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Elvis Presley Christmas Duets

4.4 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 14, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Elvis' most cherished holiday classics reinterpreted by today's biggest female stars with Elvis Presley! The album features 'Blue Christmas' with Martina McBride, 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' with Carrie Underwood, 'Here Comes Santa Claus' with LeAnn Rimes, 'Santa Clause Is Back In Town' with Wynonna Judd 'Silent Night' with Sara Evans, 'White Christmas' with Amy Grant plus Gretchen Wilson, Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John and three Bonus Tracks.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 39 minutes
  • ASIN: B001EPJTMK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After reading all of the reviews for this album, I felt I had to add my opinion.

The reviews here seem to be divided into two camps. The positive reviews seem to come from those who enjoy hearing "new" versions of the King's classic recordings. The negative reviews seem to come from fans who feel that albums like this are somehow disrespectful to Elvis' legacy.

I have to put myself in the first group. I am also a big fan of Elvis. I wish he were alive today and still recording great new music. Unfortunately that's not the case. There won't be any new "hidden" recordings brought to light in the future. Even most of the "alternate" studio takes have also already been released.

So, if we want to hear "new" Elvis music, we can wait for new remixes, or when technology progresses further, even cleaner digital remasters.

Or we can enjoy albums like this.

No, it's not likely to replace the original versions in most fans' collections, but many will consider it a nice addition. In fact, if you could find someone who had never heard the originals and played them back to back with these duet versions, they might like some of the duet version even more than the originals (the duet with Amy Grant on "White Christmas" is a strong candidate, as is the saucy versions of "Merry Christmas Baby" with Gretchen Wilson and "Santa Claus is Back in Town" with Wynonna Judd).

I think this album was done as well as it could have been done. The female artists recorded in the same studio in which Elvis recorded the original versions. The instrumentation sounds as clean as I've ever heard it. Those reviewers who suggest that the females simply recorded "over" Elvis's vocals must not be listening very well.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this. The first track I listened to was "If I Get Home on Christmas Day" because that is my favorite Elvis Christmas song. I love the way they updated the music without trying to make it sound trendy or phony. Next I listened to Winter Wonderland - they really made the rhythmic elements of this song shine while still allowing James Burton's guitar solos to stand out deservedly. After that, I listened to "The First Noel": This just flat-out brought tears to my eyes, that's how beautiful it is. I don't want to spoil it for you, but, on "The First Noel", they added a beautiful almost baroque-esque string arrangement that really tugs at the heart strings. Ahhh, right now I'm listening to "I'll Be Home for Christmas"...it's so amazingly and divinely beautiful. The illusion of "duets" created by adding these talented female singers to Elvis' already existing tracks is very effective. Yes folks, we get to have Elvis right here with us for one more Christmas - and thankfully we'll have this cd to listen to for lasting memories. 5 holly-jolly stars.
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Format: Audio CD
"Christmas Duets" is not a waste of money, but it could be better.

Ever since the day that Celine Dion did a duet with Elvis on American Idol, there has been a new standard for such performances. I am not a huge Celine fan, but I will concede that her vocals managed to bring back some of the charming presence of Elvis.

Elvis Presley's "Christmas Duets" is another story. I believe all the stars on this album intended to do a wonderful job, and all things considered, they sang quite well. However, it is difficult to provide the sense of Elvis' presence when singing with old recordings. These Elvis recordings were originally solo works, which is one possible reason for the lack of chemistry. Another reason is that Elvis was unfortunately not here to reciprocate glances and to share the performance. Elvis would likely have presented these songs slightly different if he had originally sung them in a duet.

Overall, the chemistry on this CD is on or below par with Elvis. However, I did find some entertaining highlights within this CD. My favorite track is Olivia Newton-John's "O Come, All Ye Faithful". Olivia's musical experience brings her nearest to the lush sounds we would hear in a real duet with Elvis. Here are some interesting facts: I know that Elvis covered two of Olivia Newton-John's early songs ("Let Me Be There" and "If You Love Me Let Me Know") on "Moody Blue", his last album to be released in his lifetime. I also know that Olivia Newton-John has previous experience singing duets with posthumous musicians. Newton-John released a duets CD titled "2" that includes a very touching recording titled, "Tender-field Saddler". "Tender-field Saddler" was originally sung by the now deceased Australian songwriter and entertainer Peter Allen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A lot has been written concerning the propriety of artificially creating duets of Elvis with other singers. Some people say that Elvis's Christmas recordings are so well made that they should not be touched. I think that attitude assumes that the creators of "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets" were trying to improve on the originals. It's hard to know what their motivation was, since there's no essay in the CD booklet explaining their reasons for doing this. MY attitude is that the point here is NOT to try to improve on the originals, but rather to provide something interesting and different for Elvis fans to enjoy. That's my perspective when I listen to it, so I'm OK with the idea of altering Elvis's recordings this way.

At any rate, after listening to "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets" at least a dozen times by now, I think it's a good effort. My favorite duets here are (in no certain order) "Here Comes Santa Claus" with Leann Rimes, "White Christmas" with Amy Grant, "Blue Christmas" with Martina McBride, and "Santa Claus is Back in Town" with Wynonna Judd. Most of the others I think are good, and the only ones that I don't much like to hear in these new versions are "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Merry Christmas Baby." However, since "Merry Christmas Baby" has been considerably re-edited here, it's interesting to hear parts of the original 11 1/2-minute studio jam of that song that didn't make it even onto the extended versions.

That reminds me, one aspect of this CD that few reviewers have mentioned is that not only have 11 singers been added here to create duets with Elvis, but actually a lot more has been changed.
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