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Concord Collates “Charlie Brown Christmas”

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Christmas time is here! Okay, maybe not yet, but that’s not stopping Concord Music Group from releasing another set of holiday-ready discs from the Peanuts universe today.

The Charlie Brown Collection is a four-disc set featuring some of the best seasonal music written for Charles M. Schultz’s boy named Charlie Brown. Of course, much of that musical credit goes to Vince Guaraldi, the composer of 17 Charlie Brown television specials, including the iconic A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. Guaraldi was selected by producer Lee Mendelsohn to score a Peanuts documentary after hearing the pianist’s Grammy-winning “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” in a taxicab. Not only did Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas add several jazzy compositions to the holiday canon (including the gorgeous “Christmas Time is Here”), but it also introduced the world to “Linus and Lucy,” to this day the musical shorthand for the whole Peanuts universe.

While the Charlie Brown Christmas set has been reissued more times than can be imagined – pull up a chair and enjoy this great article about that very phenomenon – Concord has put together a modest set for this collection. The first two discs follow the original CD programs of A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Boy Named Charlie Brown, keeping the bonus tracks included with each disc but ignoring subsequent archival material. The third disc is 2010’s Peanuts Portraits compilation, a hodgepodge of rare and unreleased Guaraldi originals, while the fourth disc, 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas, is a 2005 set that featured tributes to the music from the likes of David Benoit, Brian McKnight, Dave Koz, Chaka Khan, Vanessa Williams and more.

If you don’t own any of these sets (and are okay without the full bonus tracks from A Charlie Brown Christmas, as was originally re-released in 2006), the $30 price tag for four discs might be right up your alley. With a relatively light offering for holiday reissues this year, The Charlie Brown Collection might be the one to make your spirits bright.

After the jump, check out the full track breakdown and Amazon order links.

Various Artists, The Charlie Brown Collection (Fantasy FAN-33253-02, 2011)

Disc 1: The Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas (originally released as  Fantasy 5019, 1965)

  1. O Tannenbaum
  2. What Child is This?
  3. My Little Drum
  4. Linus and Lucy
  5. Christmas Time is Here (Instrumental)
  6. Christmas Time is Here (Vocal)
  7. Skating
  8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  9. Christmas is Coming
  10. Für Elise
  11. The Christmas Song
  12. Greensleeves (bonus track on CD issue – Fantasy FCD 8431-2, 1988)

Disc 2: The Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (originally released as Fantasy 8430, 1965)

  1. Oh, Good Grief
  2. Pebble Beach
  3. Happiness Is
  4. Schroeder
  5. Charlie Brown Theme
  6. Blue Charlie Brown
  7. Baseball Theme
  8. Freida with the Naturally Curly Hair
  9. Fly Me to the Moon (bonus track on CD issue Fantasy FCD 8430-2, 1988)

Disc 3: Peanuts Portraits – The Classic Character Themes (originally released as Fantasy FAN-32033-25, 2010)

  1. Linus and Lucy
  2. Sally’s Blues
  3. Blue Charlie Brown (Version #2 – Is It James or Charlie)
  4. Peppermint Patty
  5. Charlie’s Blues (Variation)
  6. Joe Cool
  7. Freida with the Naturally Curly Hair (Alternate)
  8. Schroeder (Alternate)
  9. Little Birdie
  10. The Masked Marvel – George Winston
  11. Linus and Lucy – George Winston

Track 1 from A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy 5019, 1965)
Tracks 2, 5, 7 and 8 previously unreleased
Tracks 3-4 from The Lost Cues from The Charlie Brown Television Specials Volume 1 (D&B VG-118, 2007)
Tracks 6 and 9 from The Lost Cues from The Charlie Brown Television Specials Volume 2 (D&B VG-118, 2008)
Tracks 10 and 11 from Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi (Windham Hill 01934 11184-2, 1996)

Disc 4: 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas (originally released as Peak Records PKD-8534-2, 2005)

  1. Christmas is Coming – David Benoit
  2. Just Like Me – Vanessa Williams
  3. Linus and Lucy – Dave Koz
  4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Toni Braxton
  5. My Little Drum – Rick Braun
  6. Skating – Norman Brown
  7. Christmas Time is Here – Brian McKnight
  8. O Tannenbaum – Gerald Albright
  9. Red Baron – The Rippingtons
  10. The Christmas Song – Chaka Khan
  11. Für Elise – David Benoit
  12. Christmas Time is Here (Reprise) – Eric Marienthal

Written by Mike Duquette

November 21, 2011 at 11:45

One Response

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  1. Looks like a nice set, but I own much of this so doubt I’ll get it.

    Does anyone know if the OST to the movie “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” with Rod McKuen’s songs has ever been on CD?


    November 21, 2011 at 23:52

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