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A Boston Rock ChristmasI hesitated to include this rare, raucous slab of vinyl in my Top 20 Albums list: I didn't want to taunt you, dear reader, with a brilliant record you'll probably never find. But, I did, because it's that freakin' good. Just five songs long and essentially just a local Beantown record, A Boston Rock Christmas (1983) smokes from start to finish, covering everything from lubricious roots rock (Sonny Columbus) to techno pop (Jeff & Jane) to shambolic punk (Native Tongue) to blistering hardcore (SSD). Making their recorded debuts are the Del Fuegos (backing Columbus) and the band Christmas (how screamingly appropriate), who later evolved into Combustible Edison.

The only original song on A Boston Rock Christmas is Sonny Columbus' twisted gem "That Punchbowl Full Of Joy." I've dug up little about Mr. Columbus other than the fact that he later fronted a novelty act called the Swinging Erudites (circa 1985) and was characterized at the time as a "deranged and highly active alcoholic." That's not hard to believe given the horny inebriation that gleefully fills his "Punchbowl." Though Columbus insists, "Little Jesus, he's my man," the song is peppered with blasphemous Christmas puns (logs, balls, stockings) that jive perfectly with the Del Fuegos' noisy bump-and-grind. "I'll bring you back down to my manger," Sonny promises, "because at Christmas time no one's a stranger." Wow!

A Boston Rock Christmas was issued only on vinyl and has been out-of-print for more than twenty years. But, it's supremely worth tracking down - if possible. Though the EP has never been reissued on CD, "That Punchbowl Full Of Joy" was included on Ho Ho Ho Spice (2002).

Albums Albums


  • Do You Hear What I Hear? (Native Tongue)
  • Jingle Bells (Jeff & Jane)
  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas (SSD)
  • O Holy Night (Christmas)
  • That Punchbowl Full Of Joy (Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos) star Top 100 Song

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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