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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two great Christmas albums in one package, 7 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Christmas Collection (Audio CD)
I originally acquired most of the Carpenters' Christmas music when it made its CD debut via Carpenters Compact Disc Collection that included a single Christmas CD compiled from both original Christmas albums. Although having a running time of almost 70 minutes, inevitably some music was missing, but while I was pleased to see both albums released in their full glory as a double CD, I was prepared to wait for that double CD to come down in price, given that I had most of the music already. Almost twenty years after I bought that boxed set, I finally saw this set offered by Amazon at an appealing price. The quality of the music is, of course, superb and illustrates the Carpenters' love of Christmas music.

The first album, Christmas portrait, dates from 1978 but quite rightly includes their original song, Merry Christmas darling, which they recorded more than once; I'm not sure if the version here is the same one that became a hit single in Britain, America and elsewhere, but it really doesn't matter to me (EDIT - apparently it does; see comment attached to review). The remainder of this album mainly comprises familiar songs (albeit some more familiar than others), sometimes performed in full and sometimes strung together in medleys, with a nice selection of carols and festive songs. Santa Claus is coming to town, previously a hit single for them, was definitely re-recorded for this album.

The second album, An old-fashioned Christmas, of which the title track is an original song, is similar in style to the first album in mixing carols, festive songs, medleys and full length songs. Here, you can find the original hit single version of Santa Claus is coming to town. Having included plenty of obvious songs in the first album, they still found plenty more for this album, but there are a few less obvious selections here too. The three Christmas classics most closely associated with Gene Autry are presented here as a medley (Here comes Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer); in the earlier boxed set, Good King Wenceslas was tacked on to the end of that medley, but it appears here as a full-length song.

Overall, this is a brilliant Christmas collection that I would have happily paid full price for years ago if I didn't already own most of the tracks via that boxed set. If you enjoy listening to both the Carpenters and Christmas music, you'll find that this collection sounds exactly as you would expect.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2010 10:39:20 GMT
Rain Man says:
(written as I listen to the album!). Great review Pete, and yes, the version of 'Merry Christmas Darling' is the one that I have played over and over again on my trusty 7" single over the years.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2010 13:52:46 GMT
Thanks for that useful info. I edited my review.
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