Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ray Conniff and The Ray Conniff Singers - The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings (2016)

If you're like me, then around this time of year you try to recapture a taste of Christmastimes past. That desire led to the purchase of this two disc compilation of Ray Conniff Christmas albums from Real Gone Music.

The following three albums were originally released in 1959, 1962, and 1965, respectively. I wasn't around during those years and I don't know if I actually heard a lot of these arrangements in my early years, but in my mind I did. The latter album adopts a more folky sound to adapt to the times and even includes a trombone solo from Conniff himself.

As a teenager, I was surprised to learn The Ray Conniff Singers made albums that weren't Christmas music (still don't think I've heard them, though).

Peaks on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:
  • Christmas With Conniff #14 in 1959
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas #32 in 1962
  • Here We Come A-Caroling #15 on the Christmas Album Chart in early 1966.

Tracks: Conniff had a formula and stuck to it. That formula made him a lot of money, but the recipe goes stale over the course of these 31 tracks. All tracks are highly recommended for Christmas music shuffles/playlists/mix tapes, but 90+ minutes straight? A bit much for this guy.

Overall, disc 1 is preferable to disc 2. If you like cheese on your Christmas dinner table, check out the groovy Joy To The World.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: You'd think that if I purchased CDs for nostalgia, then I'd have specific memories attached, but I gots nuthin'. But I'm reminded of this 1974 special markets album (Firestone? Goodyear?) which, ironically, doesn't include a Conniff track.

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