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I am delighted to have purchased this album for my Christmas collection last year and will happily play it in the coming holiday season. Please note, however, that this is NOT the classic Bing Crosby Album, "Merry Christmas" (lately retitled "White Christmas," in honor of its third, most famous track). Apart from the widely variant dates of release, you can immediately spot the 1940s album in many ways: the illustration of Crosby wearing a mistletoe bowtie, against a solid white background; the inclusion of the Andrews Sisters in several tracks (such as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"), the arrangements by John Scott Trotter, and—most obviously—the different song selections.

"Christmas Classics," issued over ten years later, contains an almost entirely different set of tracks, many of which had not been written at the time of Der Bingle's most famous Christmas outing (such as "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"). The one carryover, "White Christmas," has been tastefully rearranged here by the great Nelson Riddle. A decade later Crosby's always melliluous baritone had become even more resonant in age. Owing to success with his ageless version of "White Christmas," Crosby issued many Christmas albums across the years, but I think "Christmas Classics" is one of the best in terms of variety of sacred and secular songs ("O Holy Night" and "Frosty the Snowman"), lovely arrangements backing the singer, and quality of audio reproduction. "Merry Christmas" will probably live forever, and probably should. "Christmas Classics" is a different listening experience from the same accomplished performer, and well worth an economical investment.
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on December 5, 2017
I love Christmas music and Christmas just isn't Christmas without listening to Bing Crosby! For years I have played songs off of his "White Christmas" album and a few tracks from a handful of compilation discs that I own. Somehow I have managed to overlook this album, until now!

Although titled "Christmas Classics" this album is really Crosby's 1962 album "I Wish You A Merry Christmas" with some additional tracks added. It really should have been titled "I Wish You A Merry Christmas - The Deluxe Version"!

Recorded 20 years after Crosby first recorded the song "White Christmas", his voice has lost none of its warmth or honey-smooth delivery. If you like Crosby's "White Christmas" album, if you like Como, Sinatra, Cole, you'll love this album.

The original album is a gem that is overlooked and really should be in the collection of anyone who loves Bing's better known Christmas songs Crosby effortlessly delivers top notch versions of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "Winter Wonderland", and "The Little Drummer Boy". However his rendition of "The Littlest Angel" is heartbreakingly tender and his turn "O Holy Night" is one of the best I've ever heard.

If the original tracks from "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" weren't enough "Christmas Classics" adds a nice but truncated version of White Christmas, the lively "Christmas Dinner, Country Style", a somewhat disappointing "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" (the only subpar track on the album), "Do You Hear What I Hear", easily one of Crosby's best ever, and the historic Crosby/David Bowie duet, Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy.

If your a fan of Christmas music this is well worth picking up and if you're a fan of Crosby this is simply too good not to have in your collection.
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on October 7, 2006
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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on December 16, 2013
As the title says, this album deserves more than 5 stars!! When talking about Christmas music and especially classic Christmas music, it is very difficult to argue that Bing Crosby is not in the top 3 or so of all time. In my opinion, he vies for the top spot with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin (although I think Dean Martin is a close fourth behind the other three mentioned). His voice is creamy and smooth and he just sounds like Christmas. This album is well worth the money.

I wanted to mention that this is not Bing's original Christmas album. His first Christmas album which gained him Christmas fame is called, "White Christmas." That album is a collection of older recordings (when Bing was younger) and you can tell. Some like the older sound (and younger voice) and swear that White Christmas is the definitive Bing Crosby Christmas album but I think that point is arguable. I would argue that this album is just as good or even a bit better than White Christmas. But this is pure opinion and this arguement is akin to arguing which flawless diamond is more flawless...

If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, there is no better way than listening to this album. Cheers and Merry Christmas!!
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With its mix of popular and religious songs, all emanating from the dulcet baritone voice of the forever-uber-cool Bing Crosby, this album is almost the penultimate Christmas album. The number one honors actually go to Bing's White Christmas album, but Bing Crosby's Christmas Classics is quite an acceptable substitute (or, better yet, complement) to that ultimate collection of Bing Christmas classics. Ironically, this album's biggest weakness is its inclusion of an inferior and much too short version (only 1 minute and 34 seconds) of White Christmas, the most commercially successful Christmas song of them all. Helping balance this inferior version of his defining song, though, you have Bing's duet with David Bowie taken from the soundtrack of a 1977 television special.

As far as I know, Bing Crosby's recording of White Christmas remains the best-selling single of all time, having sold over 50 million copies since its initial release in 1942. Penned by in the incomparable Irving Berlin, this ultimate Christmas classic is a perennial favorite that has made a number of runs on the charts over the years. Unfortunately, the version included here is an edited, much-too-short version of the song from 1957. At barely a minute and a half long, it had me doing a double-take as soon as it ended. Who are they trying to kid here? Like we're not going to notice that half of the most successful Christmas song ever recorded seems to be missing. Apparently, this cut was taken from the 1957 Frank Sinatra Christmas Special, and someone decided to simply cut out Sinatra's duet portion of the final chorus with Bing. I'm not a huge fan of Old Blue Eyes, but the hack job done to this song is just wrong on a number of levels. Even the Grinch knows better than to mess with White Christmas.

The real standouts on the album are - well, pretty much every song. I'm especially fond of the Christian hymns, and I don't think anyone really matches Bing on such songs as Do You Hear What I Hear?, Oh Holy Night, What Child Is This?, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. His version of The Little Drummer Boy is masterful, and the solemnity he brings to The Littlest Angel is palpable. At the same time, Bing brings a sense of buoyant, childlike joy to the likes of Frosty the Snowman, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and I Wish You a Merry Christmas.

The "that's a little different" portion of the album also comes out "just fine," as Bing might say. The aforementioned duet with David Bowie starts out with a significant amount of dialogue, but that helps preserve the spirit of the song that exists only in the form of this one recording. Christmas Dinner, Country Style is lots of fun (only Bing can make square-dancing music cool), but it's best to prepare yourself in advance for the unexpected solo parts performed by the most famous reindeer of all in Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (clearly, Rudolph needs to stick with his day - er, night - job).

This is just a fantastic album, one that really deserves a better and more complete version of White Christmas. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at Christmas parties and family get-togethers, but it is perhaps best enjoyed in quiet contemplation. If Bing Crosby can't awaken the Christmas spirit in you, you're going the way of Jacob Marley, my friend.
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on November 18, 2014
My only question is why I didn't have this album in my colletion years ago.?! I am a huge Bing Crosby fan, especially at this time of year. This particular collection songs in his inimitable style has a warm seasonal feel to it, and brings back memories of watchcing his Christmas TV specials with my mom, dad, and younger brother. I love the complete track of his duet with David Bowie, incluing the pre-song banter--classic indeed!
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on December 31, 2014
I grew up with my parents playing this album. I had forgotten how much I liked this album until I heard a group singing "Little Drummer Boy", I was downloading the album about 2 minutes later. Bing nails the Christmas classics. This is the kind of album you play when you're decorating for Christmas or sitting down to the Christmas meal.
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on December 27, 2017
Among the various Christmas songs, the Duet with Dave Bowie is a treasure. Enjoyed this CD - perfect for the season
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on February 12, 2017
A classic! Not my most played Christmas album but good to have in the rotation.
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on February 5, 2018
I can never have enough Bing Crosby. I buy a Christmas CD of his every year. This is a good one with a nice variety.
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