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Christmas Celebration of Hope


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Audio CD, June 26, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Christmas Celebration Of Hope by B.B. King

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Now that Charles Brown is gone, it's up to B.B. King to uphold the blues for Christmas. If this first collection of holiday music is any indication, he deserves his own igloo in the North Pole. Self-produced with his touring band in New Orleans during a spring heat wave, A Christmas Celebration of Hope finds King overcoming both the heat and Yuletide music clichés, turning out an inspired and rollicking album that is lit from within by King's generous spirit and gracious heart. Like others before him, King dipped into the blues and R&B holiday canon, but instead of just recycling well-worn classics, he plucked gems like "Blues Decorations" and "Backdoor Santa" out of obscurity and polished them to a high gloss. When King does cover standards, like "Merry Christmas, Baby" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," he imbues them with his own earthy personality and sleek, restrained playing. King also includes two originals in this surprise package: "Celebration," which he first released in 1960, and the new instrumental, "Christmas Love." This record not only will make Christmas merrier for the listener, it will also help people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes, as King has donated the proceeds to the City of Hope, the world-renowned biomedical research and treatment center. --Jaan Uhelszki

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Please Come Home For Christmas 4:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Lonesome Christmas 3:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Back Door Santa 3:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Christmas In Heaven 4:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I'll Be Home For Christmas 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. To Someone That I Love 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Christmas Celebration 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Merry Christmas Baby 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Christmas Love 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Blue Decorations 3:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Christmas Comes But Once A Year 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Bringing In A Brand New Year 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Auld Lang Syne 2:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B00005R8EW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,659 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Live at the Royal Albert Hall Trailer

Biography

Blues legend B.B. King has been spending time this year thinking about "The B.B. King That Was." There is his bricks, mortar and memory project down in a Mississippi blues crossroads, his very own B.B. King Museum, which acknowledges his past. And then, his new Geffen Records CD One Kind Favor which puts the blues maestro in competition, not with other players, but. himself. ... Read more in Amazon's B.B. King Store

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Customer Reviews

Why B.B. King at the holiday's!
MJK
It's been a long time comin' but this is one of the best holiday albums that I have ever heard.
Charles E. Jones Jr.
I have been looking for a great Blues Holiday CD for years.
Curtis J. George

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Jones Jr. on November 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
What can I say? It's been a long time comin' but this is one
of the best holiday albums that I have ever heard. There isn't
a bad track on this great cd and many of the songs are
wonderful new tunes for the holiday season. The backup band
could not be better. The piano, the horns, all of the band
is crystal clear and just beautiful. B.B. and his trademark
Gibson electric guitar, Lucille have never sounded better in my opinion and I'm a long-time fan of the man.
Buy this great cd and Happy Holidays!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'll preface this review by saying I am not a professional cd reviewer. I am a B.B. King fan from away back and this latest Christmas CD is a welcome addition to my Holiday favorites. It is excellent not only just for listening; but, also provides good background party music. It has a great feel for getting with your mood. Thanks for bringing out some good new songs along with my favorite oldies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on December 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I've only had this CD for a week and it is already one of my favorites. When you think about it, it is amazing that B.B. King hasn't done a Christmas album before this. It was just meant to be. That big, warm, strong voice is the aural equivalent of a blazing fire. It was made for homey, comfortable Christmas songs. At the same time, even past seventy, he's got a sexy edge that makes a song like Clarence Carter's Back Door Santa at least as hot as the original. For me, the highlight is Merry Christmas Baby, a song that just about every blues or r&b singer of the past forty years has recorded (some of them brilliantly). This version would stand up to any of them, and wins my vote as the best ever, and, honestly, is among the toughest, hottest, most soul-drenched things I have ever heard B.B. King do. It there is such a thing as justice, this album is destined to become a classic.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on October 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is not your typical Christmassy Christmas CD. It's definitely blue tinged, a blues Christmas, if you will. There aren't many familiar songs here, and what ones there are such as "Merry Christmas, Baby" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" are nice and fresh arrangements. As for "Auld Lang Syne", well, how many ways are there to play that song?
However, the highlights for me were the great bluesy interpretation of "Please Come Home For Christmas", the playful "Back Door Santa", and the very sentimental rendition of
"Christmas In Heaven".
This is different for B. B. King. There is a more subtle power here than in much of his work, and this will likely put you in a contemplative mood. The blue mood permeates, but isn't depressing. There is, I believe, an attitude of hope expressed here although it's being expressed mostly from a very blue mood. One must remember that this record is to help AIDS victims, and this kind of expression seems very appropriate.
If it were not a Christmas record, I would probably rate it five stars, but because it is and yet doesn't express the Christmas spirit as openly as some records, I consider it a four star CD, but a very strong four stars.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diane Dormant on November 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I love BB King. He lifts my spirits, elevates my soul, makes me smile, and activates my heart and my foot. That said, this new Xmas album feels as if some producer said, "BB sells. Xmas sells. A surefire combination!" and a tired, disinterested BB reported into the studio for duty.
"A Christmas Celebration of Hope" not only lacks hope, it lacks energy, variety, enthusiasm, and everything wonderful about BB King. Sorry BB.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D.R.L. on December 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD
~ B.B. King's "A Christmas Celebration of Hope" is a 48-minute collection of good-humored holiday chestnuts. B.B. manages to avoid the core of the Christmas tunes that seem to show up on almost all other Christmas CDs. Yes, there are some familiar songs like "Merry Christmas Baby", but they get a unique treatment by B.B. But mostly these are songs you have not heard before, so in that sense the CD is rather enjoyable. B.B. also mixes his 10 vocal tracks with 3 instrumental tracks to add to the variety. Wisely he plays "Auld Lang Syne" as a funky instrumental instead of singing the lyrics. A few of the tracks are taken at a slow, blues pace but most are medium-to-fact tempo romps. In addition to periodic outbursts from King's guitar Lucille, there is plenty of brass and organ in the funky arrangements. The Nashville String Machine is added to only three tracks, thereby avoiding the tendency of so many producers to make Christmas collections overly sentimental. Several of the tracks point to New Year's Eve partying; indeed the feeling of the entire CD is one of a party rather than a cozy evening sipping eggnog in front of the fireplace.
~ Highly recommended as a change of pace for your Christmas / New Year's Eve listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "Colorado" Vail on December 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
A nice collection of Christmas (and New Years') tunes, arranged and performed in polished blues style. King's fans will love this, as will anyone who is looking for something a bit different than Bing Crosby, The Carpenters, et al. King remakes an earlier Christmas song (Christmas Celebration), which he originally cut for the Kent label, and which can be found on some budget comps, sometimes titled "Celebrate Christmas."

Mood-wise, King's playing is mostly slow or mid-tempo, so this will mix well with mellower, jazzier things, too. In fact, a nice appendage to this set would be a song done by Chris Cain in the King style - "The Little Drummer Boy Meets B.B."(It originally appeared on Cain's 1999 release, "Christmas Cain - Blues For The Holidays").
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