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My second favorite original Christmas album
on 6 November 2004
Unlike the slightly inferior version of the album currently available in America, the UK release (which only mentions Dolly on the top of the cover) is a straight re-issue of the original album, with six duets and four solo tracks - two each by Kenny (Silent night and The Christmas song) and Dolly (White Christmas and a medley of Winter wonderland and Sleigh ride). I see that this review also appears on the inferior American version, which credits Kenny and Dolly on the top of the cover, but replaces Kenny's solo tracks with Dolly's Hard candy Christmas.
The solo tracks are excellent but it is the six duets that make this album stand out among my many wonderful Christmas albums. Dolly wrote five of the songs especially for the album and the other is also an original song. I believe in Santa Claus and With bells on are rollicking, up-tempo songs. Christmas without you is a reflective song about missing somebody. A Christmas to remember is another upbeat song. Once upon a Christmas is a stirring song about the birth of Jesus. The greatest gift of all (the only song among the duets that Dolly didn't write) is a lovely romantic ballad, which was covered a year later by Lee Greenwood for his excellent Christmas to Christmas album.
I have bought many brilliant original Christmas albums but this one remained my favorite for more than twenty years after its release. It's still the best upbeat Christmas album I've heard.