Saturday, December 5, 2015

25 Holiday Records: 21: A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio

We're counting down to Christmas Day with a list of 25 records we have in the shop at Royal Cat Records! Why? Because vinyl rules!

Our next record is one of the greatest Xmas records ever!


A Charlie Brown Christmas
by Vince Guaraldi Trio
(green vinyl)

It's hard to believe but there was a time when this record was not as ubiquitous as it is now. Even ten years ago, we remember reminiscing about the soundtrack to this beloved tv special. It seemed it was the only Christmas music many of our friends could stand, in part because it was rarely played on the radio. That situation has changed, and Vince Guaraldi's music is basically everyone's holiday soundtrack these days. The record became more common in the cd era but it is back in vinyl form with a vengeance today, with a gorgeous green vinyl version being the most plentiful. (We have a few left in the shop currently.) 

 For a collection of tracks that were cobbled together in a hurry and meant to be seen and heard once and then forgotten, this record has really proven to have staying power. One of the best post-WWII Christmas-themed compositions, for sure. 

 There was a great article in Pitchfork this week about the history of the record: "the soundtrack, composed by jazz piano impresario Vince Guaraldi along with Fred Marshall on double bass and the great Jerry Granellion drums. “We did the music in a day and a half, two days,” Granelli tells me. “That’s just how you recorded records back then.” These days, it’s quite possibly the most ubiquitous and universally lauded holiday album out there, not to mention the gateway for generations of children who would go onto explore the bottomless chasm of the jazz idiom. Yet for the network suits expecting some Burl Ives-type maximalism, Guaraldi's quaint score was deemed too weird and dark, even though the soundtrack—released on the Fantasy label right around the time the special aired on TV—received rave reviews"

Check it out:

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