This CD leaves out many of Bing's best Christmas songs, but for someone just sampling his holiday material, this is fine. Christmas time means Crosby will be on the airwaves, soundwaves and in your blood again. Bing was an eclectic singer who dabbled extensively in many genres of music: Hawaiian, Irish, cowboy songs and of course, Christmas music, which is showcased here. This is an excellent introduction for those who don't have other Crosby CD's in your collection or who want to hear his "holiday" side. It contains his standard hits which have been recycled time and again on other anthologies. Most Bing-ologists will have all these songs in their collection, some of them many times over. But if you are new to Crosby, this is an acceptable choice and I guarantee that you will become hooked on Bing's magnificent voice. It's quite weak on his earlier work and it does contain some curious omissions, but then again, Bing didn't sing Christmas music much until the early 1940's. Yet there are some stellar songs included as well, like one of personal favorites, "Let it Snow," One of his greatest recordings.
For the novice Crosby-Christmas fan, this set is perfect for several reasons: not only does it give you a fine overview of Bing's career, the sound quality is exceptional. The packaging of the set is excellent and it even includes some nicely written liner notes with a synopsis of Bing's Christmas songs and musical style, as well as an explanation of his tremendous musical impact upon the 20th century.
Other reviewers have complained about the sound quality on this set. I am puzzled at this criticism. I have most of these songs on casette, vinyl and some even on their original 78 and 45 issues. The sound quality here is quite acceptable and good on most tracks. This set will give you many hours of enjoyable listening and help you branch off into other Crosby CD's which includes his lesser-known vocals. Hopefully this collection will convince you that Bing's vocal mastery was unparalled. Then you can sample his earlier, jazz-influenced work during his Columbia years in the early 30's and branch off into his 20's work with the Rhythm Boys. But for the beginning Crosby listener, this is as good a choice as any. I highly recommend this set.