When my friend Jeffrey at Wall of Sound e-mailed me about this record a few months ago, I thought he was pulling a prank on me. I mean, read the description: Used LP - Christmas Carols In Sung Mandarin (childrens choir) - 10" lime green wax - $7 That's pretty much my dream record: Christmas music, sung by kids, in Mandarin Chinese, pressed on colored vinyl at an unusual size. And reasonably priced. But when I called Jeffrey to chew him out, I was astonished to discover this was no joke:
Although on paper this is pretty much the coolest record ever, in actuality a little goes a long way. Mark says it sounds like cats being strangled in a junkyard. You be the judge.
"Joy to the World" from Christmas Carols in Mandarin
Peter Zaremba mentioned the carol "Mary's Boy Child" in our lengthy chat. Coincidentally, the same day, I read an interview with Van Dyke Parks where he was rhapsodizing about the Esso Trinidad Steel Band, perhaps best known for their kick-ass cover of the J5 classic "I Want You Back." When I "did a Google" on them, I discovered they had cut a Christmas disc, too. You know where this is heading, right?
"Mary's Boy Child" by the Esso Trinidad Steel Band
Coming later this weekend, selections from Christmas With Little Marcy, Festliche Stunden bei der Kelly Family, and Spend This Holiday With Me by the Anita Kerr Singers (featuring song poem vet Gene Merlino!)