Sunday, December 6, 2015

Merry Christmas - Richard Lefevre and His Orchestra

Welcome back, it's been awhile, hasn't it? About a year! While I only managed to share one album last year, I hope to at least double that amount this year.

Let's get started with this (1968) gem from Richard Lefevre and His Orchestra, on the Kapp label (FCS-4257) and recorded in France (says so right on the back.)

I was lucky to track down a sealed copy of this LP, so the recording you're listening to is the first time this record has been played in 47 years. One of the benefits I'm finding of these still-sealed LPs is that they a) smell fresher b) make my task of recording, cleaning and editing these albums a heck of a lot easier.

Raymond Lefevre's Merry Christmas is easy-listening, orchestral Christmas music at it's best — lush arrangements, aah-ooh-choir, lilting flute trills. Seriously, this is one of the better Christmas albums you'll ever hear. In fact, the music might be as good as the cover photo — a young lady in a mini-skirt Santa costume, hoisting a stack of presents in front of a white Christmas tree. I've seen many Christmas album covers that wowed the eyes, but the contents never thrilled the ears. This is an exception — as there's plenty of highlights here, including the opening "Silver Bells", and "Jingle Bells" ("Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong! Oo-woo-oo-oooo!"), surely the inspiration for John Debney's main titles for the Elf soundtrack.