I recently purchased this excellent collection. Here's the scoop on this 2 CD set: These are very, very good sounding presentations of mainly classic Holiday songs from around 1949 or 1950! That's what makes this really special. Of course, for the most part, the songs are not in stereo...That's actually GOOD NEWS (electronically rechanneled stereo (simulated stereo) tends to sound fakey and unatural...so, BRAVO!---Back to original mono!)If it ain't in stereo in the first place, don't mess with it! But by all means, make the sound as clean and bright as possible. That's what they've done.
A lot of love went into the packaging and preparation of these wonderful Holiday moments on CD. When you hear Bing do "White Christmas" on this set, it's THE classic version, and sounds just like his billion-selling Christmas LP has all these years. And the great Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" sounds wonderful. Now, it's not the more recent stereo version you are likely to hear on other collections or the radio. But, that's actually the point. The stereo version is not the original version! The original pre-dated stereo! What's in here very possibly IS the original version...It's like his Rookie Card!
So, here's the deal..I rate this collection 5 stars because it sucessfully combines classic singing greats (Frank, Bing, Nat, Judy, etc.)and lots of blue-chip players from 1950 or so in about as high-quality sound as you could EVER expect on a CD. Then there are some really interesting and seldom heard Christmas tunes...nice to make a few new Yuletide friends...plus Perry Como, Ella, and other great stars come along for the sleigh ride. That reminds me..."Sleigh Ride" is a really early version by Anderson...perhaps THE original...You'll get a kick out of the slight variation on the one you usually hear.
The packaging on this collection is first rate...This is NOT a cheapie, folks! This is a MAJOR bargain and a chance to fill Santa's sack with rare gold from the greats! 50 Songs!!! The excellent sound-quality will thrill anyone on your gift list who is into Christmas classics. These songs are timeless, like Christmas itself. Happy Holidays!