The Second Disc

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Merry Christmas, Baby! “A Very Special Christmas” Reissued with New DVD at Target Stores

with 9 comments

A Very Special Christmas TargetIf you can get over the shock of a good amount of holiday CDs available on the shelves at Target, you’ll find a surprise new exclusive: a reissue of the classic 1987 compilation A Very Special Christmas with a brand new DVD about the long-running holiday benefit series.

Produced by acclaimed engineer-turned-label impresario Jimmy Iovine, A Very Special Christmas featured the brightest stars in pop music, from Springsteen to Madonna, recording new versions of classic carols (plus one modern classic, Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis”). Nearly all of its 15 tracks have become staples of holiday radio, and the original album has moved more than 4 million units in the United States. The best part? Proceeds from the sale of the album went to The Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s worldwide organization allowing intellectually-disabled children and adults to compete in sporting events. (Over $100 million has been raised by the album series, now spanning across nine titles.)

With a new subtitle, The Story and The Music, appended to its iconic Keith Haring-designed album sleeve, this new version of A Very Special Christmas features a new 60-minute DVD of highlights from the series’ quarter century-plus history. It comes alongside the most common pressing of the original AVSC album – which substituted a live cover of “Back Door Santa” by Bon Jovi for the same band’s studio recording of a new ballad, “I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas.” (You’ll hear more from us soon on the package, from mastering to bonus content, in a forthcoming review – albeit one closer to the holiday season!)

Head to your local Target to buy this new set now, or order it through the store’s website. Full product specs are after the jump!

Various Artist, A Very Special Christmas: The Story and The Music (A&M/UMe B0019243-00, 2013)

Disc 1: Original album (released as A&M CD 3911/DX 2159-IN02, 1987)

  1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town – The Pointer Sisters
  2. Winter Wonderland – Eurythmics
  3. Do You Hear What I Hear? – Whitney Houston
  4. Merry Christmas Baby (Live) – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – The Pretenders
  6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – John Cougar Mellencamp
  7. Gabriel’s Message – Sting
  8. Christmas in Hollis – Run-D.M.C.
  9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
  10. Santa Baby – Madonna
  11. Little Drummer Boy – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  12. Run Rudolph Run – Bryan Adams
  13. I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas – Bon Jovi
  14. Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet
  15. Silent Night – Stevie Nicks

All tracks exclusive to this compilation except Track 7, the B-side to Sting’s “Russians” (A&M AM-292 (U.K.)/AM-2799 (U.S.), 1985)

Disc 2: The Story and The Song DVD

  1. Intro – The Gift
  2. The Creation
  3. Music and The Movement
  4. The Sequels
  5. The White House
  6. The New Generation
  7. 25th Anniversary – Joy to the World
  8. Changing Lives
  9. Do You Hear What I Hear

9 Responses

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  1. I believe this has been remastered, but if not, it does sound much better than the original pressing.

    For Canadian shoppers, I’m not sure you can order it through but HMV Canada has it in stock.


    October 30, 2013 at 13:49

    • I haven’t given it a real close listen, Tom, but I was bemused that the disc label hasn’t changed over 26 years. Still the same “AAD” information and everything!

      Mike Duquette

      October 30, 2013 at 14:21

  2. The Run-DMC song originally showed up on a 1991 best of, and has since appeared on at least 6 more complations of theirs.

    Bill Janowski

    October 31, 2013 at 12:45

    • It was also originally part of a Various Artists Compilation ‘Christmas Rap’ from 1987 IRC,, but its first appearance on the group’s own compilation was 1991.

      Bill Janowski

      October 31, 2013 at 12:47

  3. Why was “Back Door Santa” pulled from subsequent pressings?


    October 31, 2013 at 14:00

    • I’ve often wondered that, myself. The original pressing also had a spoken-word intro by a young child before The Pretenders’ song.


      November 2, 2013 at 03:40

      • Just to let you Know, It was prior to J. C. Mellancamp’s song..


        November 4, 2013 at 20:23

      • Nope, it’s before “Have Yourself…” I have the original and just double-checked. I think you might be confusing it with Mellencamp’s daughter singing at the end of his song.


        November 5, 2013 at 20:25

  4. What happened to “You’ll hear more from us soon on the package, from mastering to bonus content, in a forthcoming review – albeit one closer to the holiday season!”?


    December 14, 2014 at 14:44

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