"Lies To Live By" is essentially the 3rd album release by the Canadian band Christmas. After the release of the Heritage album, Christmas was beset with management and label problems over the direction of the band's next album. The music scene in Canada was in disarray and bands such as April Wine, The Guess Who, BTO and Chilliwack had hits with commercial hard rock songs.
The Heritage album was a start in the right direction and the label wanted the band to continue with hard rock but make it more "radio friendly". Christmas had other ideas about where there music was heading. In 1973 a new album was recorded that was a radical change from the hard rock sound of Heritage. The album ended up being tied up in legal wrangles and was not released until 1975 when the band decided on a name change to The Spirit of Christmas to avoid legal complications associated with the "Christmas" name and to release the album.
This time out (The Spirit of) Christmas went totally towards a guitar fronted progressive sound complete with mellotron, a chamber orchestra , special effects, intricate piano work and lush backing choruses. In the similar vein of such acts as Genesis, Gentle Giant, and Yes, "Lies To Live By" was a total departure in sound from anything recorded by a Canadian band to date. The six songs on the album are broken into conceptual chapters each with a different theme that intertwines through out the song while half of the songs clock in at close to nine minutes or more. "
Lies To Live By" was an instant hit with critics and progressive music fans world wide. Despite the critical acclaim of the album, Daffodil Records was in trouble and the album did not receive the promotion and support it deserved. Soon after release of the album, the label folded and with it the hopes of (The Spirit of) Christmas . Now left without a label the band also decided to call it a day and broke up also.
In the late 80's and 90's the "Lies To Live By"album became a highly sought after collector's item with originals changing hands for hundreds of dollars. As a direct result of the interest in the band's early albums, Christmas reformed in the mid 1980's for a couple of local concerts. Still regarded as one of the best progressive rock albums to come out of Canada, the release by Unidisc was a straight re-issue of the original album at a budget price complete with original artwork.
Bob Bryden: guitar, vocals, keyboards
Robert Bulger: lead guitar
Tyler Raizenne: bass
Helge Richter: drums
Preston Wynne: lead vocals