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sounded great on paper - gather together a group of soul music stalwarts from
the sixties, have them sing
holiday favorites arranged in the classic Memphis style,
and let the magic happen. An intriguing concept, but Christmas
Soul Special (1982) is ultimately less than inspiring.
Why? Well, a former coworker of mine once claimed Rounder
Records (the label in question here) had a "boring
button" on their mixing board. Not true (I presume),
but what he was getting at is that Rounder's records are
frequently too clean, too considered, too professional.
Great soul records sound uniformly dirty, spontaneous,
and, while not necessarily amateur, certainly not too
professional. This is a good record, but not a great one,
for that reason - it sounds too good (and too restrained).
Proof, too, that you can't go home again.
- Jingle Bell
Rock (Mary Wells)
Jingle Bells (Wilson Pickett)
Little Drummer Boy (Ben E. King)
O Holy Night (Martha Reeves)
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Sam Moore)
Silent Night (Mary Wells)
Silver Bells (Wilson Pickett)
Winter Wonderland (Shirley Alston)
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