“Merry Christmas with The Merry Men” issued on CD & Digital for the first time

Music to our ears… What ever happened to all the old vinyl recordings of the early 60′? The sounds we grooved to over and over again.

Do you recall dropping that needle onto that circular disc labeled “side one” and waiting for the warm and rounded sound to playback through those old Pioneer speakers? Well, here is some great news for music lovers, and just in time for this festive season – the re-release of: “Merry Christmas with the Merry Men“.

The Merry Men have done Barbados a huge favour in making their unique sound a globally recognized music brand. In 1969, the Merry Men recorded at the famous RCA Victor Recording Studios in New York, just after a concert at Madison Square Garden. The engineer, Bob Simpson known for recordings with Harry Belafonte was in charge and in those days he dressed in a white gown much like a doctor would. At that time recording techniques relied primarily on the engineer’s ears and the producer’s ability to transform a live sound onto tape… tracking the 8 tracks onto 1/2 inch tape at 15 inches per second (IPS). Then going through the process of cutting the acetate and on to the vinyl pressing plants.

Merrymen CD Stamp

With no master tapes around any longer to work with… local company: CRS Music and Media Ltd. managed to find a mint vinyl copy of the recording “Merry Christmas With The Merry Men” and decided to have the necessary forensics done to reproduce this onto CD while maintaining the warm analogue sound we know vinyl is capable of. The company has now re-released the recording for the first time on CD and has made it available through all digital download and streaming services…iTunes, Amazon, Nokia, and Spotify, to mention a few.

UK recording company: Curvepusher, who work closely with locally based CRS Music, and run a couple of studios which are known for their superb mastering techniques their Lead Engineer – Lawrie Dunster, who also happens to own a home in Barbados, commented to CRS management: “Whoever did this recording had some incredible stereo panning effects for the time, this is a treasure for its warmth and naturally high fidelity sound“. Listening to the CD you quickly realize this is very different from what you hear today: pure and natural, warm and with every instrument placed correctly in the stereo mix, as the “Jim Reeves” of the Caribbean: Emile Straker and his honey coated voice cruise through some of their original Christmas songs and favourites for the season.

Want to recreate that sound? Go out and buy a copy of the limited edition 45th anniversary CD of the recording now.

Robin Hunte, lead guitarist, commented “I had not listened to it for over 30 years and I am very critical of my own music, but I was amazed at the quality of the recording and the quality of the performance”.

CRS Music is looking for more recordings from the 60’s and 70’s and is hoping to create a catalogue of music going through a similar process to bring the original sound back to market and provide digital networks for downloads and streaming, ensuring that our local back catalogue lives on.

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