Yule Be Miserable

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
"If you tend to be depressed it gets especially bad during the holidays," the famously depressed Harvey Pekar writes in his liner notes to Verve's Yule Be Miserable. "Everybody's prancing around the Christmas tree...while you lie in bed with a big headache." It's for the neurotics, the cynics, and the Pekar-ish head cases that Verve has compiled this delightfully mean-spirited set. And while it doesn't really go far enough, the 12-song set is a welcome respite from the normal yuletide dreck, if only for the cover painting of a dime store Santa who's drunk for goodness sake. The album's first half features a grooving "Christmas Blues" from Ramsey Lewis, and Billy ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
"If you tend to be depressed it gets especially bad during the holidays," the famously depressed Harvey Pekar writes in his liner notes to Verve's Yule Be Miserable. "Everybody's prancing around the Christmas tree...while you lie in bed with a big headache." It's for the neurotics, the cynics, and the Pekar-ish head cases that Verve has compiled this delightfully mean-spirited set. And while it doesn't really go far enough, the 12-song set is a welcome respite from the normal yuletide dreck, if only for the cover painting of a dime store Santa who's drunk for goodness sake. The album's first half features a grooving "Christmas Blues" from Ramsey Lewis, and Billy Eckstine's predictable yet necessary "Blue Christmas." But it's at its bluesy core where Yule Be Miserable really succeeds. Billie Holiday's "Stormy Blues" is as refreshing as a glass of whiskey after a long day of presents, parents, and clenched-teeth pleasantries, while a vintage 1937 side from Count Basie sobers like a holiday hangover. "Santa Claus, Santa Claus", Jimmy Rushing sings. "Don't send me nothing for Christmas but my baby back to me." Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan's vocal flirtation on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" offers a more immediate version of the same randy sentiment. There's no question that Yule Be Miserable could have been better. The two Spike Jones cuts lean too close to novelty to work next to its more cynical material, and the latter-day Aaron Neville and B.B. King songs sound like typical holiday fare. Still, the album's black and bluesy heart is in all the delightfully wrong places. Stack it next to Rhino's Bummed Out Christmas! and Meco's Star Wars Christmas Album, and be sure to stock your minibar.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/21/2003
  • Label: VERVE
  • UPC: 602498111819
  • Catalog Number: 000124002

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Aaron Neville Vocals
Count Basie Piano
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Ella Fitzgerald Vocals
Freddie Green Guitar
Chico Hamilton Drums
Hank Jones Piano
Jo Jones Drums
Spike Jones Vocals
Barney Kessel Guitar
Jimmy Rushing Vocals
Willie Smith Alto Saxophone
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Lester Young Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Billy Butterfield Trumpet
Al Klink Tenor Saxophone
Bernie Leighton Piano
Lou McGarity Trombone
Eldee Young Bass
Bill Davis Piano
Ramsey Lewis Piano
Walter Page Bass
Louis Armstrong Vocals
Dallas Bartley Bass
Billie Holiday Vocals
Sandy Block Bass
James Bolden Trumpet
Ray Brown Bass
Red Callender Bass
Toots Camarata Conductor
Russ Case Conductor
Tony Coleman Tambourine
Jim Cox Keyboards
Cutty Cutshall Trombone
Vince Denham Horn
Mike Doster Bass
Eddie Durham Guitar, Trombone
Calep Emphrey Drums
Herschel Evans Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Dennis Farias Horn
Steve Forman Bells
Jim Gilstrap Vocals
Ed Greene Drums
Carl Hogan Guitar
Dorian Holley Vocals
Redd Holt Drums
George Hunt Trombone
Aaron Izenhall Trumpet
Eddie Johnson Tenor Saxophone
B.B. King Guitar, Vocals
Walter King Alto Saxophone
Carmen Mastren Guitar
Dan Minor Trombone
Dean Parks Guitar
Darryl Phinnessee Vocals
Lon Price Horn
Lee Sklar Bass
Charlie Smith Drums
Lee Thornburg Horn
Tom Timko Horn
James Toney Piano
Bobby Tucker Piano
Earle Warren Alto Saxophone
Leon Warren Guitar
Jack Washington Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Ben Wolfe Bass
Phil Giardina Trombone
Andrew Ferretti Trumpet
Carl Poole Trumpet
Jack Satterfield Trombone
George Rock Trumpet, Vocals
Ed Grady Drums
Chris Columbus Drums
Ed Lewis Trumpet
Karriem Riggins sleigh bells
City Slickers Vocals
John Collins Guitar
Ali Muhammed Jackson Drums
City Slicker Juniors Vocals
Hymie Shertzer Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Technical Credits
Charles Brown Composer
Willie Banks Producer
Count Basie Composer
Jimmy Rushing Composer
Page Cavanaugh Composer
Eric Reed Composer
Skitch Henderson Composer
Ramsey Lewis Composer
Frank Loesser Composer
Ralph Bass Producer
Roy Bennett Composer
Billie Holiday Composer
Toots Camarata Arranger
Eddie Durham Arranger, Composer
Milt Gabler Producer
B.B. King Producer
Steve Lindsey Producer
Gene Redd Composer
Jack Smalley Composer
Sid Tepper Composer
Lee Thornburg Horn Arrangements
Jud Conlon Vocal Arrangements
William Hardy Jr. Composer
Harvey Pekar Liner Notes
Suha Gur Mastering
Hollis King Art Direction
Billy Moore Composer
Jay Johnson Composer
James Fox Composer
Stephanie Stein Crease Notes Editing
Leon Pober Composer
Bill Hayes Composer
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