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The 25th Day of December

The Staple Singers

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1951 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Religious

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The Staples' story goes all the way back to 1915 in Winona, Mississippi, when patriarch Roebuck "Pops" Staples entered the world. A contemporary and familiar of Charley Patton's, Roebuck quickly became adept as a solo blues guitarist, entertaining at local dances and picnics. He was also drawn to the church, and by 1937 he was singing and playing guitar with the Golden Trumpets, a spiritual group based out of Drew, Mississippi. Moving to Chicago four years later, he continued playing gospel music...
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