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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Christmas Album From The Voice Of Christmas!
Capitol Records has given us an early Christmas present by reissuing and expanding it's 1999 Bing Crosby's Christmas Classics CD compilation. This new version, now titled Bing Crosby Christmas Classics, was released Tuesday September 26th.

Gone is the dark cover photo of a piece of sheet music on a piano with a small b/w photo of Bing circa 1963 (which was...
Published on October 7, 2006 by Greg Van Beek

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Nostalgia
Some good songs, although one can tell that, even by the 1950s, Bing's voice wasn't as strong as it once was, and sometimes the back-up singers carried the load.
Published 3 months ago by Frank


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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Christmas Album From The Voice Of Christmas!, October 7, 2006
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This review is from: Christmas Classics (Audio CD)
Capitol Records has given us an early Christmas present by reissuing and expanding it's 1999 Bing Crosby's Christmas Classics CD compilation. This new version, now titled Bing Crosby Christmas Classics, was released Tuesday September 26th.

Gone is the dark cover photo of a piece of sheet music on a piano with a small b/w photo of Bing circa 1963 (which was first used when Capitol hastily reissued an abridged version of Bing's 1962 Warner Bros. Christmas album I Wish You A Merry Christmas in 1977 following Bing's passing). In it's place on this new CD is the original painting that was used on that 1962 Warner Bros. LP! Many people have asked me over the years if that album has ever been reissued on CD with the original artwork. Apart from a late 1980's Australian Axis label CD release of the album that's now virtually impossible to find, 2006's Capitol compilation marks that well-remembered cover painting's first widespread use in over 40 years!

Inside the booklet are full page photos of Bing, including a 1965 Hollywood Palace publicity photo in color, and a b/w photo of Bing & David Bowie. On the backside of the case is a nice photo in silhouette of Bing in tux and tails standing behind a mike onstage at the Academy Awards in 1955.

The CD contains all of the tracks issued on the 1999 release, with a new opening track...White Christmas from the 1957 Frank Sinatra Christmas TV show. It credits this cut as being a "Nelson Riddle Arrangement", when in reality, this is the arrangement Paul Weston wrote for Bing's A Christmas Sing With Bing annual radio show in 1955. Now Reprise released the full length version of this song, complete with Frank taking the last chorus as a duet with Bing, as part of it's 2004 Frank Sinatra: The Christmas Collection CD compilation, but here Capitol re-edited the track to omit Frank's vocal! It makes for an oddly short track with a chopped ending, clocking at 1:34.

The other new track is a stunningly crisp 24-bit remastered version of Bing's 1950 Decca recording of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, an obvious choice to follow the '62 album cut of Frosty The Snowman with on the disc.

Do You Hear What I Hear and Christmas Dinner, Country Style are also here rounding out the disc with the full length dialogue version of Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth with David Bowie (recorded 9/11/77). Once again, however, as on it's 1999 release Capitol didn't create a separate cue point to the beginning of the music portion of the duet with Bowie. This would've been beneficial, giving the listener the option of cueing past the dialogue portion if they wished.

However, it's nice to see Capitol keeping this album in print and taking the time and effort to improve upon it.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bing's Christmas from the 60s and 70s like we remember him, November 10, 2006
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This review is from: Christmas Classics (Audio CD)
A very nice collection, with almost all the songs in stereo, less the two TV soundtrack selections and Rudolph. To me, the most amazing track is the heartwarming (some call it syrupy) track "The Littlest Angel" - in this song Bing is in fine voice and the recording is crystal clear without a lot of audio processing like you get nowadays. Do You Hear What I Hear? is one of the greatest songs of the 20th century, and Bing had the first and by far the best version of this song, here in all it's glory. Some of the two song carols are poorly arranged and feature too much choir and not enough Bing, but his solo tracks are quite good, in stereo and sound wonderful for a guy in his sixties and seventies. I'm still amazed that no other performer, David Bowie included, has ever recorded the duet "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" other than Bing & Bowie. It breaks my heart that Bing passed-away shortly after recording this great song, before he and David Bowie could go into a recording studio with an orchestra and make a high-quality stereo recording; but, for a 1977 TV soundtrack, the audio is quite good and captures the moment forever. Bing's baritone - a great part of Christmas. I enjoy this "album" and a release by Polydor/Polygram of Bing's 70's Christmas songs, as my two Crosby Christmas favorites. The only song missing here is a song Bing recorded for United Artists records, "When A Child Is Born". I highly suggest Bing's Christmas Classics if you were a fan of Bing's TV Christmas specials - I think that you'll enjoy it. Merry Christmas everyone.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bing's second-best Christmas album, November 24, 2009
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Nobody can quite get you into the holiday spirit like Bing Crosby. His classic renditions of holiday standards never go out of style. This collection features many great Bing Crosby Christmas songs, and is an ideal companion to Bing's truly classic White Christmas album.

"White Christmas" (originally released as "Merry Christmas" in 1945) is one of the all-time best-selling Christmas albums, featuring classic after classic. That album mixes upbeat holiday tunes (with some help from the Andrews Sisters) with traditional Christmas carols. It is the essential Bing Crosby holiday album, and is offered at generally affordable prices.

If "White Christmas" rates 5 stars, this album, "Bing Crosby - Christmas Classics", is more like a 3.5 or 4. It's still full of very nice Bing Crosby holiday music, but it is a step below his earlier album.

As noted elsewhere, this collection is mainly Bing's 1962 "I Wish You A Merry Christmas" album, with a few added tracks. This version of the song "White Christmas" was taken from a 1957 Frank Sinatra special. The popular duet with David Bowie, "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy", from a 1977 TV special is included. (It starts with a lengthy section of dialogue from the show.)

By 1962 Bing Crosby was getting older. This collection is mostly a late-career Christmas album. Some of the songs are of the more deeply religious variety (Nativity-themed), but there's still "Frosty The Snowman" and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", as well as more secular tunes like "Winter Wonderland", "Let It Snow!", and the square dance jig "Christmas Dinner, Country Style".

You may prefer this album if you want some solemn Noel music or are sick of commercial X-Mas jingles. Overall the album feels more solemn than "White Christmas", with Bing singing with choirs instead of the Andrews Sisters.

The songs are all pretty good. "Rudolph" features a solo by the titular reindeer that I wasn't really ready for, but it's okay. The highlights for me are the excellent "Do You Hear What I Hear?", the Bing & Bowie duet, and "Pat-A-Pan/While Shepherds Watched Their Flock". But, as I said, you can't really go wrong with Bing Crosby Christmas music.

"Bing Crosby - Christmas Classics" is a nice album that could complement "White Christmas" in a holiday music collection, but I'd advise getting the latter album first. This one could make a nice follow-up, though. Every holiday collection should have some Bing Crosby in it (and some Frank Sinatra, maybe a little Nat King Cole). Compared with everything else, this is a fine holiday playlist. It's a great Christmas album, just not the most essential from Bing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, April 25, 2004
By 
Candace Scott (Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
While not as good in song selection or sound quality as the "Proper" box set, this is still an excellent introduction to Bing's music. Unfortunately, they include a few clunkers like "The Whippenpoof Song" (why!?) and omit some fabulous gems. There are also no recording from Bing's Paul Whiteman years, which is a shame. But if you're new to Bing Crosby, then this is good box set to purchase. Not only does it give you a fine overview of Bing's career, the price can't be beat. The packaging of the CD is excellent and it even includes a little booklet with a synopsis of Bing's career and musical style, as well as an explanation of his tremendous musical impact upon the 20th century.
The song selection is pretty decent, with some conspicuous omisions and an occasional curious choice for inclusion, but the sheer number of songs is amazing. Another prominent label has released a Bing complilation with an edited version of "Dinah," where the Mill Brothers are cut out of the song. No such foolishness here; the complete version of "Dinah" is included.
Other reviewers have complained about the sound quality on this set. I am puzzled at this criticism. I have most of these songs on casette, vinyl and some even on their original 78 and 45 issues. The sound quality here is quite acceptable and good on most tracks. This set will give you many hours of enjoyable listening and help you branch off into other Crosby CD's which includes his lesser-known vocals. I highly recommend this boxed set. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bing is the MAN, October 8, 2010
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No one does Christmas like Bing Crosby. I'm not old enough to actually be familiar with much of his music, but somehow I grew up to my family listening to it. Now I can't think of anyone else doing it any better than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Memories, January 31, 2010
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This review is from: Christmas Classics (Audio CD)
I love it. It has all the songs played by my parents at Christmas and the quality is very good. It gave me that audio link to my past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice budget collection, July 15, 2013
This review is from: Bing Crosby. (Audio CD)
Coming in a very basic package, the credits are limited to song titles and writers. Duet vocals are not credited. However, this is a great selection of Bing's music, especially at the modest price I paid. While I recognized some of the duet vocals instantly, I had fun identifying others. In case you don't want to spend the time doing the same, I list them below.

Most of the songs are familiar to famo of Bing, and some are famous via later covers, notably Swinging on a star (covered by Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva, although they dropped the fish verse).

Tracks

1 Swinging on a star (with Williams Brothers including Amdy)
2 Gone fishin' (with Louis Armstrong)
3 Blue skies
4 Moonlight becomes you
5 In the cool cool cool of the evening (with Jane Wyman)
6 The folks who live on the hill
7 Too ra loo ra loo ra
8 Wrap your troubles in dreams
9 Stardust
10 People will say we're in love (with Trudy Erwin)
11 McNamara's Band (with Milo O'Shea and Dermot O'Brien)
12 A fella with an umbrella
13 Don't fence me in (with Andrews Sisters)
14 Sweeet leilani
15 The Spaniard who blighted my life (with Al Jolson)
16 Play a simple melody
17 San Antonio rose
18 Now is the hour
19 Give me the simple life
20 Alexander's ragtime band (with Al Jolson)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Lane, February 2, 2013
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This review is from: Christmas Classics (Audio CD)
I love this CD.

I reminded of being at moms house, with the scents filling the air, of a fresh tree, cookies, spice cakes, and a rolling fire glowing on the hearth.

Reminds me of my mother signing carols while she is in the kitchen. LOVE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great set of classics!, January 27, 2013
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This is an awesome album! almost all that you need to run a great continuous Christmas playlist. Bing Crosby is one of the top 3 all-time holiday song singers, this is worth having.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better Christmas music, November 18, 2011
This review is from: Christmas Classics (Audio CD)
For decades Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" was the best selling song in the history of charted music. It has become the definitive Christmas song (outside of traditional carols), and its warm feeling and hope of a time gone by always brings a glow.

Every song on this album is strong, with a good mix of traditional (O Holy Night, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing), fun (Frosty and Rudolf), family (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas), and seasonal (Winter Wonderland, Let it Snow!), as examples.

Not only does it have Bing's performance of "The Little Drummer Boy", but the now classic medley of "Peace on Earth"/"Little Drummer Boy" with David Bowie, from one of Bing's many Christmas TV specials. In my opinion, Bing recorded the best version of many Christmas songs, and "Little Drummer Boy" is one of those. Another is "Do You Hear What I Hear", also on this album.

If you are into the Christmas season and cheery, beautiful and moving Christmas music, this should be an essential part of your collection.
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Christmas Classics
Christmas Classics by Bing Crosby (Audio CD - 2006)
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