Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Douglas Leedy - A Very Merry Electric Christmas To You


Several weeks ago, I posted a yuleblog entry about electronic music, the theremin, and the Moog. To quote from that entry:

"Any other Christmas Moog albums out there that I missed? I know of one which I found sealed in a Chicago record store that I'm planning on sharing next month..."

Well, here it is. My final offering for my Christmas in July celebration. Guess I saved the best for last.

There's not much out there on Douglas Leedy. According to a rather meandering Wikipedia entry, he was born in 1938, studied many varied styles of music all over the world, and has been composing and conducting music for most of his life.

He eventually ended up in Brentwood, California at UCLA. It was here that he founded UCLA's electronic music studio and specialized in the Moog and Buchla synthesizers and an electronic gizmo named the Ognob Generator:


(Click on image to enlarge)


Being so close to Hollywood, the good folks at Capitol Records soon came calling and asked Leedy in 1968 to record some albums. Right out of the box, he recorded an original TRIPLE album of synth music entitled "Entropical Paradise". Some of this music from the album ended up in the 1972 adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five".

In 1969, Leedy released "Zodiac", another original album of synth music. Two years later, Leedy and Capitol released the album you see here.

It's an aptly named album. If you love Moog / electronic music, then this is right up your street. Add Christmas and you're really in for a treat. Leedy's take on Christmas music is quite unique - several tracks are ethereal at the start, then a subtle Christmas melody takes over. Quite the rush.

Some of the ten tracks (which leaves you wanting more) sweep from channel to channel and can cause dizziness when operating heavy machinery as well. It's a trip and a half.


UPDATE: This album is now available to download online at emusic.com for the amazingly low price of 49 cents a track or $4.40 for the full album!  I'm getting my copy now before the Christmas rush - follow my lead and click the link.

This means this album is no longer available to download here at the yuleblog.  It also means one less LP to remaster down the road!



Capt

15 comments:

Ernie said...

Cool stuff I've never heard of. Gotta love it! Thanks for sharing, Cap'n!

Stephen said...

Thanks, Cap'n, for sharing the Mooooooog Christmas music. Now theremin Christmas music - there's something I really wouldn't mind hearing!

PDMan said...

Wow! Here's one I haven't seen. I can't wait to hear it!

Thanks Cap'n.

ps - If I double posted this, I didn't mean to. Blogger is being a bear this morning.

bongolong said...

Tasty, tasty, TASTY!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks!!

CaptainOT said...

Ernie / Stephen / PDMan / Bongo - Glad you liked the tunes!


Capt

Adam Eleven said...

Thank you very, very much. This is a super-rare album and really one of the better switched-on works. If you're into christmas stuff have a look at Wiels.nl. This Dutch guy has posted (among shitloads of other rare analog vintage stuff) a lovely xmas moog album by Sy Man. I'm still trying hard to find Rob Meurer's A Synth for Christmas - any chance?

CaptainOT said...

Adam Eleven - "Switched On Santa" by Sy Mann still remains the gold standard of Christmas Moog albums!

I don't have the Rob Meurer album... yet!


Capt

Adam Eleven said...

@ Captainot

Good nows: The Record Robot has recently reposted most of A Synth for Christmas. But it's miles away from the cheesy power of analog xmas treatments. Synclavier...should I say more?

http://recordrobot.blogspot.com/2006/12/synth-for-christmas.html

CaptainOT said...

Adam Eleven - Thanks for the link - sounds pretty good to me!


Capt

KeenJoy said...

Thanks for this posting so much.My dad who is an organist would play this album at xmas when I was a kid.The vinyl record we have of this is pretty much unplayable.Again thnx for putting this out there.

CaptainOT said...

Keen - Glad to have reconnected you with those great Christmas memories!


Capt

Hit Parade said...

Captain,

I love this review from All Music Guide: (especially the "fellow record geeks" comment) "vintage synthesizer readings of the classics rendered with a minimum of organic influence for maximum future-shock effect. Of course, decades after the fact it all seems far more quaint and even primitive, its niche audience now consisting of collectors of the odd and obscure — if your holiday party guest list consists mainly of fellow record geeks, it could well be the evening's piece de resistance. Highlights include "Joy to the World," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Deck the Halls," "In Dulci Jubilo," and "Good King Wenceslas."

PS: AMG lists the album as 1969 which would also agree with The Capitol catalogue.

Thanks

Hit Parade

CaptainOT said...

Hit Parade - Thanks for finally attaching a year to the album! Much appreciated!


Capt

The Blue Carbuncle said...

Well this was different, but I liked it. Some cuts sound like (to me) the soundtrack to old home Christmas movies or perhaps a slideshow of stills. Thanks for sharing!

The King of Jingaling said...

Just found this one on emusic.

http://www.emusic.com/album/Douglas-Leedy-A-Very-Merry-Electric-Christmas-To-You-MP3-Download/12461133.html