While browsing the used CD's in the small Holiday section at PDQ in December 1993, one of the clerks came over and put out a short stack of discs, maybe 10 or 12 of them, that someone had just traded in and among them was this disc:
The first three tracks rank among my favorites and at $4, I thought the disc would be a good addition to my growing Christmas music library so I added it to my own short stack of discs to buy, coming in just under my allotted Christmas music budget of fifty bucks. So I put this disc in for my 15-minute drive home, singing along loudly with the first three tracks and totally digging the James Brown track which I don't think I had heard before. And then track 5 come on and I am blown away. It's still playing when I pull into the carport and I turn the engine off but leave the key in so the CD keeps playing until the song ends about a minute later. By that time, I knew that "Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas"* was going to be the final song on that year's almost-finished Holiday Mixtape.
*The version of the song, heard in the video above and included on the PLG Holiday Sampler is my favorite version. E aka Mark Oliver Everett later recorded as The Eels and rerecorded the song as an all-out rocker in 1998 with a new line in the lyric just before the guitar solo: "Baby Jesus, born to rock" which always floats across my mind when I see Nativity scenes out in public. There's also a live version recorded in 1998 but not released until 2002.