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40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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$34.88 $0.58

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Christmas Is ComingDavid Benoit 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Just Like MeVanessa Williams 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Linus And LucyDave Koz 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The YearToni Braxton 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. My Little DrumRick Braun 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. SkatingNorman Brown 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Christmas Time Is HereBrian McKnight 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. O TannenbaumGerald Albright 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Red BaronThe Rippingtons 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Christmas SongChaka Khan 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Fur EliseDavid Benoit 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Christmas Time Is Here (Reprise)Eric Marienthal 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Peak Records
  • ASIN: B000A2GX4A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Charlie Brown Christmas, an enduring holiday tradition enjoyed by television audiences around the world, this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. To mark the landmark event, Peak Records is releasing 40 Years--A Charlie Brown Christmas, a collection of newly recorded versions of holiday favorites and Vince Guaraldi-penned Peanuts classics, such as the instantly recognizable "Linus and Lucy." The album also includes two Peanuts songs not featured on Vince Guaraldi's multiplatinum-selling A Charlie Brown Christmas, "Red Baron" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

40 Years--A Charlie Brown Christmas showcases the talents of Gerald Albright, Toni Braxton, Norman Brown, Chaka Khan, Dave Koz, Brian McKnight, Eric Marienthal, and the Rippingtons. Also featured is Vanessa Williams on "Just Like Me," a new track written by David Benoit, who both performed on and produced the CD, and Lee Mendelson, longtime producer of the holiday television specials.

40 Years--A Charlie Brown Christmas was the brainchild of five-time GRAMMY-nominated musician, composer, and arranger David Benoit, who has been composing music for Peanuts television specials for over ten years, including the 2000 recording Here's to You, Charlie Brown.

A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted debuted on network television in 1965. Written by Charles M. Schulz, with Bill Melendez directing and Mendelson as executive producer, the show won an Emmy for Oustanding Children's Program, despite initial concerns about the show's leisurely-paced jazz soundtrack, religious theme, and use of children's voices. In December 2004, A Charlie Brown Christmas was named Best Christmas Special by TV Guide and drew an audience of over 13 million viewers, the special's best numbers ever on ABC.

Could the old Peanuts gang’s Christmas antics really be hitting the 40-year mark? This well-deserved tribute to one of the most popular holiday TV specials ever features a stellar adult-contemporary lineup that includes Toni Braxton, Norman Brown, Chaka Khan, Dave Koz, the Rippingtons, Vanessa Williams, and others. The unfettered sentimentality that marked the original TV special and the wry wisdom of these enduring characters are captured here and there in an album that manages to reinvent the magic of cartoon characters and the Christmas season, complete with a brief respite of Für Elise and lite jazz style that permeates the overall mix. To celebrate the anniversary, the vocalists and musicians have made what is truly an immediately accessible record that will appeal from kids from 1 to 92. --Martin Keller

Customer Reviews

They don't add to the theme and just seem like 'filler.' to me.
R. Kyle
I will always be a fan of Peanuts and the gang,but this recording is not on my top lists of remembering Charlie Brown.
P. Hawkins
This is a classic smooth Jazz/ R&B version directed at customers like me.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By red herring on December 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I was excited to receive this CD as a gift because the original Vince Guaraldi soundtrack has been one of my favorite Christmas CD's for years. Given the lineup of artists on this one, I figured it was a can't-miss. Well, with a few exceptions they miss about as badly as is possible, particularly the vocalists. I totally agree with the reviewer above who thought Chaka Khan sounded drunk--on top of a dirge-like tempo she's nowhere near the key, and her vocalese sounds like she's going to crash down off the barstool at any moment. Toni Braxton, there are some songs for which breathy/sexy is inappropriate, and you sure found one of them in "It's the most Wonderful Time of Year" (which, though a perfectly fine Christmas song, has no connection with Charlie Brown Christmas or Vince Guaraldi). Even Brian McKnight, usually the king of smooth, delivers an absolutely funereal version of "Christmas Time is Here".

Even the instrumentals don't get off unscathed: "Red Baron", by the Rippingtons, is a masterpiece of bland everything-sounds-the-same smooth jazz and also has nothing to do with Charlie Brown Christmas (or Christmas at all, for that matter), and the opening track, "Christmas is Coming" by David Benoit sounds like the opening to a Christmas musical comedy.
There are a couple of bright spots: Norman Brown, always tasteful and creative, does a good job with "Skating", and the work of Gerald Albright, Dave Koz and Rick Braun is at least competent.
The main problem here is that nothing contained in this set improves on, or even approaches the original (assuming it has someting to do with the original in the first place, which isn't always the case), leading to the unanswerable question of "What's the point?"
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Smokey on November 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Vince Guaraldi's music has been a part of my life since I was a child. Most people have fond memories of this music in association with the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. I bought this CD because I'm a huge fan of Guaraldi's music and try to collect anything by him or associated with him. Unfortunately, this CD offers a poor product. Some of the tracks (like Fur Elise) stay very close to the original. Other tracks try to "modernize" or "reinterpret" the original--and don't do a very good job. My four year old daughter told me when we were listening to this CD, "Daddy, shut this off. They're ruining Charlie Brown." I must agree with my daughter on this one. Do yourself a favor and just purchase the Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown's Christmas CD. Guaraldi's CD is one of the best selling Christmas CDs of all time (and with good reason). You won't be disappointed with Guaraldi's CD, however, I cannot make the same prediction with the 40 Years CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RJ Nuzzi on October 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD
All those ripping this 'Anniversary' CD to shreds aren't being totally fair. Yes, Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Christmas classic is one for the ages. It seems that every season we get a re-issue of some sort which would satisfy the faithful (or ruffle some feathers). However, this one has the blessing of Lee Mendelson, Charlie Brown's franchise producer & lyric writer to 'Christmastime Is Here'. He couldn't have signed off on everything being bad for his baby, in honor of those original team members not around anymore (Schulz & Guaraldi)...

David Benoit's opener, 'Christmas Is Coming', has a larger orchestral take on Guaraldi's 2nd great Peanuts 'dance' number. Yes, it has an 'Ice Capades' sound to the orchestration. However, it is faithful to the original & bears out Guaraldi's exceptional way with jazz & pop composition. For a time he & George Winston took up Guaraldi's place scoring the Peanuts' animations after Guaraldi's untimely death in 1974. This version is uplifting & grand.

Dave Koz does a 'lite' jazz read of 'Linus & Lucy', the gangs' classic 'dance' number (in the Christmas special). I don't think he can be faulted for performing the melody with his saxophone & thusly having it sound more 'lite-jazz' than Guaraldi's blend of 'boogie-woogie' & heftier jazz piano. Oddly, it's David Benoit's rendition (on another Peanuts' Anniversary collection) which gives the classic track much more of a proper punch of jazz ensembling, also starting the track with Guaraldi's own recorded snippet (Peanuts 50 Years)...

'My Little Drum' & 'Skating' keep to the original as well, but again, scaling the 'melody' with horn & guitar instruments. Once more, these renditions only bear out Guaraldi's classic & lovely use of chord progression &, yes, melody!
Read more ›
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By enommaz on October 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Vince Guaraldi would be proud...this CD is a beautiful and wonderful listening experience; fit for anytime of the year, especially during the holiday season. Top notch talent from David Benoit, Vanessa Williams, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, and many more collaborated to bring this fantastic 40 year tribute to "A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special" performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio (easily one of the most elegant, sultry, and good memory inducing...Christmas Jazz albums of all time).

David Benoit's "Christmas is Coming" is one of the most exciting and exhilirating tracks on the CD...what a wonderful way to open the album.

Brian McKnight adds the smoothness to "Christmas Time Is Here"; his excellent vocals, backed by excellent music will surely turn this version of the timeless song into one of radio's most requested tunes for the holidays.

Toni Braxton keeps it sultry on "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". If you're a fan of Toni Braxton's'll be hooked on this song.

I won't go into the rest of the album, I'll let you be surprised. You will love this CD! "40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas" is destined to become an instant classic. Don't be a "block head" as Lucy would this CD, enjoy it!
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