Monday, October 30, 2006

Ontario Lottery Corporation - Christmas Is For Children

Several weeks ago, I reviewed a certain album from the Ontario Lottery Corporation that came to us from my good friend Jeff in Canada at his website.

Buried in my stack of CDs was the OTHER album by the Ontario Lottery Corporation! Released in 1982, these sixteen tracks were possibly if not probably used for radio & TV commercials for the Ontario Lottery.

The first album was very straight laced - harmonized singing, lush orchestra, well produced, occasionally some of the strangest lyrics you'll ever hear, and very homogenized. It's worth a listen and a chuckle.

This second album has these elements and a little bit more. The camp factor on this album is ten times higher than the first album - making this one of the best finds of the year in my book!

Here's a track by track review:

1.) Christmas Is For Children
There was a song on the first album with the exact title. Coincidence? This one isn't oversung though!

2.) Whenever It Snows
"Whenever it snows, I wiggle my toes, I can hardly wait to get out my skates..." Yep, she's Canadian!

3.) Santa's Gotta New Bag
They try SOOO hard to make this a James Brown tune and by 10 seconds in, you're laughing hysterically!

4.) A Change Of Heart
Christmas singers croon to a Scrooge-like character and guess what happens by the end of the song?

5.) Santa's Favourite Day
The number of "good/bad" lyrics in this one here are too many to type. My jaws are hurting from laffin...

6.) Brand New Brother
Opening lyric - "I want a brand new brother... I don't like the one I've got." It goes downhill from there. Some family issues to deal with here.

7.) Merry Christmas Bells
This is a lively tune - perfect commercial material for lottery tickets!

8.) A Letter To Santa
A kid "writes/recites" his letter to Santa for the first minute, then sings an emotional plea for world harmony & peace! Get me my vomit bucket, quick!

9.) Hymn For Christmas
A simple tune done very well. Possibly the most normal song on the whole album!

10.) Snow Ride
"Snowwww Rideeeeeee..." It starts out straight but ends up campy, complete with lyrics to snicker at!

11.) Reindeer Roundup
From note one, this country/cowboy flavored song is headshakingly strange... I LOVED IT!

12.) The Gift Of Christmas
WOW! This one's fantastic! Probably the best song off either lottery album! Great stuff!

13.) March Of The Toys
A Macy's Parade set to music... it's good, it's bad, it's campy, it's funny, it's causing my ears to bleed...

14.) Christmas In The City
Opening lyric - "Magical moment on a magical night, we're heading out to the big city lights." I prefer the country, thanks!

15.) Mr. Evergreen
A little girl sings to an evergreen tree her father planted... GREAT JUMPING ICEBERGS! This one must be heard to be believed... I'm wiping tears away...

16.) Christmas Is For Children (Reprise)
Just when you think you've reached the camp ceiling... LAFFIN SO HARD... can't... reach... the... STOP... button...

Whew... the Shatner mode wore off and the CD is over. I used to play "Tiny Tim's Christmas Album" to clear a room - this one might just do the same thing!

If you're brave enough, you can STILL download this album (as well as the first lottery album). Jeff, thanks for sharing these gems with us!

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



Jeffco said...

Man, I'd better upload some *good* music soon so you don't start cursing me under your breath ;)

CaptainOT said...

Jeff - Ya kiddin? To my warped tastes, this IS "good" music! You start posting Mannheim Steamroller and you'll have a fight on yer hands, mistah!


Andie said...

I owe you a huge thanks because I've been looking for a copy of "Christmas is for Children" for AGES! I had almost given up hope until I happened across your blog. Now I feel like my life is one step closer to being complete :)

CaptainOT said...

Andie - Thanks for visiting us and I'm glad to have helped you find a lost Christmas album.

Most of the thanks should go to Jeff... remember, he's the one who posted the album!


Anonymous said...

Ok so I have been searching for this album for years. Anyway I can purchase it?

Shannon said...

Delighted to find this blog and then Jeff's site! This particular album has been a real source of Christmas joy from childhood. It reminds me of the time spent with my late father. Unfortunately, my brother and I were unable to recover our beloved Christmas album and a few years ago we struck gold and each found a copy. Now with digital technology being the norm these days, it has been fairly tough to hear the songs at this time of year without the help of a "record player". Although I have raised my children on my recollections of the songs it is a relief to just be able to play it throughout the house for all to hear. Quirky maybe :) but I love it thanks!!!

CaptainOT said...

Shannon - Be sure to thank Jeff - he's the one who posted it - I merely reviewed it.

But thanks for that wonderful comment - I was glad to help you reconnect (in a small way) with those memories!


Heather said...

I remember my gramma buying me this album at the local IGA store when I was young while she was getting her lotto tickets. I listened to it countless times over the years on my Winnie the Pooh record player. I still have the album cover but the album itself disappeared into another of my parents' album covers and I suspect it was sold during a garage sale long ago. Now that my own kids are coming up on the same age I was I really want to find it for them.

I enjoyed your blog post about the album. :-)

Dawn said...

Omg, I have been looking for this forever! This was my favorite Christmas album when I was a kid. Thank you so much for posting this. :) I am playing the songs for my kids now. My youngest said earlier today that he wanted a brand new brother so I started singing the song to I can actually play it.

I would love to be able to puchase this or actualy be able to download the songs.

Anonymous said...

I just found it at a local thrift store for .50 cents!

Bryan Johns said...

Holy smokes! This was one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums as a kid. Not only did I listen to it every night throughout the holidays, I think I listened to it quite a bit all year long. I'm pretty sure my cassette tape of this album disappeared in a move. I'll have to somehow track down a copy for my kids.

Anonymous said...

I had an aunt up in Toronto who sent us this album when I was a little kid and it was my favorite! ESPECIALLY Brand New Brother. I was so excited to be able to download a digital copy and share it with my family. The album had long since been lost and I didn't have high hopes of tracking it down again.

Campy, sure, but amazingly so. Thanks, Jeff! I am listening to Parade of Christmas Toys as I type this. :-D