Thursday, December 18, 2008
Christmas x 2
Another of my favorite Christmas LPs, Noel! Noel! is little more than a hodge podge of different artists from a bygone era. What makes this such an incredible collection, is the range of artists represented. What seems as a throwaway from the catacombs of Sony Records, is in reality, a brilliantly calculated tome for the season.
Lets start with the cover. As if the advent of the birth of the Savior isn't reason enough to celebrate, the repetitive Noel! Noel! (with exclamations) surely drives the point home. And the generic front door visual doesn't begin to give this amazing record its due.
That said, let's review, shall we?
Nothing says Christmas more than a stiff egg nog and Steve and Edie belting out 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. This Borscht Belt duo has me craving Christmas ham and a suite at the Nevele.
I am especially fond of Ande Kostelanetz's spirited orchestral rendition of 'Sleigh Ride'. I can just feel the leather of the cracking whip. Ouch! Hurts so good!
We follow that with The New York Philharmonic, under direction of the legendary Leonard Bernstein delivering a triumphant and angelic version of the holiday opus, 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. A nice job for a song that is approximately 11 stanzas too long.
Not to be outdone, my favorite track on the album is the sappy yet haunting 'Ring Christmas Bells', performed by the Ray Coniff Singers. The Major/Minor 7th chords supply just the right creepiness that enables this to sound like it ought to be on the soundtrack for the Exorcist. Move over Mike Oldfield.
If that wasn't a perfect way to close this magnificent album, then Carol Burnett's (yes, Carol Burnett) performance of 'The Christmas Song' surely is.
I'm so glad we had this time together.
I'm just sayin'.
Ray Coniff Singers- Christmas Medley (Mid 60's?)
Steve & Edie Sock Pupets- Sleigh Ride (2007)
Johnny Mathis- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (1993 TV Special)