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Christmas Portrait Special Edition

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Audio CD, Special Edition, August 24, 1987
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Album Version)0:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Overture (An Old Fashioned Christmas) (Album Version) 8:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. An Old Fashioned Christmas (Album Version) 2:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Christmas Waltz (Album Version) 2:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sleigh Ride (Album Version) 2:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. It's Christmas Time / Sleep Well, Little Children (Album Version) 2:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Album Version) 3:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Album Version) 1:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Album Version) 3:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Carol Of The Bells (Album Version) 1:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Merry Christmas Darling (Album Version/Remix) 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Christ Is Born (Album Version) 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. O Holy Night (Album Version) 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays (Album Version) 2:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Medley: Here Comes Santa Claus/Frosty The Snowman/Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer/Good King Wenceslas (Album Version) 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Medley: Winter Wonderland/Silver Bells/White Christmas (Album Version) 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Ave Maria (Album Version) 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Selections From "Nutcracker": Overture Miniature/Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies/Valse Des Fleurs (Edit) 5:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Little Altar Boy (Album Version) 3:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. I'll Be Home For Christmas (Album Version) 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. Silent Night (Album Version) 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Christmas Portrait + That's Christmas To Me
Price for both: $21.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 1987)
  • Original Release Date: 1978
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Special Edition
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GHQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,737 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A truly memorable holiday treat, with Sleigh Ride; Jingle Bells; Ave Maria, and 11 more.

Hipper now than they ever were in their day, Karen and Richard Carpenter achieved a rare feat: They saw one of their songs become a holiday classic. "Merry Christmas, Darling" sold like mad in the late 1970s and cemented the identity of the song with the band. In the wake of Karen's death, the lyrics became even more poignant, but isn't a good tug on the heartstrings what a lot of holiday songs are all about? The Carpenters' tender cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is equally touching, their lush vocals layered like warm blankets on a cold December night. Though Christmas Portrait is harshly abbreviated, this version--the Special Edition--features almost 40 songs, including goose-bump giving versions of "Ave Maria" and "O Holy Night" and is definitely the better disc of the two. --Steve Gdula

Customer Reviews

Karen Carpenter has the most unique voice.
Edward Patterson
I'm 17 now and I still listen to it every Chirstmas and love it more and more every year.
A must for anyone's collection of Christmas music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By kone TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Many artists cut a Christmas album to cash-in on their current popularity -it's a natural and easy "cash cow" for them. Unfortunately, too many artists take a very casual approach to their Christmas albums, not perfecting the sound as they would a regular album. Fortunately, this is not true where the Carpenters are concerned! Richard Carpenter had the Carpenter's Christmas album pictured the way he wanted it in his head, and then took the time and spent the money to get it right. The result is a lush, beautifully arranged sound with every effort made to make each song special. Wiht this album, the Carpenters created Christmas music that defines what Christmas music should sound like.

"Christmas Portrait", is the first Carpenter Christmas album, released in 1978. ("An Old-Fashioned Christmas", was the second, released in 1984, after Karen's tragic death). When "Christmas Portrait was conceived, Karen and Richard recorded so much Christmas material that they almost released a double album. Instead, they released a full single (and at that time vinyl) disk, (but packed it with nearly 50 minutes of music - which was pushing the limits back in the days of vinyl LPS. Christmas Portrait went platinum in the U.S. and became a hit all over the world, and it continues to do well. It is one of the few albums that has been a Top 10 hit on the Christmas charts in the `70s, `80s, and `90s. These are the songs you hear played in department stores and on the radio every Christmas season.

In 1984, A&M released the second Carpenter's Christmas album, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas". The album features the best of the overflow material from the "Christmas Portrait" sessions as well as some newly recorded pieces.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* VINE VOICE on December 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one for you...

Merry Christmas darling
We're apart, that's true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I'm christmasing with you
Holiday is joyful
There's always something new
But everyday's a holiday
When I'm near to you...

The lights on my tree
I wish you could see
I wish it everyday
Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire to see you and to say
That I wish you Merry Christmas
Happy New Year, too
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve
I wish I were with you"
~ Merry Christmas Darling ~
~ Words & Music by Frank Pooler and Richard Carpenter ~

"This album is lovingly dedicated to the memory of my sister and friend, Karen, who was extremely fond of Christmas and Christmas music." ~ Richard Carpenter, 1986

This classic Christmas CD is my all-time favorite of all my Christmas CDs. I usually pull it out from my CD shelf right after Thanksgiving Day and start listening to it. I always enjoy listening to these timeless Christmas songs year after year. I was a huge fan of the Carpenters in the '70s and my favorites among their albums are "A Song For You," "The Carpenters" and "Close To You." Karen's death is such a great loss to the music industry with her great talent and exceptional vocal artistry. This album was conceived and produced by Mr. Carpenter, who also did the arrangements together with Billy May and Peter Knight. It consists of the best-loved Christmas classics of all-time.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William R. Anglin on March 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
To say that the Carpenters provided a musical soundtrack for all my Christmases from the moment it came out through the present is so much of an understatement! Undoubtedly my favorite Christmas album of all time, the Carpenters Christmas Portrait is amazing in every way. Many fans don't know that Richard Carpenter conceptualized this album from one of -his- favorite childhood Christmas albums by Spike Jones (the genius bandleader known for his wacky, comedic arrangements). In fact, if you purchase the Spike Jones Christmas c.d. (still available), you'll be surprised to hear a couple of the exquisite medleys from the Carpenters "soundtrack for the season" in their entirety! But when you add Karen's voice, you've most definitely surpassed the originals!
Listening to "Christmas Portrait" on the cassette player in my car....used to be my reward for making it thru college final exam week in December! I'd actually wait until my drive home after the last exam before I'd let myself FINALLY put the cassette in. I would smile and sing along all the way home. So this music is laced with so much nostalgia that my love for the Carpenters Christmas music is truly beyond words.
Some have mentioned that this "Christmas Portrait- Special Edition" c.d. is NOT the same as the original Christmas Portrait, but an expanded version of the original. To explain...after Karen's death, Richard released the leftover tracks from their "Christmas Portrait" recording sessions on an album entitled "An Old-Fashioned Christmas". Since there weren't enough vocal tracks to constitute an entire album, he filled in the blanks with orchestral/choral arrangements. When compact discs started to become generally available (not very long after the release of this 2nd album)....
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