The Staple Singers

The 25th Day of December

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This set is the honest to goodness real deal, an undeniably great Christmas album that not only includes simple but striking arrangements of several holiday classics but also plays and feels very much like an album of tracks that really belong together, and it builds as it goes into a striking and powerful listen. Recorded in 1962 at Universal Studios in Chicago, the album features the classic Staple Singers lineup of Pops, Mavis, Yvonne, and Pervis Staples on vocals, with Pops doubling on his trademark reverb-drenched guitar alongside Maceo Woods on organ and Al Duncan on drums. The arrangements are simple and natural, leaving plenty of room for the vocals, and versions here of "The Last Month of the Year," "Joy to the World," and Thomas Dorsey's "The Savior Is Born" are nothing short of an easy, natural perfection. Pops' spooky guitar work gives extra atmosphere to the lightly funky "No Room at the Inn" and the gorgeous rendition of "Silent Night" that ends the album. The 25th Day of December is a wonderful outing, and a classic holiday album.

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