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Ultimate Christmas

The Beach BoysAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 1998 --  
Audio Cassette, 1998 --  

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Their classic songs epitomize the spirit of the California lifestyle and The Beach Boys have become an American icon to a worldwide audience. The Beach Boys’ first hit “Surfin’” (1961) launched a string of chart-topping songs that spans nearly forty years and includes eternal anthems of American youth: “Surfin’ USA”, “Surfer Girl”, ... Read more in Amazon's The Beach Boys Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000009RVB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,822 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Little Saint Nick
2. The Man With All The Toys
3. Santa's Beard
4. Merry Christmas, Baby
5. Christmas Day
6. Frosty The Snowman
7. We Three King Of Orient Are
8. Blue Christmas
9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
10. White Christmas
11. I'll Be Home For Christmas
12. Auld Lang Syne
13. Little Saint Nick (Single Version)
14. Auld Lang Syne (Alternate Mix)
15. Little Saint Nick (Alternate Mix)
16. Child Of Winter (Christmas Song)
17. Santa's Got An Airplane
18. Christmas Time Is Here Again
19. Winter Symphony
20. (I Saw Santa) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

"Little Saint Nick," the Beach Boys' 1963 classic, is undoubtedly one of pop music's coolest original Christmas songs. Hanson rocked it more recently, and decades later the original still sounds as hot as the California sun on this special combination of previously released and unvaulted alternate takes and never-released material, including a distinctly different arrangement of "Nick" and a fun, loopy ditty called "Santa's Got an Airplane." While many of the songs here are fodder for completists--and will sound uneven to others--it's hard to resist a record that features real rarities and Christmas material from 1964. Dig master Brian Wilson singing solo on "Blue Christmas" from the '64 Christmas Album and his keenly orchestrated "Winter Symphony" (for a 1977 Christmas disc that was never released, much of which is highlighted throughout this CD) with the warm, brassy instrumental bridge, plus a couple of fun public-service announcements and a Christmas-themed interview with the group's eccentric genius. --Martin Keller


Capitol has repackaged the entirety of the highly regarded 1964 Beach Boys' Christmas Album with 14 bonus tracks, seven of which derive from aborted 1977 sessions for a planned holiday-themed follow-up.... a true child's Christmas in wails. -- Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is indeed the "Ultimate" Beach Boys Christmas CD. The first 12 tracks are the entire original Beach Boys Christmas Album. I'm sure most of you are already familiar with this classic album, so I don't need to discuss it in detail. Next we have the awesome single version of "Little Saint Nick". Then there is an alternate mix of "Auld Lang Syne" without Denny's voiceover, which really shows off the boys beautiful a capella singing. Then there's the oddball version of "Little Saint Nick" sung to the backing track of "Drive-In". Next we get the great but rare 1974 single "Child of Winter". In 1977, the Beach Boys recorded a second Christmas album, intending it to be their last album for Warner/Reprise. But Warner rejected the album, and it was never released. Seven of the songs from that album appear here for the first time. They are actually pretty good, for the most part. Interestingly, most of the songs are rewritten versions of songs that they had already started working on, with lyrics rewritten to be about Christmas. The CD closes with two Toys For Tots public service announcements, and a promotional interview that Brian did for the original Christmas album. This is the only Beach Boys Christmas CD you'll ever need.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All Things Christmas December 6, 2001
By Musings
Format:Audio CD
It certainly is "The Ultimate Christmas," as this extended-length CD scrapes together every recording the Beach Boys ever made having anything to do with Christmas, including two old radio spots and an interview with Brian circa 1964.
The bulk of the CD comes from The Beach Boys Christmas Album, which included several Brian-written pop classics ("Little Saint Nick," "The Man With All the Toys") on side one, and lushly arranged traditional Christmas songs ("Blue Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town") on side two. Think a Hollywood soundtrack or Sinatra album circa 1962 and you've got the idea, although arranger Dick Reynolds isn't quite up to Nelson Riddle's status. Still, it does sound rather nice, and is no worse than other Christmas albums of the era (save Dennis' stumbling voiceover on "Auld Lang Syne"). The CD includes *three* versions of "Little Saint Nick" (the single version and the album version, plus one with a totally different melody swiped from their song "Drive-In").
Unfortunately, the rest of the CD is filled with outtakes from a planned (and, fortunately, not released) second Christmas LP from 1977. Warner Brothers refused to let the Beach Boys' swan song on their label be a quickie Christmas cash-in (so they wound up with the subpar M.I.U Album instead). To save money (or time), however, most of the songs from M.I.U. were reworked versions of the songs from the Christmas album ("Belles of Christmas" = "Belles of Paris"). Brian's participation in these sessions was sporadic, and Dennis' one contribution, "Morning Christmas," is a solo (it's the best song of the bunch, although Alan Jardine's "(I Saw) Santa Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" adds historical value for the assortment of Beach Boys kids on the disk, including Wendy and Carnie Wilson, later of Wilson Phillips).
It's a decent disk on the whole, but be prepared to program your CD player.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
In 1963, "Little St. Nick" was the Beach Boys' holiday offering, to great success. A year later, they released an album, half orchestrated classics and half surf-pop Beach Boys songs, which seems to go gold every December. In 1977, in an attempt to fulfil their Warners recording contract, the band recorded another, albeit ragged, Christmas album, which is now, finally, released. These gems range from the pop-corn of 1974's "Child of Winter" to Dennis'enigmatic "Holy Evening", here re-titled. The CD also contains a couple of radio promo spots, which are interesting to the collector, and a few obscure pieces. All in all, an ultimate collector's Christmas album that will hopefully put all the other Capitol repackages of this material out of print. The original 1977 MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE BEACH BOYS also featured a few badly sung medleys; the only salvageable (releasable) one being found on Carny & Wendy Wilson's HEY SANTA! CD.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Beach Boys once recorded a song called "You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone." It's fitting, then, that author Brad Elliot, who wrote the group's exhaustive musical reference "Surf's Up," helped compile and write the liner notes for this intriguing, uneven Christmas collection.
Most Beach Boy fans know the first half of the LP; the group's official 1964 Capitol Christmas album (one of four LPs they released that year!) featuring Four Freshmen arranger Dick Reynolds, a 41-piece orchestra, and what the "Rolling Stone Record Guide" once called "some of the most nasal carols ever put on wax."
But many, like "Blue Christmas," "White Christmas," "We Three Kings of Orient Are," and a superb "Auld Lang Syne" (with and without Dennis Wilson's closing narrative) are sung sensitively and arranged with the complexity of the group's pop recordings. This is notably true of "Little Saint Nick," one of rock's best Christmas tracks featured at its best (the 45 single, debuting in stereo on a proper Beach Boys set) in its LP version, and in an odd, unreleased version sung to the melody of their "Drive-In." The set also includes a timid Brian Wilson interviewed by syndicated show host Jack Wagner in 1964.
Then you get the best tracks from a 1977 contractual obligation Christmas album Warner/Reprise rejected for 1978's "M.I.U. Album." Those remembering that flimsy set will find interesting the holiday takes on "Peggy Sue" (here with nonsensical Al Jardine lyrics as "Christmas Time Is Here Again") "Belles of Paris" (done as "Bells of Christmas") and "Kona Coast" (done as "Melekalikimaka.").
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK not great
This is the ultimate Beach Boys holiday collection. While everything they ever did in this genre is present not everything here is a keeper. Read more
Published 7 months ago by W. Starkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Wilson Music-Lousy Service
Excellent-Don't get "the beach boys harmonies", which is a VERY watered down version. Especially great are the rare Dennis & Brian Wilson songs. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Keith Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars still the best reissue of The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
In 1964, The Beach Boys released their first Christmas album (they later recorded a second one, but it remains unreleased), which was titled, well... Read more
Published 10 months ago by S.W.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Album
I would say this is the ultimate. This album combines cuts from the original Beach Boys Christmas album with previously unreleased selections. I love "Little Saint Nick. Read more
Published 12 months ago by gobirds2
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers the gamut
Fine Christmas buffet from America's greatest vocal band, with several stylistic flavors present. Their version of Auld Lang Syne is a knockout! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Felton P. Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars It makes my Ultimate Christmas
There is nothing better than putting up the x-mas tree, drinking some egg nog, and listing to Beach Boys, Ultimate Christmas........nothing.
Published 19 months ago by Nick Faraguna
4.0 out of 5 stars Best BB Christmas Compilation // Sound quality not the best
Great compilation, the Brian Wilson solo of Blue Christmas worth the price alone. That said, the original CD issue (1988), has much better sound. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Great Faulkner's Ghost
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album!
I'm so glad I researched the Beach Boy Christmas albums before settling on this one. I had bought a CD album 10+ years ago and it was missing at least one of the most popular... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Heather Gillibrand
4.0 out of 5 stars Merry Christmas, Baby!
I was raised on the original stereo edition of THE BEACH BOYS' CHRISTMAS ALBUM, and was annoyed at how long Capitol took to bring that mix to CD. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James Scharnott
5.0 out of 5 stars Little St Nick
This is an excellent Christmas album. I am a Christmas fanatic so unlike some people I dont mind and in fact like the second half of the album. Read more
Published on November 26, 2011 by christmas lover
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