Monday, January 09, 2006

Tony Orlando & Dawn - A Christmas Reunion

I'm sure you're sitting there stunned... I'm sorry!

Yes, I was one of the eight people who bought this CD last holiday season. When I first came across this in the racks, I rolled my eyes and thought "Oh my sweet Lord...".

A quick scan of the playlist showed that the trio has aged well, most of the standards are covered, and not one stitch of a yellow ribbon was in sight (thank heavens!). I quickly chuckled and placed it back into the rack...

All throughout the season, something kept drawing me back to this disc. It was showing up in every store that I shopped at, it was derided in several Christmas articles online and in print. It wouldn't go away.

People were asking me at Christmas parties if I had heard about this album and whether or not I already owned it. kept throwing this in my face every time I signed on. My favorite Fort Wayne Christmas radio station began playing Christmas music and "The Spirit Of Christmas" was a heavy airplay favorite. I couldn't escape... I was trapped by Tony Orlando & Dawn!

One night before Christmas, I had some last minute shopping to do and found myself at Borders. As I began to scan the Christmas section, I saw it - an entire pillar display of Tony Orlando & Dawn, overflowing with copies of this CD. An employee approached me and asked if I needed help and I politely declined.

"How's this album selling for you?" I inquired. "We set that pillar up three weeks ago and no one's touched a single copy." he stated matter of factly.

I grabbed a copy off the pillar and hid it in with some others; the same way I used to sneak my father's Playboy magazines past him when I visited his workshop. The clerk never noticed.

It's not a bad CD... it's not real good either. It's overproduced, overinstrumentated, and overharmonized. The one bright spot of the entire album is that Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent are out front way more than Tony Orlando. The ladies' voices are in fine form; Orlando's voice hasn't aged well... it's more tuba now than trumpet and when he belts it out, you visibly wince.

When I buy a Christmas album, I usually find at least one standout track; something I could consider putting on my annual Christmas compilations. Not on this album unfortunately. Next time I'll knock twice on the pipe.

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


1 comment:

Jeanne Brickey said...

This album had the absolute opposite effect on me. I totally loved the album, every song and thought Tony Orlando's voice sounded fantastic. I'm very happy with the music and play it every year for my family who also appreciate it.