Title: Newest Album in Top 300
Hop to: 
Views:475     
New Topic New Poll
<<Previous ThreadNext Thread>>
Page 1 / 1    
AuthorComment
SinterKlaus
 Author    



Rank:Bronze

Posts: 24

(Date Posted:11/01/2017 12:25)

Chip, just curious - which album in your top 300 was initially released most recently.  New Xmas albums are released every year - do they ever crack your top 300 list or do you cut it off at a certain year (and when did the golden age of Xmas music end?)
usertype:3
Christmas Music Guru
1# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:11/02/2017 01:17)


Tom,

The Golden Age of Christmas music was from the early 1950s, thru the entire decade of the 1960s, and then ending in the early 1970s.

And no, I have no date restrictions on what albums can enter my
Top 500. The problem is simply that new Christmas albums past this time period, with very few exceptions, just can't compare.

If you want a good example of one of those aforementioned rare exceptions that made it, it's Richard Clayderman's 1985 Christmas album, A Romantic Christmas, which comes in at #157.


usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

CluelessInSeattle
2# 



Rank:Platinum

Posts:244

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:11/11/2017 22:15)

Gee, what about the 40s when I was a kid?   Bing Crosby's "White Christmas, Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" and Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" seem to me like they are what kicked off the golden age of popular recorded Christmas music.  Do you exclude the 40s because of the limitations of the recording technology back in those days?
usertype:3 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

Christmas Music Guru
3# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:11/12/2017 01:44)


Just like the Golden Age of Hollywood (for movies), the Golden Age of Christmas music, or any Golden Age for that matter, does NOT mean there are not examples/exceptions before or after the generally acknowledged time frame of their respective Golden Age periods. Good golly, I really didn't think I even had to point that out; I would have thought it would be assumed.

And no, I do not exclude the 1940s because of the limitations of the "recording technology." I exclude it because outside of a very few examples, there was practically nothing.

What's more, even the examples that you mentioned, with the lone exception of Bing Crosby, don't qualify. Nat King Cole's classic version of 'The Christmas Song" was not the 1946 version (which wasn't even released on a full-length Christmas album), but rather the 1961 version he did with Ralph Carmichael. That's the version most well-known and loved today. As for Judy Garland, she never in her career even released a Christmas album. But what's more, her original version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was not recorded for release on record, but rather for the classic film Meet Me In St. Louis.

In addition, even the 1940s Christmas recordings of two of the titans of the genre, Fred Waring and Robert Shaw, were primitive (a word Shaw used himself in an interview) original versions of their later re-recordings in the 1950s.

So emphatically no, the 1940s are categorically not a part of the period of what is regarded as the Golden Age of Christmas music.



usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

CluelessInSeattle
4# 



Rank:Platinum

Posts:244

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:11/12/2017 12:03)

Thanks, Chip.

So then,  could those 1940s Christmas albums of 78 rpm recordings, like Robert Shaw's Christmas Hymns and Carols or Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas be regarded as the  precursors or harbingers of the Golden Age of Christmas Music?  Perhaps The Bronze Age of Christmas Music?  ;-)


(Message edited by CluelessInSeattle On 11/12/2017 14:13)
usertype:3 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

Christmas Music Guru
5# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:11/12/2017 22:20)


The 1940s were basically the "Dawn of the Golden Age of Christmas music." And y
es, these 1940s releases (on 78s, 45s and 10" LPs) were indeed precursors to their later classic 12" LP incarnations.

Fred Waring and Robert Shaw re-recorded all of their 1940s tracks in the '50s (Waring again in mono in 1954 and 1955 for his 1955 12" LP version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas; and Shaw in stereo in 1957 for his 1958 12" LP version of Christmas Hymns And Carols, Volume 1). As for Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas album, the 1955 12" LP version contained four new songs that were recorded in the early '50s, and the other eight songs were retained from the '40s.


usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
6# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:89

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/08/2018 15:09)


Hello Chip,

This was such a great question proposed by Tom and one that I have been curious about myself. Do any albums released after the Golden Age of Christmas qualify to make your top 300 or 500 list? You have pretty much answered that question, but let me say that I for one find the fact that your list almost exclusively concentrates on the Golden Age Of Christmas during the 1950's till the early seventies to be one of its best qualities, but like yourself Chip, I would hate to rule a great album out just because it was not recorded in that very iconic time period.

There is just something totally special and sonically unique about these albums. I do not think our love for them is merely for nostalgic reasons as I know many of these albums that I came to love, in fact most, were not albums that I grew up listening to as a youngster. Oh sure, there is a component of that as I grew up listening to Johnny Mathis Merry Christmas album and that of course brings back great memories and feelings of long ago, but I did not grow up on Mantovani, John Gary and of course the Maestro himself's masterpiece, Music Of Christmas and its spectacular follow-up, Hallelujah, yet these are some of the albums that I treasure the most. Yes indeed, surely Percy's great arranging on the Mathis album was burned into my brain early, but clearly I have sought out other albums by Frank DeVol, Jack Jones, and the Hollyridge Strings that I had no real prior experience listening to as a child.

I read a brilliant analysis by someone who speculated that part of the splendor of these albums is the way they were recorded themselves. He said that instead of the microphones being placed individually on each instrument, one microphone was on each section of the orchestra, like one for the saxes and one for the trombones and one for the violins etc. He said the sound you got by recording this way was a beautiful blend where one instrument might slightly stand out or disappear altogether, but it was richer and more like the natural sound you would hear if you were in front of the orchestra live.  A truly brilliant analysis of one of the many reasons that these fantastic albums from the Golden Age cannot be matched by modern recording engineers in my humble opinion.

Now having said the above and strongly believing that music geniuses like Percy and Monty only come along once in a lifetime or so I am going to go out on another limb and admit there are several albums that fall well outside the Golden Age Of Christmas that I think are splendid examples of having some of the great components that these albums had, great sound, great arrangers and truly great vocalists.

The first one is Michael Bublè's Christmas album from 2011, the only album in the history of the Billboard album chart to make the top ten every year for seven years in a row since its release. It is now sold almost 12 million copies worldwide and more importantly than its commercial prowess is the fact that it was cut "live on the floor" at the Capital Records Tower in Hollywood with the singer, rhythm section, orchestra and arranger all there in person at once, something that is almost never done anymore. Secondly, great arrangers like Patrick Williams, William Ross, and Chris Walden, who have worked with people like Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and Herb Alpert respectively, produced great arrangements harkening back to the Golden Age of Christmas. Just listen to Mr. Walden's fantastic brass charts on Jingle Bells with the Puppini Sisters doing their very best to spur on Mr. Bublè to do his best version of Bing's classic arrangement. Terrific stuff.

The second more "modern" classic, and God I hate to even use that word, would be Kenny Rogers Christmas album from 1981. The truly fantastic arranger Gene Page, who did both the iconic string and horn arrangements on You've Lost That Loving Feeling by the Righteous Brothers as well as Kenny Rogers own number one, Lady, is known for his intricate arranging style with strings and particularly French horns. People often forget that Kenny was once a well regarded jazz singer with a three octave vocal range and his version of O Holy Night shows his voice off to amazing effect with Mr. Page's truly stellar orchestral arrangement. There are a couple fantastic original songs on this classic album as well, Christmas Everyday, which is a beautifully written and melodically gorgeous song that you will have on repeat once you hear it. Kentucky Homemade Christmas is a sad song with a slightly upbeat melody that ends on a slightly hopeful note. Best country Christmas song since Merle Haggard's If We Make It Through December.

The last album is really a hidden gem from one of country music's best vocalists, Collin Raye. The Gift also features a 60 piece orchestra and was also recorded "live on the floor" in Nashville with the great piano player, John Hobbs producing and the brilliant arranger, Ron Huff, doing much of the orchestral work. His version of White Christmas features the seldom recorded opening verse about "being in Beverly Hills L.A." I love that opening verse and wish that more artists would include it in their respective versions of Irving Berlin's masterpiece. He has a couple of beautiful duets with his daughter on Away In A Manger and Silent Night, but the true highlights are a stellar vocal and separate instrumental version of The First Noel and one of the greatest versions of O Holy Night I have ever heard. I believe that only Johnny Mathis's iconic version with the great Percy Faith arrangement equals or surpasses this magnificent and glorious version by Collin Raye!

Please let me know what you think, Chip, as your taste and opinion on all such matters is always impeccable and without question.

Best regards,

Steve




(Message edited by rsteven On 01/08/2018 20:50)
usertype:3 tt= 0
Christmas Music Guru
7# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/09/2018 00:30)


That's correct, Steve; the reason why the albums from Christmas music's Golden Age tower over anything that came before or after, and their enduring legacy as iconic, classic and legendary, goes far beyond the myopic theory and/or simple-minded concept of mere nostalgia. The best way to explain it -- or better yet, the best analogy that I can give is something that the great Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in 1964 about defining the word obscenity: he didn't even try to define the word, but instead just laconically and intuitively said "I know it when I see it." Well, that's exactly how it is with albums from the Golden Age of Christmas music. A person might not be able to fully explain why they sound so different and so much better -- aside, of course, from the unassailable and prodigious talent of the recording artists who made them, but they just know they do. It's the same thing that has been said for many years about the superiority of MGM musicals over the musicals of any other movie studio during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The MGM musical just had a certain look, feel and sound to them that the other studios -- try as they might -- could never quite duplicate. There were so many reasons for this, not the least of which were the great MGM musical producers Arthur Freed and Joe Pasternak. As well as the roster of incredibly talented directors, actors and actresses that were contracted to MGM.

Anyway, going back to the superiority of Christmas music from its Golden Age, you wisely cited one of the many reasons yourself in the third paragraph of your previous post.

The difference with me and everyone else is that I have an incredibly huge collection. My
Top 500 is not my entire collection, but rather the best of thousands of Christmas albums that I have accumulated over the years. And while it's nice to have all this wonderful music, the dilemma for me is that I cannot play all the classic Christmas albums in my collection. So I wouldn't even begin to dedicate any precious listening time to contemporary Christmas music.

But yes, there is some very pleasant new/contemporary Christmas music out there today -- some of which you alluded to in your post; but as I've
said on the board in the past, there are periods of time in history when certain things just seem hit their artistic peak and are never equaled thereafter. For example: classical music (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), painters/sculptors (Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.), Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s and '40s, Television's Golden Age of the 1950s and '60s, and, of course, easy-listening and Christmas music's Golden Age which also was of the 1950s and '60s. Nothing that has come since, or will come in the future, will ever hold a candle to the artistic peaks in these respective arts. They are eras that will never be repeated or duplicated.

To quote a famous movie line from that legendary 1939 movie: "Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A civilization gone with the wind."







usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
8# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:89

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/09/2018 01:29)


Hello Chip,

That is such a great comparison you make between the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Christmas music in the 1950's and 1960's. My father was a television director for a period of time before the family got in the radio business and he and my mother would always talk about the old Hollywood system whereby the studios would nurture the stars and train and educate them in multiple skills like singing and dancing as well as acting. The writing was so incredible and the directors were not the slaves to CGI and computers like they are now.

Yes indeed, I remember back many years ago when I use to get really excited about the latest country music or pop Christmas album coming out, and now even though I do buy some of those albums, my real excitement and joy is finding out what absolute gems from the Golden Age of Christmas you are going to get released through Real Gone Music. Everything from this truly iconic time is better; bigger orchestra's, almost always far better voices and more natural sound. The new millennium just cannot hold a candle to the albums released during the Golden Age of Christmas.

In particular, I think the quote I borrow most from you when trying to describe the great Percy's Faith's magnum opus, Music Of Christmas, is where you say it sounds like his music is "piped down from heaven" and that it has a "heavenly, celestial" feel to it. As you so well say, its hard to put the beauty and passion of Percy's music into mere words but you articulate it better than anybody and I really treasure those liner notes you wrote for the Expanded Music Of Christmas release for RGM. I tell all my friends to read your liner notes first before they actually listen to the album.

I feel the same way about this Golden Age of Christmas. It just seems magical and unmatchable no matter how hard anybody tries. I thank God that you and Gordon have rescued this iconic music from being lost forever!

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 01/09/2018 01:33)
usertype:3 tt= 0
Christmas Music Guru
9# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/09/2018 20:47)


Thanks for promoting the Percy Faith CD with your friends, Steve, and for your ringing endorsement of my liner notes.

And that is correct what you said about the old Hollywood studio system. It is very easy for some folks today to decry the controlling nature of the old studio system and the powerful movie moguls that ran the studios like Louis B. Mayer, Sam Goldwyn, Jack Warner, William Fox, David O. Selznick, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn, Adolph Zukor, Carl Laemmle, Herbert J. Yates, Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, but the fact of the matter is that these men were responsible for making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever known. And it is because of the genius of these men that this period became known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Sadly, the end of the studio system -- and hence the Golden Age of Hollywood, came primarily at the hands of the federal government when they ordered the movie studios to divest themselves of their company owned movie theaters. The major studios could probably have continued the fight in the courts for years if RKO chief Howard Hughes hadn't sold out and made an agreement with the feds; but once he did, the writing was on the wall and the era sadly came to an end.






usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
10# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:89

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/10/2018 00:12)


Chip, 

It is my absolute privilege and honor to promote the great maestro, Percy Faith, and his iconic Christmas album, Music Of Christmas, as well as your fantastic liner notes for this historic release by Real Gone Music. We have all waited so long for this masterpiece to get released on CD properly and the fact that it got done in such grand fashion with such beautiful artwork, absolutely stellar remastering by Mr. Vic Anesini and with your splendid liner notes was beyond our wildest expectations.

It has been such a thrill and pleasure to share this special release by Percy with family and friends. The manager at my bank is going through some serious health issues with her eldest adult son and she is a very sweet person and a true professional when it comes to her job. I brought her a copy of Music Of Christmas after finding out that she loves Christmas music. I told her about your key role in getting this the greatest of all Christmas albums released and how Vic Anesini, who has been in charge of remastering Elvis Presley's catalogue of albums the last several decades, did such an amazing job restoring this album to its true sonic glory.

She told me that she had a long drive to a nearby city during the holidays and she played Percy's Music Of Christmas the whole way there and back and it gave her great pleasure and comfort during such a difficult time for the family. Her son is hanging in there, but it has been tough. I know another board member has mentioned a similar experience for himself and how soothing and comforting Mr. Faith's Christmas album is to him as well.

I know you are acutely aware of the healing and soothing powers of music and particularly Percy's Music Of Christmas. I hope that Gordon Anderson at Real Gone Music realizes how important and significant his Christmas releases are to the fans who buy these great albums. I hope like you and Mr. Anesini feel that it is a "true labor of love" for him as well.

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 01/10/2018 00:29)
usertype:3 tt= 0
Christmas Music Guru
11# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3479

RE:Newest Album in Top 300
(Date Posted:01/10/2018 01:58)


That's a great story, Steve. And yes, music -- especially Percy's Christmas music, is indeed quite therapeutic; it's very uplifting, inspirational and, as you said, healing and soothing as well. I'm so glad that it brought your bank manager some much needed joy in an otherwise sad time in her life. Percy, who was such a gentle creature, would be so happy to hear that. And I'm so glad that on his behalf I have helped keep the mission of his music alive. It's a privilege. And yes, all this is definitely a labor of love for Gordon as well.





usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

<<Previous ThreadNext Thread>>
Page 1 / 1    
New Topic New Poll
www.TheYuleLog.com
Sign Up | Create | About Us | SiteMap | Features | Forums | Show Off | Faq | Help
Copyright © 2000-2018 Aimoo Free Forum All rights reserved.