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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rosetta Stone of Modern Holiday Music
It's a little annoying that so many people only associate Bing Crosby with Christmas music, given his monumental and pioneering achievements in the recording, movie, and radio industries. But let's face it, nobody does Christmas better than Bing. Admit it - the Holidays just don't feel complete unless you've heard Bing croon "White Christmas" at least once. The fact is,...
Published on October 13, 2004 by Jon Oye

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sound quality is horrible and not worth it
Paying 9.49 for this was a rip off. The music itself is great, but the sound quality is terrible. Sounds like someone TAPED it from a scratchy old record. This is one of the greatest Christmas albums ever and it deserves to be remastered.
Published 13 months ago by Derek Luptak


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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rosetta Stone of Modern Holiday Music, October 13, 2004
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
It's a little annoying that so many people only associate Bing Crosby with Christmas music, given his monumental and pioneering achievements in the recording, movie, and radio industries. But let's face it, nobody does Christmas better than Bing. Admit it - the Holidays just don't feel complete unless you've heard Bing croon "White Christmas" at least once. The fact is, anyone who's ever recorded a secular Holiday song since World War II owes a debt to Mr. Crosby. And this is the album that started it all.

"Merry Christmas" (its original title) was first released in the form of a multiple 10-inch 78-rpm record set in 1945, later making the transition to 33 1/3-rpm LP, and eventually becoming the very first million-selling Christmas album.

Bing's 1935 recording of "Silent Night" (the '47 version is included in this collection) was, in fact, the very first Christmas record to become a huge hit. Ironically, Bing had been reluctant to record a religious song for the purpose of commercial gain, and he only agreed to do it if the proceeds went to charity.

Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", on the other hand, was not only the first secular Holiday tune to do well, it ultimately became the biggest selling record of all time (current estimates have it at over 50 million), and it opened the floodgates to an onslaught of annual postwar Holiday recordings by major artists that continues to this day. Its initial success was attributed to its striking a chord with homesick GI's in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during the Second World War, but that somehow spilled over onto the Home Front, and it continued long after the troops returned. So much so that it cracked the Top 40 in an amazing sixteen different years!

For my money, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is the real gem of this set. Could the troops have been any less pensive and wistful upon hearing this breathtaking recording in the winter of 1943 than they had been with "White Christmas" the year before? Bing's voice floats hauntingly over the opening guitar strains as we're drawn for a brief moment into a parallel, yet more reflective and somewhat melancholy realm . . . until we're finally lulled gently back to our own time and place with the exquisitely sustained final note. This is artistry of the highest order, and the perfect marriage of singer and song. Anyone who only remembers the aging Bing Crosby of the leisurely TV Christmas Specials of the 1960's and `70's should give this performance a serious listen.

Holiday novelty tunes are certainly still a part of our world, and "Christmas In Killarney" and "Mele Kalikimaka" have to be categorized as such, but they're so darned warm and infectious one can't imagine this collection without them. Besides, once upon a time Bing was as well known for singing Irish and Hawaiian songs as he was for Christmas ones.

Another one of my favorites is "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas", which unfailingly elicits an almost Pavlovian reaction of childlike anticipation of the Yuletide season every time I hear it.

There's a lot more to enjoy here, particularly Bing's workout with the inimitable Andrews Sisters on the jazzed-up "Jingle Bells" (recently ripped off, note for note, harmony for harmony, and pause for pause, by Barry Manilow), but I'll leave the rest for you to discover. Or rediscover, since these songs and carols are all practically a part of our collective unconscious. If they're not, if you're too young to have heard this collection before - well, trust me, it's essential Holiday listening.

And it is, as they say, the perfect stocking stuffer!
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Cherish This Album All My Life, December 5, 2004
By 
Andrew K (Dearborn, MI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
This is the only Christmas album that would make my "Top 10 Albums of All-Time" list. I am currently 24 years old and I found this record in my parents stack of vinyl years ago. There is something amazing about this album that is hard to put into words. I've recently bought it on cd. Strangely, the cd is called "White Christmas" while the original album is titled "Merry Christmas." Exact same cover and content. I play the vinyl a few times a week during the Christmas holiday. I prefer how it sounds to the cd. The cd is one of those $5 bargain bin releases. It doesn't sound very good. Hopefully one day it will be given the remastered treatment it deserves.

I often tear up when I listen to this album. Yet I keep going back to it. It sounds very old and the mood it puts you in is quite unexplainable. It transports you back in time. When there was snow at Christmas. When actors sang. When the world was much different, more wholesome about Christmas, family, and the holidays. I've recently lost two grandparents in the last two years. This album makes me fantasize about how my dad's Christmas's might have been. With all our family together, in the house that is now abandoned, in the old decaying polish neighborhood in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY I used to go to for holidays when I was younger. It just reminds me of my grandparents and all those wonderful Christmas celebrations that don't seem to be as big a part of the world anymore.

The first half of this album are the slower, more introspective, Christmas songs. I was going to list my favorites but I love them all. The background vocals on some of these are so errie and haunting. Sung by people long passed. "Faith of Our Fathers," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Adeste Fideles." The music by the John Scott Trotter Orchestra makes you feel things you just can't find in other Christmas music. The second half of the album have more upbeat numbers: "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas" to name a few. Songs ilke "Christmas in Killarney" paints a wonderful picture of Christmas's of the time. Friends, family, Fr. John blessing the house, department store shopping, love.

This album is just fantastic. You are transported back to a time when it seemed Christmas still had more of it's religious background and was not as commercial as it is now. It is prefectly of it's time. It's dated and thats when it works best. You are put back into those old pictures of your early Christmas's or Christmas's celebrated by your family before you were around. Back to those times when my grandparents were still alive. When the world was much more innocent. All of this swirls through my mind everytime I play this album and I love revisiting it, and staying there, time and time again.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best $5 Investment You'll Ever Make!, December 25, 2004
By 
Tad Ulrich (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
I'm a kinda old dude, I guess. I remember in '49 as a little boy when My mom & dad went Christmas shopping and bought the 10 inch LP version of this Crosby classic. I've played it every year since for all those decades, even though it is now worn out.

Every time I play the current cd version, I am stunned by the feelings and memories it conjures up of times that, in many ways, were much more wholesome and meaningful than they are now. Memories of the smell of a christmas tree, the sight of the bubble lights twinkling away and of a Santa soon to be here. And these songs just bring it all to life. Really indescribable, but oh, so wonderful! To this day, it's the one album that will rekindle that old Christmas spirit.

Bing was an absolute master of his craft back when this album was made and John Scott Trotter's orchestrations were to Bing what Nelson Riddle was to Sinatra - perfect!

There's no point in reiterating the performances of these superb songs. That's been done a million times already. I just wish they'd remaster the songs so that they are sonically what they were in '49 rather than the somewhat harsh electronic enhancements they have embellished them with for so many years now.

But ultimately, it makes no difference because it is the music that is important and, for my money, this is the finest Christmas album ever made and will be the best $5 investment you will ever make!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Christmas Music? You Need This!, November 8, 2003
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
I love Christmas music, often pulling it out to listen to mid-year. And you'll never catch me listening to anything but Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas. That's why I'm a little ashamed to admit to only just now getting this classic collection.
What I've been missing all these years is a truly wonderful CD. Bing has a rich, strong voice that is pleasing to listen to. The arrangements feel dated, but that's part of the charm. It feels like an old friend from the very first listen.
My only real complaint (and a minor one at that) is the pacing of the album. The first six tracks are all slower numbers. They do include a great version of "Silent Night," and Bing's classic recording of "White Christmas," so I do enjoy listening to them. Still, by "I'll be Home for Christmas," I'm ready for an upbeat track.
Fortunately, the second half doesn't disappoint in that regard. "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," both sung with the Andrews Sisters, kick things up a notch or two. Both are fairly familiar arrangements with just enough newness to set them apart from the other versions you already have.
The CD ends with the songs I was unfamiliar with. "Christmas in Killarney" is a fanciful description of the holiday in Ireland, while "Mele Kalikimaka" wishes us a Merry Christmas from Hawaii. Both songs sound a little like the land they represent and are a fun way to end the CD.
The recordings here are old, as shown by the occasional scratchy background noise, especially noticeable on "Adeste Fideles." But it doesn't affect my enjoyment one bit. My only regret is not getting this great CD sooner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL in ANY collection, December 23, 2002
By 
Pope (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
All I can say is WOW!!!! Hearing Bing sing these songs sure does put one in the Christmas mood. "White Christmas" - the version heard on this recording - is one of the most popular songs of all time. There's a song for everyone here! From favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Jingle Bells" for the kids, to sacred classics like "Adeste Fidelis" and "Silent Night" to fun songs like "Christmas In Killarney" and Mele Kelikimaka," there's something for all Christmas tastes. Bing was one of the greatest singers of all time and his songs will always live on.
The sound on the CD is very good. Even though most of the songs on this disc do indeed sound like they were recorded in the 40's for 78-RPM discs, they all sound magical. I'm a sucker for that old sound when it comes to CD's.
Essential listening at Christmas and great for anytime of the year for that little bit of Christmas spirit you need every so often.
Personal Note: While celebrating Christmas with the family yesterday, we played the 78 RPM record of Bing's "Adeste Fidelis" (the same recording heard on this disc). Listening to Bing sing that beautiful song while watching the record spin at close to 80 times a minute almost brought tears to my eyes (and I'm a 19 yr old guy!). With all the clicks and pops on the record (along with the crack that runs from rim to label; the record didn't skip at all!), it was very uplifting to listen to. Bing's "Silent Night, Holy Night" is on the flip side of the record, but I haven't yet given it a listen.
Have this album on tape and CD, and may buy another before the day is over!!! (and what a great price!)
HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crosby Croons Classic Christmas Carols, December 8, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
Bing Crosby's single of "White Christmas" sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was the best-selling single in any music category for more than 50 years until 1998 when Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind," overtook it in a matter of months. However, this does not take into account all those millions of copies of the song that were sold as part of albums such as this 1949 classical collection of Christmas songs from der Bingle. The song was written by Irving Berlin for the Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire film "Holiday Inn," and was first performed by Crosby on his Christmas Day radio show in 1941. Crosby recorded the single in May 1941, "Holiday Inn" came out in August, and on Halloween the song hit #1 and stayed there for 11 weeks. However, the version on this Christmas album was, I believe, recorded in 1947 when Crosby had to return to the studio because the original master had been damaged because of so much use ("White Christmas" made it back into the Top 30 sixteen times, hitting #1 again in both 1945 and 1947).
Of course, there are eleven other songs on this album once you get past the title song, which is, surprisingly, the second track on the album. The other songs cover the entire musical spectrum in terms of Christmas songs. There is "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" for the kids and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" for the parents. There are religious songs like "Silent Night" and "Adeste Fideles," and secular classics including "Jingle Bells" and "Silver Bells." Crosby even goes ethnic with "Christmas in Killarney" and "Mele Kalikimaka." All of them reflect Crosby's crooning at his best, at a time when his vocal maturity matched his reputation as the premier vocalist of his day. This has been one of the premier Christmas collections for over half-a-century, with good reason.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A holiday classic, but there are better options nowadays, December 21, 2009
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
Look, let's face it. If you celebrate Christmas and listen to Christmas music, odds are you own this album. It's a classic. This album has been around for decades, and Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' (as it's now being issued; used to be called 'Merry Christmas') has become perhaps the most classic and essential Christmas album on the market.

And look at the track listing! 'White Christmas,' 'Silent Night,' 'Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful),' and 'Jingle Bells' are all Christmas standards, and Bing is largely responsible for that. They all appear on this album, as well as 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas' and 'Christmas in Killarney,' two songs that should be standards but aren't.

But, I give this four stars. Why, you may ask?

Well, in 2009, 'White Christmas' is still a classic, but it's becoming outdated. Nowadays, there is '20th Century Masters - Christmas Collection: The Best of Bing Crosby,' which has the original 1942 recording of 'White Christmas,' as well as an older version of 'Silent Night.' Or, for those who want it all, there's the two disc collection, which has the remake and the original version of 'White Christmas,' everything on this album (minus 'Faith of Our Fathers,' which, in all fairness, is not a Christmas carol) and plenty more. I recommend seeking that album out if you are a Christmas music purist.

And that leads to another complaint. When this was first released in the 1950s, they had to use the 1947 remake of 'White Christmas,' because the original 1942 master was severely damaged. While that version is great, don't get me wrong, with the compact disc reissue, I would have personally added the original '42 version as opposed to the '47 version offered here and the one that gets the most radio play. But that's just me personally.

Overall, as many previous reviewers have stated, it's just not Christmas without hearing at least one Bing Crosby Christmas carol. And many people will tell you that you don't have a Christmas CD collection without 'White Christmas' in your possession. And, quite frankly, I can't say I disagree.

Highly, highly recommended for anybody who likes Bing Crosby or just Christmas in general. This CD is truly a must own if you celebrate Christmas and want some carols to deck the halls with. But, just keep in mind there are better options nowadays.

ENJOY!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas with Bing!!!, December 24, 2001
By 
Jerry Schafer (Bel Air, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
Bing Crosby, as one reviewer has written is Mr. Christmas. Ever since I was 7, listening to the LP of my Grandmothers, and now I'm 24, I've enjoyed Mr. Crosby's voice. Listening to White Christmas puts me into the holiday mood.
All of the songs, Bing gives a reverance to each track:
Adeste Fideles, always gives me a warm feeling as Bing sings each line. Faith Of Our Fathers, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, also gives that reverence of Faith and Joy.
My all time favorite, Christmas In Killareny, a nice Irish Christmas tune, very upbeat and happy, makes me think of the early 1930's when Bing sang this, if only Christmas where like this...
And in this year, after all that has happened, Bing's songs have a new meaning, and joy and hope that we look to....
Merry Christmas all!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas Album Ever Made, February 3, 2006
By 
Kathleen G. Poetzsch (West Gardiner, ME USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
This album conjurs up memories of every Christmas of my childhood, and it literally is not Christmas without hearing it at least once. I am 47, but have always loved Bing, ever since my dad and I listened to him years ago. My dad is gone now, but listening to this album brings him back to me again. I love White Christmas because it always sounds new to me, no matter how many times I hear it, and all the songs with the Andrews Sisters are great - instantly sets the time and place when they were recorded. Dated? Yes, it is, but then so am I, and I love these songs more each year! Bing really was the Voice of Christmas.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bing Crosby Really Was Mr. Christmas!, November 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
Like the majority of baby-boomers, I grew up listening to Bing's Christmas music and always looked forward to his holiday specials on tv. Here with this collection Bing pulls out all the stops on traditional and secular Christmas music; assisted on Silver Bells by Carole Richards and Jingle Bells; Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town and Mele Kalikimaka by those wonderful Andrews Sisters. A great addition to any Christmas music collection to be enjoyed for generations to come!
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White Christmas
White Christmas by Bing Crosby (Audio CD - 1995)
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