AG1231-2 Christmasville
Produced by Chip Davis
Released on October 1977
US CHART POSITION #48 . . . US NEW AGE CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
AG1231-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 32.0: GRINCHMESS. In a rare coincidence, the three words that best describe this are stink, stank and stunk. Christmasville is the commissioned score to the Universal Studios of Hollywood holiday attraction, Grinchmas. Basically, Grinchmas allows children and adults to enter the world of Whoville for the holidays, which would be a fine idea except that it’s based on the film version of the animated classic starring Jim Carrey, and we all remember what a stinkfest that was. So, one of Jim Carrey’s worst films preserved forever, intersecting our little orbit for two months out of every year like some horrible Haley’s holiday comet, complete with 30 minutes of music by Chip “Ka-Chingle Bells” Davis. That’s right, I wrote 30 minutes. Unlike The Christmas Angel, in which Chip basically re-purposed old songs in a new order, Christmasville features new material, plus original songs from both the cartoon (“Welcome Christmas,” “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”) and the movie (“Where Are You Christmas?”). The new material does feature a side of Mannheim you don’t normally see: romantic ballads with lyrics. “Something You Should Know” and “The Sign of Love” are no worse than the prefabricated pop of David Foster and Diane Warren. What they have to do with the Grinch, I couldn’t say, but I haven’t seen the Grinchmas spectacle either and maybe it’s got a snow tunnel of love or something. Finally, in filling out its minimum requirements, Christmasville trots out a predictably swingin’ version of “The Man With The Bag” and some odd ends like “Humbugs” and “The Fruitcake Song.” There’s a whole world of holiday muzak out there featuring hummable songs you know and love, and Davis presumably got paid for this music the first time around, so save your green for one of Mannheim’s more traditional Xmas discs. Even if you enjoy the music of Mannheim Steamroller, I wouldn’t touch Christmasville with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole.

TRACK LISTING

  1. CHRISTMASVILLE FANFARE    (Arnie Roth)
  2. MESSENGERS OF CHRISTMAS    (Chip Davis)
  3. WELCOME CHRISTMAS    (Albert Hague/Dr.Seuss)
  4. YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH    (Albert Hague/Dr.Seuss)
  5. WHERE ARE YOU CHRISTMAS?    (James Horner/Will Jennings/Mariah Carey)
  6. THE MAN WITH THE BAG    (Harold Stanley/Irving Taylor/Dudley Brooks)
  7. SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW    (Chip Davis/Ed Wilson)
  8. HUMBUGS    (Chip Davis/Bill Fries)
  9. THE FRUITCAKE SONG    (Chip Davis/Michael Roddy)
  10. THE SIGN OF LOVE    (Chip Davis/Ed Wilson)
  11. TRIM UP THE TREE    (Albert Hague/Dr.Seuss)
  12. WELCOME CHRISTMAS (REPRISE)    (Albert Hague/Dr.Seuss)

CREDITS

CHIP DAVIS -- all Mannheim Steamroller parts, cover illustration and design, Mannheim Steamroller engineering team
ARNIE ROTH -- concert master, violin
Josie Aiello -- vocals (5)
Lori Ashikawa, Kathleen Brauer, Jennifer Cappelli, Guillaume Combet, Carol Lahti, Clara Linder, Michael Shelton -- violins
Frank Babbitt, Pat Brennan, Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff -- violas
Scott Bentall, Mark Fry, Fritz Hocking, Adam Moen -- trombones
Jonathan Boen, Oto Carillo, Dale Clevenger, Alice Render Clevenger -- French horns
Robert Bowker -- Christmasville Singer
Mark Brandfonbrenner, Larry Glazier, Judy Stone -- celli
Michael Buckwalter, Melanie Cottle, Neil Kimel -- horns
Joel Cohen, Doug Wadell -- percussion
Matthew Comerford, Randall Carey Deadman, David Inmon, Rob Parton, Channing Philbrick, Mark Ridenour -- trumpets
Stephen Eisen -- tenor sax
Josie Falbo -- Christmasville Singer
Mark Fisher, Michael Mulcahy -- tenor trombone
The Humbugs -- vocals (8)
Jeremy M. Kahn -- piano
Larry Kohut -- bass
Craig McCreary -- guitar
Paul Mertens -- baritone sax
Jeffrey Morrow -- vocals (4), Christmasville Singer
Gene Nery -- vocals (7,10)
Gene Pokorny -- tuba
Mike Smith -- alto sax
Joel Spencer -- drums
Charles Vernnon -- bass trombone
Cheryl Wilson -- vocals (6)
Brian Ackley -- Mannheim Steamroller engineering team
Dave Cwirko -- Mannheim Steamroller engineering team
Matthew Prock -- recording engineer
James Taylor -- cover illustration and design
J. Hirsch Design -- packaging design

return to MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 7, 2008 American Gramaphone CD AG1231-2  

 

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