Barenaked for the Holidays

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Barenaked for the Holidays
Studio album by Barenaked Ladies
Released October 5, 2004
Recorded May 2004
Genre Alternative rock, christmas music
Length 46:28
Label Desperation Records
Producer Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies chronology
Everything to Everyone
(2003)
Barenaked for the Holidays
(2004)
As You Like It
(2005)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone favourable [2]
Sputnik Music 4/5 stars [3]

Barenaked for the Holidays is a holiday-themed studio album released by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies on October 5, 2004. The album includes Christmas and Hanukkah songs as well as "Auld Lang Syne", which is traditionally sung on New Year's Eve. There are also several songs that are simply about the winter season. The album was the first album recorded at Steven Page's studio, Fresh Baked Woods and was the first released independently by BNL's Desperation Records label (and distributed by the Warner Music Group). It was the band's first studio album for which a "naked track" was not recorded.

Production[edit]

While the album contains some faithful interpretations of traditional songs, much of the album plays true to Ladies' off-kilter spirit. "Jingle Bells" begins as a slow, faithful rendition before breaking into an up-tempo version, including the "Batman smells..." lyric variation, and Page breaking down laughing. Several existing songs are included in the form of keyboard interludes; "Happy Birthday to You" is included as a hidden track in the form "Happy Birthday Jesus". The song "Deck The Stills" is an adaptation or parody of the song "Deck the Halls" with the lyrics Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young repeated in place of the real lyrics (it was an in-joke with the band at the time to use these lyrics in other songs). The album also includes the Band Aid charity song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?", all the royalties from which the band donates to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The collaboration with Sarah McLachlan for "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was released on a prior compilation, Christmas Songs, in 2000.[4] Finally, the album includes seven songs written by the band.

The album was a popular release during the Christmas season of 2004, and reached #64 in the regular Billboard album charts.

Releases[edit]

E.P. Version[edit]

An E.P. of Hanukkah-themed songs named the Barenaked for Hanukkah E.P. was released as a digital download on November 15, 2005. It contains a live version of "Hanukkah, O Hanukkah" from the band's Toronto concert on November 20, 2004, as well as the album versions of "Hanukkah Blessings" and "I Have a Little Dreidel". It was certified gold in Canada.[5]

Barenaked on a Stick[edit]

Barenaked on a Stick is a 128MB USB flash drive that contains the Holidays CD, live songs and ad libs, a demo recording, videos of the album recording, promo photos and buddy icons for instant messaging programs. It was sold initially at the 2005 holiday concert tour, and then through Nettwerk's online store, and though Amazon.com. The USB stick was part of a product test by the band to see if there was a market for releasing albums on reusable media. Their next album Barenaked Ladies Are Me was also released on USB flash drive, as were subsequent live recordings.

Other[edit]

The song "Hanukkah Blessings" was released on the Rock Band music store on December 23, 2008.

Page's reluctance[edit]

Former member Steven Page later admitted that the album was not his idea, and that a holiday themed album was not what he wanted to do following Everything to Everyone.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs are based on traditional arrangements, except where noted.

No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Jingle Bells"   Steven Page 3:57
2. "Green Christmas†" (Steven Page, Ed Robertson) Ed Robertson 2:34
3. "I Saw Three Ships"   Kevin Hearn, Page, Robertson 1:07
4. "Hanukkah Blessings" (Steven Page) Steven Page 3:27
5. "O Holy Night"   instrumental 1:09
6. "Elf's Lament" (Ed Robertson) Michael Bublé, Page, Robertson 3:34
7. "Snowman" (Ed Robertson) Ed Robertson 2:59
8. "Do They Know It's Christmas?‡" (Bob Geldof, Midge Ure) Page, Robertson, Tyler Stewart 3:32
9. "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah"   Page, Robertson 2:11
10. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings§"   Sarah McLachlan, Robertson 3:26
11. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Johnny Marks) instrumental 0:59
12. "Carol of the Bells" (Leontovych, Wilhousky) instrumental 3:00
13. "Footprints" (Ed Robertson) Ed Robertson 3:14
14. "Deck the Stills"   Jim Creeggan, Hearn, Page, Robertson, Stewart 0:32
15. "Christmastime (Oh Yeah)√" (Kevin Hearn) Kevin Hearn 2:16
16. "Sleigh Ride" (Anderson, Parish) Creeggan, Hearn, Page, Robertson 0:46
17. "Christmas Pics" (Jim Creeggan) Jim Creeggan 2:13
18. "I Have a Little Dreidel" (Goldfarb, Grossman) Page, Robertson 0:52
19. "Wonderful Christmastime" (Paul McCartney) instrumental 1:18
20. "Happy Birthday [Hidden track]" (Preston Ware Orem, R.R. Forman) Creeggan, Hearn, Page, Robertson, Stewart 0:15
21. "Auld Lang Syne"   Page, Robertson 3:04

† re-recorded; originally from the 2000 soundtrack for How the Grinch Stole Christmas
‡ Previously released in a live version
§ recorded backstage at WPLT Planefest, 1996
√ Re-recorded; originally with Page on vocals for a compilation album

Certifications[edit]

This album achieved gold status in Canada.[7]

Credits[edit]

Barenaked Ladies

Additional personnel

Production[edit]

  • Engineer: Jeremy Darby
  • Mixing: Michael Phillip Wojewoda
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen
  • Digital editing: Don Garbutt
  • Assistant: Paul Forgues
  • Technical assistance: Rob Menegoni, Keith Rudyk
  • Arranger: Barenaked Ladies
  • Photography: Andrew MacNaughton
  • Artwork: John Rummen

References[edit]