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A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered & Expanded Edition)

October 9, 2012 | Format: MP3

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Digital Booklet: A Charlie Brown Christmas
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
No, this is not your father's A Charlie Brown Christmas album. As has been pointed out here already, there's a different mix and alternate takes. But some points should be brought to a prospective buyer's attention so as to truly appreciate what's been done here.

The remix by Stephen Hart serves 1 purpose - to clean up a poorly recorded (even by mid-sixties standards)soundtrack. Noise reduction was used to remove excessive hiss, and the new mix was re-eq'd to accomodate listening by today's standards. It had been suggested that some left hand work by Vince is lost in this mix, but that is highly unlikely since, although probably recorded on a 4-track machine, the trio appeared to have had each of their instruments recorded in mono. Stephen merely places each instrument slightly to the left,center, or right in order to give a "live club" spaciousness to the sound, rather than the typical studio panned mixes we hear today.

In my opinion, people who are disgruntled with the actual sound of this disc have just been used to the original mix for so long that this appears foreign to them. They're just not used to it. If they long for a 60's sounding disc - they should simply convert their vinyl album to cd-r!

As for the replaced takes...that's another story altogether. Regarding the "wrong take" of "Linus & Lucy": the one presented on this reissue is actually the one that was used in the film (and this marks the first time this take was made commercially available). All previous issues of this soundtrack album used the version from the A Boy Named Charlie Brown documentary soundtrack.
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Format: Audio CD
I really don't think any Christmas music collection could be complete without this soundtrack. When I think back of my childhood and watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special on CBS during the holidays, I can't help but remember the warm feeling that Vince Guaraldi's arrangements instilled in me while watching the special. Looking back now, I also think that this soundtrack music was my first memorable exposure to jazz and probably set the stage for my musical appeal to instrumental jazz. "Christmas Time is Here" has become a Holiday jazz standard and has been re-recorded by a number of jazz vocalists but my personal favorite is "Skating". This is the Tao of Christmas. You can't help but lose yourself in the meditative freedom expressed in this arrangement, like the Peanuts characters in the movie, gliding so freely, smoothly and gracefully on the frozen pond in the pristine greyness of winter.
If you grew up watching the Peanuts during Christmas, this CD takes you back to that place in your childhood Christmas heart.
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Format: Audio CD
It wasn't only the wonderful humor of Charles Schulz and the adorable child voices that made "A Charlie Brown Christmas" such an enduring holiday favorite. The score by Vince Guaraldi was sophisticated and sensitive and stands alone as one of the best holiday albums ever. Frankly, we play it all year long, yes, Christmas in July or June or whenever.)

The original compositions ("Skating", "Linus and Lucy", "Christmas is Coming") are brilliant, quirky and humorous, yet are far from childish. They are jazz compositions of real merit, and Guaraldi must have been a true "Peanuts" fan because he really was able to interpret Schulz's characters in musical form.

The score also has Guaraldi's interpretations of favorite Christmas carols. In "Greensleeves" in particular, you can hear how Guaraldi flavors this English classic with snippets of the Charlie Brown music--very clever and makes the score hang together as a unit and not just a patchwork of holiday tunes.

Sometimes the sound is a bit fuzzy on this recording (made originally in 1965), but that doesn't detract much from the pure pleasure of the score. This is a CD we play frequently and I must say, it never palls. I hear new things every time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
POSTED ON THE CONCORD WEB SITE:

"Wednesday December 20, 2006 12:50:35 PM

"OH, GOOD GRIEF!

"A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS CONUNDRUM!

"Some of you may have noticed that the new remixed, remastered version of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' had two mishaps -- these are as follows:

"Track 4: Linus And Lucy -- the original LP version was an edit of two different takes, in the remix for the new CD we ran one of the takes in its entirety. New pressings of the CD will revert back to the original stereo mix -- if you want to replace your copy, please see the instructions at the end of this explanation.

"Track 9: Christmas Is Coming -- the original LP version and the version on the new CD are entirely different takes. This is an unintentional mistake (those keeping close score will note that both versions are identical in length, thus confusion ensued during the final master assembly). Our sincere apologies, if you want to replace your copy, please see below.

"The master has already been updated and versions hitting the stores from this point forward will be corrected.

"For those of you who have noticed that some of the songs have things you've never heard before -- you're right! And these things are NOT mistakes:

"Track 1: O Tannenbaum -- the original LP version had the introduction to the song cut off, on the new CD we reinstated the intro.

"Track 5: Christmas Time Is Here (instrumental) -- the original LP version fades out at the end of the song almost losing the last chord, on the new CD we intentionally left the last chord in.
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