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A Very Special Christmas 3

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Audio CD, October 7, 1997
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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. I Saw Three ShipsSting 1:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. ChristmastimeSmashing Pumpkins 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Children Go Where I Send TheeNatalie Merchant 5:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Santa Baby [feat. P. Diddy]Joseph Simmons 4:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Oi To The WorldNo Doubt 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Blue ChristmasSheryl Crow 3:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. ChristmasBlues Traveler 5:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Oiche Chiun (Silent Night)Enya 3:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Christmas SongHootie And The Blowfish 3:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Ave Maria + IntroChris Cornell 6:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Christmas In The City [feat. Angie Martinez]Mary J. Blige 4:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Santa Claus Is Back In TownJonny Lang 4:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Christmas SongDave Matthews 5:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Christmas Is Now Drawing Near At HandSteve Winwood 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. O Holy NightTracy Chapman 4:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. We Three KingsPatti Smith 5:47$1.29  Buy MP3 

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A Very Special Christmas 3 + A Very Special Christmas 2 + A Very Special Christmas
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: October 7, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GOJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Part three of a series of records that benefits the Special Olympics, A Very Special Christmas 3 from 1997 is as excitingly eclectic as its predecessors. Though it features the likes of R&B chart toppers and hip-hoppers Mase, Puff Daddy, and Snoop Doggy Dogg and alt-rockers No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, , Blues Traveler, and others, the real standout performances belong to Jonny Lang, with his bawdy, barroom version of "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" and Sting, who delivers a proper reading of that old English carol "I Saw Three Ships." The showstopper, though, is Natalie Merchant's "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" in an arrangement so rich and compelling it may top even the many five-star versions of this African-American hymn that have come before it. --Martin Keller

Customer Reviews

Love the variety of artists, and the mix of non-traditional and traditional songs.
jasmine roche
There are a few songs on the album that I really don't care for but the album as a whole is worth buying.
We recommend this CD to anyone who loves Christmas and the magic of great, great music.
M'Liss Douglas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ken Cook on November 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The third album in this series is mostly a winner and well worth adding to your Christmas collection (as well as the first two volumes). As with any compilation that attempts to cover multiple genres, it is bound to be a hit or miss affair for most, but I think the producers of this series have done a pretty good job of it so far. Like the first volume, this record has very few clunkers and is overall worthy of five stars (I gave Volume 2 only four stars on account of it having a higher number of unworthy tracks).
The collection leads off with Sting's short and sweet rendering of the traditional "I Saw Three Ships." Does such a good job with it that you wish the tune went on longer. One of these days, Sting will produce his own Christmas album. Next up is the now defunct alternative band Smashing Pumpkins with their original composition "Christmastime" which you most likely have heard on the radio a number of times. This is one of the top songs on this album. But the best song on this record could very well be Natalie Merchant's "Children Go Where I Send Thee" which is an old gospel song. So the first three songs are already worth the price of this CD alone.
Unfortunately, the mood is spoiled by the next track featuring a whole mess of rap artists doing an ugly version of "Santa Baby." I don't know why the producers of this series feel compelled to stick a rap track on every volume but I don't appreciate it. Next is No Doubt doing "Oi To The World" which is a very annoying song that grates on your nerves after repeated listens. This song would no doubt (pardon the pun) drive Noriega out of his compound.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sam Bethune on December 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I own all the volumes of "A Very Special Christmas" and consider this one to be the best. Maybe I'm sort of a Grinch, but I detest Whitney Houston's version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and Stevie Nicks' interpretation of "Silent Night" which appear on previous editions.
To be sure, some of the songs are better than others. I for one liked "Christmastime" by the Smashing's refreshing to see one of this country's best alternative bands try something a little out of the ordinary.
My hands down favorite on this disc is "Christmas" by Blues Traveler. The lyrics are especially interesting and portray John Popper's initial indifference to Christmas, followed by his getting caught up in the Christmas Spirit, followed by his anxiously awaiting next year's Christmas. It's a truly beautiful and well done piece.
Also worthy of mention is "Ave Maria" by Chris Cornell and Eleven. Cornell's vocals, as well as a very good arrangement of this classic, make it a standout on this collection and alone justifies the purchase price.
The other tracks range from beautiful simplicity (Enya's "Silent Night") to raucous and fun (No Doubt's "Oi to the World).
As previously mentioned, this is the best of the "Very Special Christmas" series. Give it a listen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Sideburns on December 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The third edition of the "A Very Special Christmas" series is for me the most significant. It's definitely very '90's just as the first version was very '80's, but that shouldn't be interpreted as a negative criticism. True, the first instinct of any contemporary rock/pop music fan is likely going to be "Blues Traveller/Hootie & The Blowfish/Tracy Champman? Who listens to those people anymore?"

...but recording original (or even standard) Christmas songs isn't about being current or cutting edge; it's about "making a joyful noise" and, in this case, raising some money for a particularly good cause.

The highlights are, in order, Sting's "I Saw Three Ships", which can't help but get anyone into a jovial mood (my daughter, age 7, particularly loves it...for her it's the title track for the whole CD), Natalie Merchant's "Children Go Where I Send Thee", brilliantly executed yet a bit tedious to listen to as it is a variation on the "Twelve Days Of Christmas" theme (repititious, repititious, get the idea), No Doubt's hyperska cover of "Oi! To The World" (although this did take some time to grow on me...once I was able to deduce Gwen's lyrics -no easy task, they come fast and furious- I was able to enjoy the lighter side of the song), Sheryl Crow's breathy reinterpretation of "Blue Christmas" was particularly sultry...reminds me of Marilyn singing "Happy Birthday" to JFK, Blues Traveler's "Christmas" has to appeal to the inner cynic in everyone (it spoke specifically to me before my daughter was born), and Hootie & the Blowfish, whom I never particularly cared for durng their Huey-Lewis-&-The-News-esque run in the mid-'90's, have in fact done a version of "Christmas Song" sufficient to add extra warmth to any home and hearth.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H3@+h on October 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I found many songs I like on the other "Very Special Christmas" albums, but front to back this is easily my favorite. Maybe because it includes alot of "adult-alternative" artists, but probably just because the songs are sooo good. Just look at the tracklist. Sting, Natalie Merchant, and Sheryl Crow all do great covers, and I also love the songs done by Tracy Chapman and Enya. As far as originals go, I was really impressed by the tracks from Smashing Pumpkins and Blues Traveler, both are excellent, and both sound very seasonal. My reason for purchase however was for "Ave Maria". Chris Cornell (Soundgarden/Audioslave) does an amazing job with it, and it's really quite moving. The rest is good at the least. As the holidays approach, I already can't wait to play this. I also suggest "The Edge Of Christmas" and "You Sleigh Me: Alternative Christmas Hits".
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