Just in time for Christmas, Jim Babjak is pleased to announce the release of “It’s Love on Christmas Day” b/w “Christmas Eve, Without Your Love.” Music and lyrics for both songs were written by Jim, known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter in The Smithereens. In keeping with the holiday spirit, the double-sided picture sleeve of the 45 RPM record features a young Jimmy and his brother playing their new instruments under the family Christmas tree.
Jim reflects on what inspired him when composing “It’s Love on Christmas Day:” “For me, Christmas has always been a time of peace and reflection. And in this time of COVID-19 and divisiveness, the song’s message couldn’t be more simple: It’s love, we need it every day.”
This single was co-produced by Jim Babjak and Kurt Reil (The Grip Weeds) at The House of Vibes in Highland Park, NJ. It’s the same studio where several Smithereens’ albums were also recorded (Meet The Smithereens, B-Sides The Beatles, The Smithereens Play Tommy, Christmas with The Smithereens.) Jim and Kurt were developing their working relationship at this time, while also putting together some tracks for Jim’s side project, Buzzed Meg. “Tracking the lead vocal became second nature to me,” said singer/drummer Kurt Reil, who also engineered, mixed, and mastered the tracks. “Thankfully, Jim approved!” Featuring Jim on guitar, bass, and b/g vocals, with Kurt on vocals and percussion, this song deserves to be a modern classic! “Christmas Eve, Without Your Love” took a more indirect route to Santa’s workshop. Jim recorded the demo while out on the road with The Smithereens and had Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan) add cello to the song. When he came back from the tour, Jim took the tape to Kurt to be transferred and overdubbed and proclaimed, “Let’s make a record out of this!” “I thought he was joking until I played that cassette tape,” Kurt remembers.” Those cellos had me from the first second.” The result, Jim’s Christmas-themed lead vocal and guitar, together with Kurt’s symphonic-like percussion, is an instant Holiday favorite.
Jim’s new Christmas record comes following a period of sadness and ultimately, triumph for The Smithereens. After vocalist’s Pat DiNizio untimely passing in 2017, founding members – Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros - decided to carry on their shared musical legacy with guest vocalists, including Marshall Crenshaw, Susan Cowsill of The Cowsills, and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms. In 2019, The Smithereens were honored by the Grammy Museum in the “New Jersey Legends” exhibit and inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. And now, in 2022, they’re celebrating their 42nd anniversary as a band, with new music and more touring to come in 2023.
“It’s Love on Christmas Day” b/w “Christmas Eve, Without Your Love” is released on The Smithereens’ own Tollie Records label. The digital release is available on all streaming and download outlets. The limited edition 7" vinyl 45 RPM single is available via The Smithereens’ Store. Merry Christmas!
Listen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61yce-x9lxY
Buy it here https://www.officialsmithereens.com/store