Tuesday, November 24, 2020

First Two Albums from Canadian Band, Christmas Turn 50! Featuring Hamilton's Bob Bryden!

Oshawa's Christmas (later named Spirit of Christmas) was a band like no other. They lasted only a few years, produced just three studio albums, but inspired generations of bands to come. Their LP's are now expensive, sought after collectors items. Singer Bob Bryden, who now lives in Hamilton, was a major part of their success. The band was created from the ashes of his previous project, Reign Ghost

Click here for Bob Bryden's Facebook scrapbook on the band.

The first two albums from the group turn 50 in 2020. This is also the year the band won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oshawa Music Awards

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Self Titled Debut

Details: 

  • Released July 9, 1970
  • On Paragon label
  • Personnel: Bob Bryden, Wolf Hryciuk, Rich Richter, Tyler Raizenne, Robert Bulger, Gary Squiers

Our mini-review:

Psychedelic and trippy, their debut is very loose and free with an off-the-cuff feel. Highlights include Just Suppose and the over 20 minute (a full LP side) workout Jungle Fabulous. 

Bob Bryden's thoughts:

The first Christmas LP was never meant to happen. We went in to do a ‘12 Top Hits’ album of 10 covers and 2 originals (the latter being the only reason we took the gig). In the studio, the producer asked us to jam (total improv). They then scrubbed the covers idea and released the jams and originals. 

Videos above courtesy of Alphan Nukan

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Heritage

Details: 

  • Released November 27, 1970
  • On Daffodil Records
  • Personnel: Bob Bryden, Rich Richter, Tyler Raizenne, Robert Bulger
  • Click here for Bob Bryden's online Heritage scrapbook
Our mini-review:
More structured than their debut, Heritage is a psychedelic gem with more powerful hard rockin'. Highlights include Blues on an Iceberg and Bustin' Out Tonight

Bob Bryden's thoughts:

‘Heritage’ was done in about 10 days at Toronto Sound with Terry Brown (Rush) engineering. He told us we influenced Rush. I had just become ‘lead’ singer as the 2 singers on the first LP had recently left. Christmas was not a democracy at that time. I was dictator. Wrote all the songs and even many of the other’s parts (not solos). That all changed by ‘Lies To Live By’.

Videos above courtesy of Merry Christmas - Topic

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Links: Bob BrydenMore Bob Bryden Stories, More Album 50th Anniversaries


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