December 17, 2012
So, I know, I have not blogged a post in months. Changing jobs can do that. But I knew I had to come back for the annual Christmas top 5.
I love Bacharach tunes at any time of the year so why not at Christmas? I guess Burt was trying for Christmas immortality with this tune. Maybe it was popular when it came out but I had never heard it until last year when I came across an old LP of A&M Christmas songs, which included this number. Here it is as performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass from Herb’s Christmas Album, which I later picked up (Herb was the A in A&M, just so you know).
December 21, 2011
So, what records have I put up as Christmas decorations this year?
December 13, 2011
Dan Hicks did it too. Did what, you ask? Record a Christmas album, that’s what. His came out last year and features this laid back scat version of Carol Of The Bells. Close your eyes if you don’t dig the animation and just unwind to this carol.
August 23, 2011
Yes, I waited in line, and yes it was worth it.
For this year’s Save the Children booksale at UWA I rocked up just after 12.30pm to stake a place in line. I was 6th at this point and with only one extra person joining someone in front of me I got to be 7th inside the sale and certainly I was first to the boxes of records. Read the rest of this entry »
March 28, 2011
Those were words that I never thought I would say while record hunting, but I did. I have so many almost vinyl triptychs, where I have two records with a similar cover but lack the third, and that Cliff album that I saw over the weekend would have completed one such display, but oh well. Read the rest of this entry »
February 7, 2011
Went record hunting yesterday at the Belmont swap meet and came away with the debut album by the Specials (why was Elvis Costello chosen to produce that album? Never really thought of him as being a ska man Was it because his first album cover featured a two tone like design? Just a thought), as well as an album by Basil Brush with music by George Martin (could it be that George Martin?). Almost brought home a soundtrack to the Black Hole, but in another case of misplaced records this sleeve (complete with a booklet of photos from the film) contained the Supremes’ Christmas album. Now how did someone get those two mixed up? Read the rest of this entry »
December 16, 2010
Today is a classic that I look forward to being able to play every year. I suspect that this album and the songs on it are more well known in the US than elsewhere, as I have heard that the television movie that this comes from gets a regular screening at this time of year.
I am referring to the album A Charlie Brown. No, please, relax; this is not a silly song like the Chipmunks were from earlier in the top 5. This work is by one of my favourite jazz pianists, Vince Guaraldi, whose melancholic lilting tones are so haunting.
He composed the tunes on this album and did some reworkings of a few Christmas tunes as well. Some of the original tunes were used again and again on later Peanuts films/soundtracks, such as Linus and Lucy, which is easily one of my favourite pieces by Vince, and you can listen to that at any time of the year.
But to be able to listen to it at Christmas, along with the festive themed tunes is a bonus. And yeah, there is an air of sadness about some tunes, some wistfulness in the playing which is a key feature of Vince, but as this album is a look at Christmas through the eyes of the knowing Peanuts gang, it is appropriate. Christmas is meant to be happy, but you can’t have the happy without the sad; the joy without the despair; the sweet without a little touch of sour. Otherwise, how would we ever be able to tell the difference?
Anyhow, I expecially love this Christmas album. I hope you enjoy this selection from it.
<disclaimer – you might have to listen to it at YouTube – “Sorry about that Chief”>