Musical Advent Calendar: December 1

I’ve done this once every few years and feel as though I’m well overdue to do some blogging here, so here we go with my Musical Advent Calendar. I’ll post a holiday-themed song once a day through December 25th, and blather on a bit for most of them, I’m sure.

I thought we would kick off with a song that would set the tone for our little musical journey, so today, I give you the incomparable Kate Bush singing “December Will Be Magic Again.”

Kate Bush is, and forever shall be, inexorably linked to my record store days. It was an indie CD store, one owner and one employee, me. I worked there pretty much all day, every day, oftentimes running the store by myself.

Our shop had the finest selection of imports and “rare live” albums in the area, and one could not help but become an expert working there. The store was regularly visited by quirky audiophiles hoping for the latest digitally remastered Sensational Alex Harvey Band CD or a “rare live” recording of a classic Pink Floyd show.   We only sold CDs, no vinyl, and we carried a few fanzines and other imported ephemera, like Melody Maker or NME. I basically had a job where I sat around and listening to music of my choosing, while talking about music all day and helping people find music. Kind of the best job ever, really, at least back in the day. The rise of the Internet pretty effectively crushed that option for everyone, but that’s a different topic. Let’s get back to Kate.

When it came to Kate Bush, our store had the best selection of all things Kate in perhaps not just Northeastern Ohio, but in the whole state. Signed posters on the walls dedicated to the owner, more Kate Bush rare live imports than you knew existed, current and back copies of Homeground, the classic Kate Bush fanzine – you name it, we had it or we could get it for you. If the owner was working, there was an 85% chance of hearing Kate when you walked into the store. I mean, not only was it a lot of Kate to be exposed to, it meant a lot of exposure to other Kateophiles. I had to become fluent in the ways of Kate, and the more time one spends listening to Ms. Bush, the more one can appreciate, and quite possibly become deeply enthusiastic about “our Kate.”

“December Will Be Magic Again” was one of those elusive Kate Bush tracks that was really hard to track down for a long time.  A single released in 1980, this wasn’t available on CD until the 1990 release of the Kate Bush box set, This Woman’s Work (it also included “Under the Ivy,” another rare KB gem). I played this track a lot that year, and we sold a lot of copies of that box set. It’s definitely a good one to start us off.

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