- Audio CD (17 Sep 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: EMI Gold
- ASIN: B000V07L4W
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)|
|2. Deck The Halls|
|3. Frosty The Snowman (1990 Digital Remaster)|
|4. I Saw Three Ships|
|5. Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas To You)|
|6. Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful)|
|7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem|
|8. The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot|
|9. O Tannenbaum|
|10. The First Noel|
|11. The Little Christmas Tree|
|12. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing|
|13. The Happiest Christmas Tree|
|14. Joy To The World|
|15. O Holy Night|
|16. Caroling, Caroling|
|17. A Cradle In Bethlehem|
|18. Away In A Manger|
|19. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman|
|20. Silent Night|
His effortless style and dulcet tones now epitomise Christmas for me. While Mel Torme may have written (and even recorded) the song that most people associate with Christmas and Nat, it’s Nat’s voice that really does it justice.
I love Christmas and have bought many ‘old time crooner’ albums, yet this compilation of Nat King Cole songs is my favourite by a country mile. It sometimes goes by different names, and is sometimes compiled by different companies, but the same 20 songs are the ones that Nat recorded in a one-off three-day session in July of 1960.
I like to play this when I’m wrapping presents or when the jostling of trying to buy them all in the first place has become too much and you’re almost all out of Christmas spirit. One listen and all of a sudden you remember the true spirit of Christmas – giving.
While I’m sure the reasons behind recording any ‘holiday’ material are entirely financial, this seems to reflect a time when it was less cynical, less self-serving and more innocent.
Mostly traditional Christmas carols, with a couple of lesser known ones, and a sprinkling of contributions from Tin Pan Alley, of which Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting...)" is the best known and quite rightly sets the tone as the album opener.
They are all sung impeccably in Cole's inimitable style, deep and crisp as the proverbial snow, warm and mellow as your cup of cocoa, and with feeling enough to stir the coldest of hearts - I defy anyone to listen to "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot" without getting a little moistening in the eye. Five tracks further on "The Happiest Christmas Tree" is two minutes of absolute froth, but even so may remind you, with a smile, of a passage in a well-known British TV sitcom of the '90s that used it to great effect.
Orchestral backing and arrangements of the carols, recorded in 1960, are by long-term collaborator Ralph Carmichael, and are gorgeous without being over lush or sugary. The other songs were recorded with various arrangers at other times going back to 1956; for clarity and tonal quality they certainly don't sound over forty years old.
A vintage Christmas album, by a real singer in the popular genre, ideal for playing at any time, but I suspect best in the evening.