By John Curley
On Friday, December 4th, The Smithereens released their “Christmas Morning” single. The song was written by lead guitarist Jim Babjak and features the four original members of the band: Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken, bassist Mike Mesaros and lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Pat DiNizio. It was produced by Don Dixon and recorded in 1994 at the Magic Shop recording studio in New York City The flip side is “Twas The Night Before Christmas” featuring Diken on vocals. The single is available as a digital download and as a seven-inch, green vinyl 45-RPM record. It was released by the band’s Tollie Records.
On the subject of the composition of the song, Babjak said, “For me, Christmas has always been a time of peace and reflection. Even just for one day, all will be right in the world. And in this time of Covid-19 and political divisiveness, the song couldn’t be more vital. The song expresses musically and lyrically a timeless feeling of hope and calm, that ‘…waking up on Christmas morning, everything’s okay on Christmas Day.’ ”
“Christmas Morning” features a smooth vocal by DiNizio with perfect backing by the band. It’s an upbeat, feel-good song with some really nice Byrds-like guitar from Babjak. Here’s hoping that it gets a lot of airplay this holiday season. It’s certainly a better song than some of the other holiday tunes that get their yearly airings at his time of the year.
“Twas The Night Before Christmas” has jazzy drumming from Diken and a scat-style vocal from the drummer that is a reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic Christmas tale. It’s quite enjoyable and will surely bring a smile to the listener.
The digital downloads are available on iTunes and streaming on Spotify and Pandora. The special seven-inch, green vinyl 45-RPM single is available via Amazon and The Smithereens’ website at https://www.officialsmithereens.com/store.
“Christmas Morning” can be heard below:
“Twas The Night Before Christmas” can be heard below: