Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Salsoul Orchestra - Christmas Jollies II

During the days before Napster began legal downloads, I searched for Christmas MP3s day and night. It was during one of these searches that I came across several tracks from the Salsoul Orchestra.

I had never heard of this orchestra so I downloaded the tracks, expecting to hear one guy on his Casio playing synthesized Christmas music. When I heard it, I was quite surprised. This was REAL, honest to goodness, glittery 1970s Christmas disco!

I quickly did some research on the Salsoul Orchestra and found out it formed in 1974 at the dawn of the disco era. After recording their "Christmas Jollies" album in 1976, they helped Charo create not one but two albums (including a Christmas cover single of "Donde Este Santa Claus" that my friend Ernie had at his blog last December), and disbanded shortly after recording "Christmas Jollies II" in 1981.

After getting a copy of the first "Christmas Jollies" several years ago, I searched to find "Christmas Jollies II" on CD. I recall seeing a seller at asking for $50 around Christmas, 2003. Whenever a CD came up on eBay, the prices generally reached over $40. For a CD that only has six tracks, that's an awful lot to pay! That's why when I saw a copy back in November of last year selling for under $20, I jumped into the bidding and prayed to the eBay gods luck would smile on me! They did... and after several delays on the seller's part, I finally received this album shortly before Christmas, 2005.

The first "Christmas Jollies" album is an opera compared to the six tracks on "Christmas Jollies II". They recorded every almost every Christmas song on the first album for a HUGE Christmas medley. They even threw in non-Christmas songs such as "I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover" and "God Bless America" (yes, a disco version of "God Bless America"!) for a New Year's Medley!

The six songs on "Christmas Jollies II" is standard disco, fun and annoying all at once. The standout tracks are the super funkified version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "You're All I Want For Christmas", one of the three original songs on the CD.

After adding this album to the pile, I now own FIVE complete Christmas disco albums. Someone stop me...

On to the next new album in my collection...



Stephen said...

Very nice, Cap'n. That was the beauty of file sharing in the good ol' days.

Hudson said...

Hello there and thanks for such a great commentary on this CD. Can I ask you for a large favor. I have been searching everywhere for this one song on this cd (Jocelyn Brown - Your all I want for Xmas) Any chance of posting it via rapidshare Thanks Hudson

CaptainOT said...

Stephen - If it wasn't for Napster, I would have never purchased the Salsoul Orchestra's two Christmas albums. Napster had that effect on me - exposure to new sounds / artists!

Hudson - I don't have that song unfortunately. Have you tried over at


Hudson said...

yes i did a search over at and came up with nothing. I wanted to surprise my girl with this song, cause i know she never heard it and it would be so kool if i could give it to her. Cuase I know she'd give me something special in return :-)