Every year, Mike Viola threatens to record a full-fledged Christmas album – but he never seems to get around to it. It’s not that he doesn’t see the value in a Christmas record, in fact, he counts one Christmas record among the most influential of his childhood.
“My knowledge of harmony and arrangement is heavily influenced by “Christmas With The Chipmunks”. The console stereo in our living room had a bunch of different speeds. It even had 16-rpm speed so you could slow records down so I was able to pick out the tight, linear three-part harmonies and the music arrangements that went by too fast at 33 1/3 rpm. It’s brilliant!!! And if the Chipmunks piss you off for some reason you can just pan them out of it (either left or ght … and not on every song I don’t think). It’s the Wrecking Crew playing on this - Hal Blaine, Leon Russell, Tommy Tedesco, etc. The same guys that played on Pet Sounds a few years later….. Crazy right? Not really. They played on the Beach Boys Christmas record as well. I’d count that one, this one and maybe Nat King Cole’s Christmas record as the most influential records of my formative years, the soundtrack of my childhood along with AM radio. All that harmony and confidence. All that cartoon counterpoint.”
Until Mike follows through with his threatened album, we at ilvmv.com offer you this compilation of Mike Viola written or performed Christmas tunes. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!