The Salsoul Orchestra – Christmas Jollies (1976)
The Salsoul Orchestra
1976 Salsoul Records SZS-5507
A1 The Little Drummer Boy 4:57
A2 Sleigh Ride 3:03
A3 Silent Night 1:05
A4 Merry Christmas All 3:28
A5 Christmas Time 2:30
A6 There’s Someone Who’s Knocking 3:59
Christmas Medley (12:08)
B1.a Joy To The World
B1.b Deck The Halls
B1.c O Come All Ye Faithful
B1.d Jingle Bells
B1.e Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
B1.f Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
B1.g The Christmas Song
B1.h White Christmas
B1.i Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
B1.j I’ll Be Home For Christmas
B1.k Winter Wonderland
B1.l The First Nöel
B1.m We Wish You A Merry Christmas
New Year’s Medley (6:46)
B2.a Auld Lang Salsoul
B2.b I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover
B2.c Alabama Jubilee
B2.d Oh, Dem Golden Slippers
B2.e God Bless America
Recorded At – Sigma Sound Studios
Mastered At – Frankford/Wayne Mastering Labs
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Salsoul Record Corp.
Copyright (c) – Salsoul Record Corp.
Distributed By – Caytronics Corporation
Manufactured By – Caytronics Corporation
Alto Saxophone – John Bonnie
Bass – Gordon Edwards
Chorus [Children’s] – Santa’s Little Helpers
Congas – Larry Washington, “Chiwawa”
Drums – Earl Young
Guitar – Norman “The Harris Machine” Harris
Guitar, Banjo – Ronnie James
Illustration [Backliner] – Yvonne Ortiz
Keyboards – “Cotton” Kent*
Photography By [Cover] – Joel Brodsky
Producer – Vincent Montana, Jr.
Strings, Horns – Don Renaldo And His Little Helpers
Trumpet [Solos] – Evan Solot
Tuba – Eddie Moore (2)
Vibraphone [Vibes], Chimes, Marimba, Timpani, Percussion, Bells – Vincent Montana, Jr.
Vocals – Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Evette Benton, The Salsoul Singers
Salsoul Records SZS-5507 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; AUdioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on very light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag & Rename
It might be easy to dismiss this Salsoul Christmas album as a disposable, vapid cash-grab because, let’s face it, that’s the essence of most Christmas albums. And when it first occurred to me to do a post on this one, I confess it came with a chuckle and I wasn’t sure if I would be “liking this ironically” or sincerely digging it, having not played it in a million years. This album was such a big seller for Salsoul that even non-music heads like my parents had a copy around the house when I was growing up (they don’t recall it, however, so it may have been given to them by their friend who ran a record store in Jersey and later worked for a distributor).* I still have the jacket for that family heirloom (the record went missing), but this is super common record and I picked one up in decent shape super cheap this year. And you know what? It doesn’t suck! Sure, disco versions of Christmas classics can be considered “novelty music”, but the level of professionalism in the arrangements and the playing – this is the Salsoul house band, after all – make it hard not to groove out to them. “Sleigh Ride” might be my favorite of the classics here. There are even a few original Christmas tunes that aren’t half bad – in fact, “Merry Christmas All” is just a darned good song. The Christmas and New Year’s medleys are bombastic and over the top, which is actually as they should be for a record like this. I could personally do without the finale of God Bless America, but it’s fine, I just always remember to spit contemptuously off to the side whenever it comes on. Which makes for an odd sight at Christmas parties and I apologize to everyone who’s had to maneuver around my saliva on their kitchen or dance floor.
This was one of the fastest vinyl transfers I’ve ever done, and a voice coil on my fancy headphones broke in the middle of working on it, so you may hear some blemishes. If any of Santa’s elves out there want to donate to the blog (Patreon button below, or link in the top left), it would help expedite a repair!
Merry Christmas to all and don’t forget to get up off of that thang and dance till you feel better!
*Trivia note about the cover. The copy my family had was the more common version where “Dance Your Ass Off” as been entirely censored and changed to just “Dance to Salsoul” on the back of the model’s shirt. As you can see, my current copy has the *partially* censored and nonsensical version that says “Dance Your As”. And I might as well mention that, adding to the quick-cash feeling of a holiday album, the cover photo is a ‘family friendly’, pre-Photoshop modification of the same one gracing the previous Salsoul Orchestra album, “Nice and Naasty”…
Thank you very much Dr. Vibes. I love good/different Christmas music and this one qualifies for sure.