Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Photobucket Photobucket

Montreal Sound - Silent Night Suite (1977, NSB/Promo-Son)

With Christmas being the most disco-fied holiday of them all, I couldn't possibly let this year go by without putting up some Christmas disco. After all, if I'm going to hear another damn Christmas carol this year, might as well make it disco..

This years selection is from a rather interesting Canadian disco album by Montreal Sound, entitled "Christmas Disco Party." Montreal Sound, perhaps best known for their single "Music", was largely a guise for producer Gerry Bribosia. Bribosia was a pretty well traveled musician/producer in Quebec who had been in a group called Les Miserables and as far as disco goes, had released some singles under his own name. One of those was a little novelty record called "Dracula Disco," which also involved (at least in it's French version) a popular (and these days infamous) Montreal DJ and TV personality, Alain Montpetit.

This record though was apparently a pretty big deal, with the album credits noting: "this album took six months of work and more than 400 hours of studio time". Among the 60 different musicians involved, the album also featured some notable Quebec singers such as Charles Linton, Raymond Berthiaume, Suzanne Beausoleil and Ranee Lee on lead vocals. In addition to all that, this album had evidently been released under at least two other editions, in French as "Noël Disco" and in English as "Canadian Christmas," which also used a different album cover (which nonetheless also involved a sexy, blonde model cavorting with a hilarious fake-bearded Santa)..You can view the cover shots of the initial release here and here

Although I initially bought the album just for the awesome, cheese-tastic cover, the album's actually grown on me somewhat over the last week. Of all of the songs though, my favourite would have to be the Side Two opener "Silent Night Suite" featuring Ranee Lee on lead vocals who begins the song with a brief, but expressive, soulful vocal that immediately sets this one apart from all the others. Overall, it's a rather nice respite from the overly bright, overly cheery sort of thing one would normally associate with a Christmas disco record. Not that it isn't all of those things in it's own right, but with Ranee Lee's vocals setting the stage among the exquisite orchestration, and the track bring largely instrumental, there's a slightly gentler, even sublime pace and feel to it, which is especially evident on the nice "Ave Maria" in the middle of the medley..

Both producer Gerry Bribosia and Ranee Lee are still active these days, with Bribosia still active on the studio side of things, and Ranee Lee having become one of Canada's top jazz vocalists. Still recording, performing and even teaching, Lee became a member of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour, in 2006.

Anyway, with all of that said, enjoy, and to everyone out there: Merry Christmas and happy holidays all around..

LINKS:
MONTREAL SOUND @ DISCOGS
CANADIAN POP ENCYCLOPEDIA - GERRY BRIBOSIA
GERRY BRIBOSIA @ DISCOGS
RANEE LEE @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE
JUSTIN TIME RECORDS - RANEE LEE

CATEGORIES: MINI DELIVERIES, CAN-CON DISCO

6 comments:

Kevin said...

WoW!

This is what I call a Christmas gift! Thank you!

Merry Xmas and happy 2008,

Kevin

Tommy said...

Hey Kevin, no problem, I'm glad you enjoyed! Marry Christmas and Happy 2008 to you as well! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,Tommy!
Feliz Navidad = Merry Christmas!
Pelusa...

Tommy said...

Hello Pelusa,

Feliz Navidad/(belated) Merry Christmas to you as well! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tommy,
i'm a big fan of your blog and also of that kind of stuff.

I have one wish for 2008!!

If you have the possibility, please offer the 12 inch versions of:

Jupiter Beyond - The River Drive . B-Side is instrumental.

It's a phenomenal disco-track from 1979 on PYE - Records.

There is no chance to get it anywhere else.

All the best for 2008.
greetings
volker

Tommy said...

Hello Volker,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep that one in mind next time I do some record shopping..

All the best to you as well :)

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