Recorded to benefit the Special Olympics, this has some of the biggest names in contemporary music, most covering seasonal favorites with mixed success. Outstanding tracks include The Pretenders "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," with Chrissie Hynde giving a touching performance. Run-D.M.C.'s topical "Christmas in Hollis" relies heavily on sampling "Back Door Santa," and may head you toward the dance floor. Alison Moyet's stately version of "The Coventry Carol" is beautifully haunting. Only the Material Girl, Madonna, embarrasses herself with an overly campy "Santa Baby".
Flashback: Best of .38 Special is a terrific compilation of the Southern rock group's biggest hits, including "Caught Up in You," "If I'd Been the One," "Back Where You Belong," "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys," and the non-LP soundtrack contribution "Teacher Teacher." Since Flashback was released in 1987, it doesn't contain their biggest hit, 1989's syrupy ballad "Second Chance," but it remains a comprehensive overview of their best moments, and makes a convincing case that they were the last great Southern rock singles band.
As you sit down on Christmas Day at a table groaning with festive goodies, what do you ask yourself?