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Let It Snow! Legacy Has Eight New “Classic Christmas” Titles Including Unheard Sinatra, Mathis Tracks

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FrankIt’s that time of the year again! Legacy Recordings’ Classic Christmas Album series has become an annual tradition, and the label is once again drawing on the Sony Music vaults to offer new seasonal anthologies from a group of truly celebrated artists. This year, the bona fide legends include Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Perry Como, and Johnny Mathis, and their volumes will be joined by an entry for the classical crossover quartet Il Divo as well as by various-artists compilations spotlighting hard rock, country and pop Christmas classics. These eight new, remastered titles will be available October 7, 2014 and feature a variety of holiday treats!

This year’s line-up introduces various-artists releases to the series, and also expands its purview to include previously unissued tracks and rarities (much in the style of Sony’s long-running Playlist series) on the Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra titles. Frank Sinatra’s Classic Christmas Album features 14 holiday favorites from his 1940s Columbia Records period, long before he was “Ol’ Blue Eyes” or “The Chairman of the Board.” At Columbia, Sinatra was “The Voice” – the voice which inspired bobbysoxers to riot and listeners everywhere to swoon. In addition to familiar fare (“Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “White Christmas”), this collection offers two spirituals first issued on a 1947 single (“Jesus is a Rock (In a Weary Land),” “I’ve Got a Home in That Rock”) and two previously unissued performances: Frank Loesser’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with singer Dorothy Kirsten and an alternate version of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” with the Page Cavanaugh Trio. This alternate version follows a different approach to the performance of the same song Sinatra recorded four years later with the B. Swanson Quartet in 1950 (which is also included on the CD). Sinatra performed “Baby” with Kirsten on 1949’s Light Up Time radio program; “Let It Snow” with Cavanaugh dates to 1946’s Songs by Sinatra show.

JMCCRare songs also feature on the Johnny Mathis volume. Two previously unissued tracks make their first appearances anywhere – “Ol’ Kris Kringle” and “Give Me Your Love for Christmas.” The latter has been confirmed as an alternate recording to the familiar version from 1969’s Give Me Your Love for Christmas LP. This holiday collection also includes both sides of two rare singles: “Christmas in the City of the Angels” b/w “The Very First Christmas Day” (1979) and “Christmas Is” b/w “Sign of the Dove” (1971). “Christmas Is” was previously issued on CD by Sony Special Products in 1999 as the title track of a budget compilation, but the other three single sides make their CD debuts here. In total, Johnny’s Classic Christmas Album includes 14 songs including his 2006 duet with Bette Midler of “Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow!,” drawing on his rich Christmas catalogue which dates back to 1958’s Merry Christmas and to date encompasses six full-length holiday LPs.

After the jump: Perry Como, Barbra Streisand, Il Divo and more – plus pre-order links and track listings for all eight titles!

PCCCThe late crooner Perry Como also occupies a special place in the Christmas pantheon. Between 1946 and 1982, the genial entertainer recorded four holiday-themed albums for RCA Victor and a handful of singles, all of which were collected by Real Gone Music on The Complete Christmas Collection. Mr. C’s Classic Christmas Album entry collects 14 Christmas perennials inimitably sung in Como’s trademark relaxed style, including “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” and the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice composition “Christmas Dream.” The crossover classical vocal quartet Il Divo followed in the footsteps of vocal legends like Como and Mathis with the 2005 release The Christmas Collection; this platinum-selling 10-track set has been retitled as part of this Classic Christmas Album series.

BSCCIn 2006, Il Divo toured as special guests of Barbra Streisand; next week, the venerable Columbia artist may break records to become the only artist in history with No. 1 albums in six consecutive decades if her new duets project, Partners, continues tracking apace. Last year, Streisand received a Classic Christmas Album volume. That album has been tweaked for this year’s version, going from 16 tracks to 15 and seemingly favoring her sacred performances over her secular ones. The 2014 edition adds Gounod and Schubert’s settings of “Ave Maria,” plus “The Lord’s Prayer” and “One God” to a line-up already including “Silent Night” and “I Wonder as I Wander.” Other highlights include Streisand’s singular “Jingle Bells?,” Stephen Sondheim’s “I Remember,” and Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?.” The Loesser tune is new to the collection.

HRCCFinally, the series introduces three entries, each dedicated to a specific genre of music. The Classic Christmas Pop Album concentrates on modern pop (roughly speaking), with songs from Backstreet Boys (“Christmas Time”), New Kids on the Block (“The Christmas Song”), Karmin (“Sleigh Ride”) and Phantom Planet (“Carol of the Bells”). The Classic Hard Rock Christmas Album offers an intriguing artist line-up including Jeff Beck (“Amazing Grace”), Joe Satriani (“Silent Night/Holy Night Jam”), Steve Vai (“Christmas Time is Here”), Toto’s Steve Lukather (“The Christmas Song”), Rush’s Alex Lifeson (“The Little Drummer Boy”) and Journey’s Neal Schon (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”). The Classic Christmas Country Album – a Wal-Mart exclusive release – draws on C&W artists young and old for a cross-section of downhome holiday tunes including Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper,” Brad Paisley’s “Winter Wonderland,” Martina McBride’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Alabama’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

All of these titles will be available from Legacy Recordings on October 7 and can be pre-ordered at the links below!

Frank Sinatra, The Classic Christmas Album (Columbia/Legacy 88883 74361-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

  1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (rec. 12/28/47)
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (rec. 11/5/50)
  3. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (rec. 12/28/47)
  4. I’ve Got A Home In That Rock (rec. 5/16/45)
  5. Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful) (rec. 8/8/46)
  6. Christmas Dreaming (A Little Early This Year) (rec. 6/26/47)
  7. Jingle Bells (rec. 8/8/46)
  8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (rec. 6/26/47)
  9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (rec. 12/28/47)
  10. Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land (rec. 5/16/45)
  11. Silent Night, Holy Night (rec. 8/27/45)
  12. White Christmas (rec. 11/14/44)
  13. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Dorothy Kirsten) *
  14. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! *

Johnny Mathis, The Classic Christmas Album (Columbia/Legacy 88843 09103-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (from Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis, Columbia FC 40447, 1986)
  2. Ol’ Kris Kringle *
  3. The Very First Christmas Day (Columbia single 1-11158, 1979)
  4. Calypso Noel (from Give Me Your Love for Christmas, Columbia CS 9923, 1968)
  5. My Kind Of Christmas (Columbia single 4-42238, 1961)
  6. Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Bette Midler with Johnny Mathis (from Cool Yule, Columbia 88697 01924-2, 2006)
  7. Give Me Your Love For Christmas *
  8. Sleigh Ride (from Merry Christmas, Columbia CS 8021, 1958)
  9. The Christmas Waltz  (from Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis, Columbia FC 40447, 1986)
  10. Christmas In The City Of The Angels (Columbia single 1-11158, 1979)
  11. Christmas Is… (Columbia single 4-45513, 1971)
  12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (from Sounds of Christmas, Mercury SR 60837, 1963)
  13. Home For The Holidays (from Sending You a Little Christmas, Columbia 88883 77205-2, 2013)
  14. Sign Of The Dove (Columbia single 4-45513, 1971)

Barbra Streisand, The Classic Christmas Album (originally released with different cover/sequence as Columbia/Legacy 88883 76933-2, 2013 – reissued Columbia/Legacy 88843 01308-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Jingle Bells?
  2. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  3. Sleep In Heavenly Peace (Silent Night)
  4. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  5. My Favorite Things (from The Sound Of Music)
  6. Ave Maria Op. 52 No. 6
  7. I Remember (from Evening Primrose)
  8. One God
  9. Christmas Lullaby
  10. The Best Gift
  11. I Wonder As I Wander
  12. Snowbound
  13. Christmas Mem’ries
  14. Gounod’s Ave Maria
  15. The Lord’s Prayer

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 10-11, 14-15 from A Christmas Album, Columbia CS 9557, 1967
Tracks 2, 4, 6-9, 12-13 from Christmas Memories, Columbia CK 85920, 2001

Il Divo, The Classic Christmas Album (originally released as The Christmas Collection – Syco/Columbia CK 97715, 2005 – reissued Syco/Columbia/Legacy 88875 01623-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. O Holy Night
  2. White Christmas
  3. Ave Maria
  4. When A Child Is Born
  5. Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)
  6. Over The Rainbow
  7. Panis Angelicus
  8. Rejoice
  9. Silent Night
  10. The Lord’s Prayer

Perry Como, The Classic Christmas Album (RCA/Legacy 88843 09104-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Here We Come A-Caroling/We Wish You A Merry Christmas (rec. 7/13/59)
  2. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (rec. 9/18/51)
  3. There’s No Christmas Like A Home Christmas (rec. 8/15/50)
  4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (rec. 1953 or 1959)
  5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (rec. 1953 or 1959)
  6. (There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays (rec. 7/15/59)
  7. O Holy Night (rec. 7/13/59)
  8. Winter Wonderland (rec. 1946 or 1959)
  9. Silver Bells (rec. 1953 or 1968)
  10. The Little Drummer Boy (rec. 1968)
  11. Christmas Dream (rec. 8/7/74)
  12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (rec. 1968)
  13. White Christmas (rec. 7/10/47 or 7/15/59)
  14. The Story Of The First Christmas (likely rec. 7/13/59)

Various Artists, The Classic Christmas Pop Album (Legacy 88875 02029-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Last ChristmasMetro Station
  2. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Big Time Rush
  3. Sleigh Ride – Karmin
  4. All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day – Hurts
  5. Christmas Time – Backstreet Boys
  6. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) – New Kids On The Block
  7. Silent Night – Bros
  8. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – B2K
  9. This Christmas – Jagged Edge
  10. White Christmas – Westlife
  11. This Christmas – Menudo
  12. Feliz Navidad (Acoustic) – Los Lonely Boys
  13. She Came Home for Christmas – Mew
  14. A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) – Glasvegas
  15. Carol Of The Bells – Phantom Planet

Various Artists, The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album (Legacy 88875 02028-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Amazing Grace – Jeff Beck
  2. The Little Drummer Boy – Alex Lifeson
  3. Silent Night/Holy Night Jam – Joe Satriani
  4. Christmas Time Is Here – Steve Vai
  5. The Christmas Song – Steve Lukather
  6. O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Neal Schon
  7. Sleigh Ride – Stuart Hamm
  8. O Come All Ye Faithful – Trevor Rabin
  9. Deck The Halls – Ted Nugent
  10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Robin Trower
  11. We Three Kings – Halford

Various Artists, The Classic Christmas Country Album (Legacy 88875 02026-2, 2014) (Wal-Mart)

  1. Christmas Time’s A Comin’ – Patty Loveless
  2. Christmas Time – John Anderson
  3. Pretty Paper – Kenny Chesney with Willie Nelson
  4. Rockin’ Little Christmas – Deborah Allen
  5. Santa Baby – Kellie Pickler
  6. Blue Christmas – K.T. Oslin
  7. Please Come Home For Christmas – Lonestar
  8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Sara Evans
  9. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Alabama
  10. Jingle Bell Rock – Sweethearts Of The Rodeo
  11. Mele Kalikimaka – Jake Owen
  12. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Ricochet
  13. Winter Wonderland – Brad Paisley
  14. White Christmas – Lari White
  15. The Christmas Song – Brooks & Dunn
  16. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Martina McBride

(*) denotes previously unreleased track

Written by Joe Marchese

September 23, 2014 at 11:20

2 Responses

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  1. I was comparing The Classic Christmas Hard Rock Album with its related original release, Merry Axemas (hinted at on the cover), and this new version includes most of that and only substitutes a few new songs in place of some old tracks.

    Bill Janowski

    September 23, 2014 at 12:28

  2. I’ll wait until they rerelease the Paul Revere & The Raiders’ Christmas Album 😛

    Victor Dang

    September 24, 2014 at 23:59


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