We’ve already told you about the three Christmas offerings coming from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music this year from The Supremes, The Ames Brothers and Connie Smith. Now here’s the rest of Real Gone’s superlative slate of yuletide releases…and one more non-holiday reissue, all due on November 3!
First up is an expanded edition of the classic Music of Christmas from Percy Faith and His Orchestra. This was actually the second album to bear this title from the prolific conductor. The first arrived in mono in 1954 on Columbia. That album became such a hit that Faith and his label decided that a re-recording was needed to take advantage of new stereo technology. The resulting 1959 album became even more successful than the previous version and charted all the way into the mid-1960s. Real Gone’s new edition can now join the label’s reissue of the original mono album back in 2012 (which also featured another Faith Christmas album, Hallelujah!, originally issued in 1958.) The 12-song stereo Music of Christmas has been expanded by seven bonus tracks. These tracks are holiday songs taken from non-Christmas Faith LPs and include his renditions of “Toyland,” “Be A Santa” and “My Favorite Things,” among others. The original cover artwork has been utilized for this release. The booklet features liner notes from Chip Arcuri, founder of the Christmas music website The Yule Log, which has ranked this as the No. 1 Christmas album of all time. The album has been newly remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios.
Next up is a is twofer from Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and Christmas Time, both from 1955. While he is not as well-known today as Faith, Waring had a large influence on popular music in the middle part of the last century and helped bring choral music to the pop scene. His career as a band and choral leader stretches from the 1920s to the 1970s and includes a stint and a television host in the late 1940s in the mid-1950s. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1983. His main band, The Pennsylvanians, grew out of a group he founded at Penn State in 1918. Their popularity would grow, especially in the 1930s. They began to record holiday music as early as the 1940s but would not have a full length LP until 1955 when they were signed to Decca. That year, they would release two Christmas LPs, re-recording material they had covered over the years and adding in some new songs. The two albums’ 25 tracks are mostly hymns and carols but there is some more contemporary material like “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” Waring and his group would continue to record Christmas music and even teamed with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby for a holiday album on Reprise in 1964. Neither ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas or Christmas Time have ever been on CD before. The original Norman Rockwell cover artwork of ‘Twas The Night is featured on the CD cover. The mono compilation has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and features liner notes from Tom Pickles.
One of Fred Waring’s protégés was Robert Shaw, who led a chorale of his own. His group also tackled Christmas music, and last year Real Gone reissued Christmas Hymns and Carols Vol. I, originally released in 1949 (although Real Gone’s reissue presented the 1958 stereo re-recording). In 1952, a sequel was released and so this year Real Gone is reissuing Christmas Hymns and Carols Vol. II in its original mono format. While featuring a similar structure of choral medleys like the first album, the Hymns and Carols sequel drew its repertoire from more obscure sources. Therefore, there are some more unknown hymns and carols mixed in with more popular ones like “I Saw Three Ships,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “What Child is This.” This albumhas been remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios. The booklet features new linter notes from Sean Cogan.
In a decidedly non-Christmas vein comes another November 3 release from Real Gone: a limited vinyl LP to the soundtrack of the film Contagion. The 2011 movie was directed by Steven Soderbergh and told the story of a disease which almost wipes out all life on Earth. The score was composed by Soderbergh’s longtime collaborator: ex-Red Hot Chili drummer Cliff Martinez. The pair began working together on Soderbergh’s very first film, Sex, Lies and Videotape in 1989, and have since worked on ten films and the television series The Knick. As Soderbergh had to recut Contagion several times, Martinez’s score contains a mix of orchestral and electronic elements, leading to a tonal, haunting sound. The score was originally released on CD-R back in 2011 and has never appeared on vinyl before. Real Gone’s edition is limited to 1,200 copies and comes in Gold and Red “Biohazard” vinyl.
If you would like to give any of these titles a try, we’ve got the preorder links below! Merry Christmas, everyone!
NOVEMBER 3, 2017 RELEASES