Christmas with the Beatles

The Beatles’ Christmas records might be some of the least known Fab Four recordings, to the general public anyway. Starting in 1963 and running through 1969, the Beatles sent a flexi-disc recording with a Christmas message out to its fan club members in the U.K. and the U.S. When the Beatles broke up in 1970, the seven recordings were compiled onto a full-length album.

Aside from a version of “Christmas Time is Here Again” that was commercially released in the mid-1990s as part of the “Anthology” collection, the Beatles’ Christmas fan club records have never been officially reissued. Maybe one Christmas Beatles fans will finally get a special gift from the Fab Four. Until then, you can find the Beatles’ Christmas Records on YouTube. We’ve collected them here for your listening pleasure.

The Beatles’ Christmas Record (1963) – The lads ad-lib their way through this one with a few renditions of “Good King Wenceslas” and close out with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo.” Yup, that’s right, Ringo.

Another Beatles Christmas Record (1964) – Beatlemania was in full swing when this Christmas recording was released. Notable for the inclusion of “Jingle Bells” and for the Fab Four letting their guard down in the studio and having some fun while addressing their fans.

The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record (1965) – The third time is the charm, right? The Beatles serve up some off-the-cuff renditions of “Yesterday” and a poem entitled, “Christmas Comes But Once a Year.”

The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record (1966) – This might be one of The Beatles’ most quirky Christmas recordings. It’s a mixture of imaginative skits and song. There’s no way this would have ever made its way onto a Beatles studio album, but it seems just right for a fan-club recording.

Christmas Time is Here Again (1967) – This imaginative Christmas recording pits several fictitious bands against one another as they audition for a BBC radio show. (The Beatles, by that time, had enjoyed numerous radio specials of their own.)

The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record (1968) – The Fab Four was heavily into experimentation with aural collages (see “Revolution #9” from The White Album) and this Christmas recording is a pastiche of weird sounds and musical snippets, with messages from the Beatles interspersed throughout.

The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record (1969) – The final Beatles Christmas record focuses mostly on John and Yoko, with a visit to their home. Ringo and George are heard only briefly, while Paul croons a short song, “This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas,” which seems to be made up on the spot.

Bonus Track: All I Want For Christmas BBC Medley – Here is the Fab Four having a lot of fun in the BBC studios and celebrating Christmas with their fans listening in on BBC Radio.