Are you familiar with the feeling of buying a discount record from a drugstore or gas station, only to be left wondering what exactly you purchased? If so, you’re in for a treat, because in this episode of Finnley’s Audio Adventures, we’ll be exploring the depths of the bizarre and humorous world of budget records, with a special focus on the 1979 album Yuletide Disco by Mirror Image, released on Pickwick Records.

Pickwick Records was known for its budget album releases, which included sound-alike recordings, bargain bin reissues, and repackaging of popular music. These records were often sold in metal racks in drugstores or dime stores for a fraction of the cost of regular LP albums. They usually comprised popular music played or sung by unknown orchestras or singers, or cover versions of famous songs mixed with public domain songs.

During the LP era, some of these drugstore records would only have one cover version of a famous song or tune, and the rest of the album would be filled out with public domain songs. This allowed the record companies to capitalize on the popularity of a certain song while minimizing the cost of producing the album.

Yuletide Disco is a prime example of this type of record. It features disco versions of traditional Christmas songs and covers from artists such as Irving Berlin and Robert Burns, performed by session musicians known as Mirror Image. This is considered to be a budget record, or commonly called a “drugstore record,” due to its low price and widespread availability.

Record sleeve of "Yuletide Disco" featuring a woman disco dancer covered in gold tinsel. The image was taken under strobe light with the camera shutter open to create a "mirror image" of four dancers.

But don’t let the budget label fool you – Yuletide Disco is a splash of humor and a whole ocean of weirdness, with its disco-fied renditions of classic holiday tunes. It’s a great example of the quirky and unique music that can be found in the world of budget records.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of these types of records, I highly recommend checking out The Oddity Archive series of videos called “Record Ripoffs.” It’s a fascinating deep dive into the world of budget records and their place in music history.

So if you’re ready for a dive into the bizarre and downright hilarious world of budget records, join Finnley on his audio adventure into Yuletide Disco and the strange and wonderful world of Mirror Image.

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