Friends and listeners,
I'd planned to wow you with a 3,000-word post on vinyl ripping this week, but a cursory inspection of my computer last night failed to turn it up, and I'm afraid it may have been deleted. Too much "holiday cheer" has erased the file name from my mind. I'll see if it doesn't show itself over the weekend.
I've made a change in the programming schedule, and I'll be doing a salute to Winter and New Year's Eve in lieu of a year in review. Seems to me I just did one of those in September. Maybe next week. Maybe next September.
Downloads should be restored tomorrow. If they're not, it means another free hosting provider is sick of me. Didn't we start the year on this note?
In the coming year, there will be some changes to this blog. It will continue to be home to the Greater Bostonians and the MUZAK Appreciation Society, but my other MP3 hostings may find a new home. Much of that is in development right now, and when I know more, I'll share.
I've been meaning to give the show a proper podcast for some time, and this is likely to be the outlet for that. I'm planning to cut the best hour out of each two-hour show so that you'll have something of decent quality that doesn't take all day to download.
That's it for this week. If you're still in need of a resolution you can keep, here are three good ones:
1. Shop at an independent record store at least once every three months.
2. Listen to a new podcast or an Internet radio station at least once a week.
3. Give generously to the nice folks at WFMU. It's almost that time again.
Thanks to everyone who listened, commented, dropped me an e-mail or dropped by the studio. A very special thanks to Otis Fodder for his tireless work on this year's 365 Days Project, one of the best examples you'll find of what the Internet can do to inform and entertain.
Have a merry one. Hear you in '08.
Friends and listeners,
Posted by HearItWow at 7:03 AM
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.
Posted by HearItWow at 6:46 AM