The Mystery of Christmas Disco (mp3s)

Sleigh Ride (2:11)
Jingle Bells (3:09)
Jingle Bell Rock (3:17)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (3:04)
Joy to the World (2:59)
The Little Drummer Boy (4:00)
Winter Wonderland (3:30)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (3:30)
Silver Bells (3:38)

I’d like to be the last word on the subject of DISCO NOEL and CHRISTMAS DISCO, as I’ve seen some knowledgeable folks get confused about the difference between these two albums. There isn’t one. They’re the same, apart from a different track listing. To prove this, I’ve snuck one track from CHRISTMAS DISCO into this transfer of DISCO NOEL, because my copy of CHRISTMAS DISCO was cleaner.

This same album also exists as YULETIDE DISCO, with the same cover and track order. If you need any of the three, you’re in the right place.
You want and need this album. No holiday party, compilation CD, or broadcast is complete without at least one of these tracks. Part of the reason people debate the two albums involved is because they’re that beloved.

So how did this holiday reissue come to pass? CHRISTMAS DISCO was released in 1978 by Springboard International and credited to “The Mistletoe Disco Band.” No musicians are credited, but an engineering credit goes to Steve Lisi.

For DISCO NOEL, released by Pickwick International in 1979, the band is known as “Mirror Image” and no recording credits appear. Picwick put out several albums credited to “Mirror Image,” including DISCOPEDIA and several “Sounds Like” albums that were close-copy cover versions of popular artists.

As a discount record distributor, Pickwick was buying premade tracks, many of which seem to have originated in Nashville using an array of unnamed studio musicians. These turn up with names like “Top Hits” and “Great Sounds.” Whoever bought the music could call the band anything they wanted, and this ready-made music is prevalent on children’s records of the late 70s. I’ve heard the same disco covers of “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters” on four different albums so far, including the “Irwin the Disco Duck” series.

This stuff is essentially library music similar to the tracks used by production companies and radio stations. After paying a one-time licensing fee, you could use the music as often as you wanted.

Most of the disco and “Sounds Like” albums lack inspiration, but that’s not the case with DISCO NOEL. Instead of aping popular songs, the arrangers and musicians were given the freedom to update traditional Christmas songs. The result is energetic, bouncy, driving disco beats with innovative melodies and vocals. These musicians wanted a chance to cut loose, and DISCO NOEL was that chance.
I put a fair amount of love into this transfer, and I know this isn't the only version of this album you'll find online. You'll hear quite a few selections from the album tonight (December 5) on Hear It Wow from 7-9PM.
Site Note
As I'm well past the 1GB limit the nice folks at FileDen provide, I've had to delete some older files to make room for the new releases. This means there are bad links in some of the older posts that I need to ferret out.
Some things will always be here, such as MUZAK and the Greater Bostonians. Until I can aquire more bandwidth, everything else is a question mark, though we can all agree that the General Tire Disco Version needs to stay. I'll take any suggestions from readers on what to do, as well as requests for things that should stay or go.


Meggie said...

THANK YOU so much for this. I've been looking for this so long. My friend found it at a thrift store years ago. Been looking for it since, but in CD format.

The Oddio Overplay Team said...

Hey, thanks for the info on these releases. Pickwick's Disco Noel is the one in my house. Grew up with it and still love it, no matter how unhip it may be to cherish disco. Cheers!

Derek Gerry said...

There's nothing unhip about Disco, especially Christmas disco.

Anonymous said...

This is available on Itunes as "Christmas Disco Party" by Santa and the Dance Squad.

Quadro said...

I have a copy of this album (mine is a "Christmas Disco") on 8-track that I found at a garage sale years ago. When I was still living at home (with a working 8-track player) it would go in my stereo at the beginning of December and stay there through mid-January.

A couple years later I found an MP3 copy that was labeled as "Disco Noel" and I've been wondering the story behind the two names for some time. Thanks for the info.

CameraCapers said...

I had this same LP... I loved it, but misplaced it sometime back... I am so glad for the memories you brought back for me!

Anonymous said...

you are AMAZING!!! my grandfather bought this for my dad a loooooong time ago and we would play it every christmas while opening gifts. my dad lost the record a few years ago and now doesnt even have a record player.

this year, my boyfriend went on a mission looking for the tracks for me and said he found most. i decided to google one last time myself. and here they are! you have them all!!! it will be so nice to hear the music at my parents house again like when my brothers, sister and i were kids. =)

you are amazing! you made my 2008 christmas and probably several more christmas's to come!

Anonymous said...

you might be interested in this link:


Anonymous said...

is there anyway you could re-post these songs (exceeded bandwidth)? i discovered your blog after christmas, but christmas disco is perfectly appropriate for any time of the year

Ramona Miles said...

Charles Dudley Warner - The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its valu

Poguego said...

OMGOMGOMG I've been thinking of this album for years. Merry Christmas to me! Thanks for the tracks and the background was diamonds in the proverbial stocking. I must have been extra good this year. *jingle bells... jingle bells*

Anonymous said...

I would assume that it is obvious to you now that Yuletide Disco is not the same as Disco Noel and Christmas Disco...

Regardless, thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this, you have made my parents extremely happy! Our tape of this broke and they were so sad lol so once again, THANK YOU!!!!! have a great holiday!! :)

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Anonymous said...

Hello, I was wondering who I could ask permission from for using one of the sound tracks in the "Disco Noel" album from Pickwicks records. It's for use in ecards, created by my company for free distribution by our clients to thier friends on our website.

jeffm12012 said...

I've owned Springboard/Mistletoe's "More Christmas Disco" for years, and was surprised to find some of the tracks on another LP I bought recently. It's called "Season's Greetings From 3M" and was released in 1979 by the "Sound Products Division" of 3M Company to promote "Cantata," an office-music service similar to Muzak; which they were then offering. The tracks are credited to Odyssey Productions, Inc; whoever they were...
I remember a local radio station using some of this material as production music on various holiday ads. Anyway, hope this info may be of some use in tracing the history of these very familiar tunes.

Andrew Hales said...

Nice post, enjoyed reading it.

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