathed in strings and echoed percussion. It is much more pleasant to listen to and more interesting as well, the final third of the song features tape manipulations that turn the melody into garbled noise. The title track is the only true essential item here, however, and it is available on the U.S. edition of Saint Etienne's excellent Tiger Bay album as well as the band's 1995 singles collection, Too Young to Die.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick