A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered & Expanded Edition)
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, October 9, 2012
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Includes What Child Is This?; Linus and Lucy; Skating; Christmas Is Coming; Greensleeves; Christmastime Is Here , and many more jazzy classics!
The first time you listen to this disc you will undoubtedly be transported directly back to your childhood. Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters will go toe-tapping and funky-dancing through your mind's eye. Play it a few more times, though (ignoring the dialogue snippets, if you can), and you will begin to truly revel in Guaraldi's wonderful, humorous, deep piano playing. You'll hear why he's such an influence on new age ivory tickler George Winston, but you'll also realize that Winston's holiday music never quite sparkles with the underlying passion, and humor, that twinkles in these grooves. Buy it for the nostalgia--keep it because it will remain one of the most enchanting albums in your holiday collection. --Michael Ruby
Top customer reviews
However, there are some variances from the original video and, apparently, from CD to CD. I was fortunate enough to buy the Fantasy CD from 1988, which has all of the original music. If you look at these Amazon reviews, they span multiple CD versions, so you can’t tell, easily, to which versions the reviews apply. I think that you’d find reviews for grills here if the grill was named “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This is very poor control on Amazon’s part but, unfortunately, common in their review system. I have read that the “Linus And Lucy” music can vary quite a bit, as an example. I have also read that the SACD version is accurate, but do not know if the current 2012 version is or is not.
Although all of the CD’s contain the original recording of “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”, none of them are the same version that was used in the video. In the video, they took this recording and slowed the singing section down by 9.7% (probably to fit the sequence), which also changed the pitch and tempo. The difference is noticeable and changes the feel, so the CD version may not sound quite right to you. However, the pre-singing part (dooo-dooo-dooo-etc) is normal time in the video, as is found on the CD. So, if you want the exact presentation as was in the video, you’ll have to use a program, such as Audacity (free), to adjust the speed of the singing part, slowing it down by 9.7%. Incidentally, if you also own the video, you will find that the end of the video has faded-out the end of this song. Originally, the video contained the full ending as found on the CD, but it also had a sponsor message that caused CBS to cut that ending out long ago (in the 60’s), leaving all copies without the original ending. So, if you make the speed adjustment with the singing part, you can also place that into the video (if you’re handy with video files) and then you will have the original full ending on your video as well (you’ll also have to reduce the amplification to match the video volume).
After listening I was a bit surprised by the surround choices. The drums seem to take full advantage of the 5.1 speaker arrangement with the piano in stereo and bass in center. I thought there would be more separation in piano. But this is probably due to the limited original recording.
Also, I noticed very little in the surround sound mixes. I was expecting a mix of heavy reverb and echoes to having no effects.
I was impressed by the packaging. There's some nice interviews on how to set up your surround sound system (For those who don't know) and how they went about remixing the album. Clearly this was a very personal project from Monster Music.
Overall I think this album is for those who truly love the music of Charlie Brown Christmas and might be interested in a different listening experience.
As a footnote there has been some discussions about this album containing different song versions from the original TV special. I noticed some minor differences in Linus and Lucy jazz sections but it's very minimal. Possibly a different take. The others seem to be correct. But really ... only the audiophiles would notice a difference. Most of us are too drunk on egg nog to care! Merry Christmas!