Various Artists

Rockin' Christmas Party, Vol. 1

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Rockin' Christmas Party, Vol. 1's lineup is like a bubblegum fanatic's dream. Ron Dante of the Archies, Tommy Roe and Lou Christie are bubblegum icons and they are all here singing Christmas songs both traditional and new. The rest of the artists here (Bobby Vee, Gary Lewis and Chris Montez) aren't really bubblegum but aren't too far off either. Inevitably a collection made up of new recordings by "oldies" artists has you wondering who still has it and who has lost it. For the record Ron Dante and Lou Christie still have it, Tommy Roe, Bobby Vee and Chris Montez don't and Gary Lewis never did. Not surprisingly the Dante-sung songs are the best here but Lou Christie's "Christmas in New York" is pretty good too, sounding like a late-period Beach Boys tune. Regardless of who can still sing and who can't, the problem with this disc is the music. Someone named Ted Perlman plays all the instruments and he does so soullessly. It basically sounds like karaoke with some semi-famous people on the mike. It would have been nice to have a real band backing them, they deserve better and it may have helped the record be less of a disappointment.

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