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DionUnlike Fats Domino on his half-hearted Christmas album (issued at the same time by the same label), Dion does not suffer from a lack of enthusiasm on Rock n' Roll Christmas (1993). In fact, the album's irrepressible good spirit is its best quality. The trouble is, Rock n' Roll Christmas is all perspiration and no inspiration as Dion cheerfully grinds out run-of-the-mill holiday favorites. The only meaningful distinction he achieves is a shameless (if good-humored) attempt to mimic the E-Street sound of Bruce Springsteen - right down to the Born To Run-inspired cover illustration! To put it mildly, the Boss does it best... In the end, Rock n' Roll Christmas is a well-intentioned failure that comes across more like a product of Sha Na Na or Happy Days than the self-proclaimed "King Of The New York Streets." By the way, the cover art of Rock n' Roll Christmas was given a minor facelift when reissued by The Right Stuff in 1999, made to look more traditionally festive... and boring. Click to see the original cover.

For the youngsters in our midst, Dion DiMucci sang lead for The Belmonts, the greatest white vocal group from the early days of rock ("Runaround Sue," "The Wanderer," "Teenager In Love"). Later, he cut some more earthy, less celebrated solo records like "Ruby Baby" and "Abraham Martin & John." After Dion and the Belmonts parted ways in the early 60's, the group cut a seasonal song of their own, "Wintertime," in 1964; it is included on the Legends Of Christmas Past collection. More recently, the Belmonts waxed a full-length holiday record, A Season Of Harmony (1988, reissued as Acappella Christmas in 1991) - now fairly hard-to-find. [top of page]

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • The Annual Animal Christmas Ball (The Belmonts, 1992)
  • Jingle Bell Rock (Dion, 1993)
  • Merry Christmas Baby (Dion, 1993)
  • Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Dion, 1993)
  • Wintertime (The Belmonts, 1964)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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