Three under the tree, Vol. 14

Tonight, we have three from another album you really ought to get.

It isn’t Christmas at our house without “My Gift to You,” by Alexander O’Neal, from 1988. It’s a terrific mix of classic late ’80s funk and soul and a more traditional big band sound.

At the time this was released, co-producers Jimmy Jam — James Harris III — and Terry Lewis were working almost solely with O’Neal and Janet Jackson, whose star was peaking.

Jam and Lewis — the legendary Flyte Tyme team — wrote these three original tunes. They also played backup, did most of the arrangements and co-produced. The music is great, and O’Neal’s smooth, silky high tenor is the icing on the cake.

These tunes — more of the ’80s funk and soul than the big band stuff — may be new to you, but they have been a part of our holidays for 20 years.

alexonealxmaslp.jpg

“My Gift to You”

“Our First Christmas”

“Remember Why (It’s Christmas)”

All by Alexander O’Neal, from “My Gift to You,” 1988.

If you’re wondering, O’Neal, now 54, remains active, though he’s long been more popular in the UK than in the States.

Enjoy. More to come.

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Filed under Christmas music, December 2007, Sounds

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