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Yuletide Disco

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Despite the excitingly bedecked dancer who appears quadruplicate on the sleeve, Yuletide Disco isn't quite the stunner one would have you believe. There was a phenomenal, often ferocious, market for disco crossover during the very late '70s, and the budget label Pickwick waded in alongside the Hallmarks, K-Tels, and Roncos for its own share of the Christmas pudding. While this record might technically be disco and perhaps can even be categorized as Christmas music, unlike its kitschy counterparts scattered across legitimate disco labels like Salsoul, it really isn't very good. From the contemporary "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" to classic standards "Good King Wenceslas" -- tripped out here with saxophone -- "O Tannenbaum," and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," with an intro modeled eerily on "Flight of the Bumblebee," Yuletide Disco doesn't stray far from its instrumental easy listening roots, preferring to bring the disco to bear across thrumming beat tracks and occasional dips into the Moroder machine for a handful of electro twiddles. Even the New Year song "Auld Lang Syne" is misplaced, closing side one. Keep the cover for kitsch, but ditch the rest and stick with disco as it should be heard, on labels that have history.

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