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Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

4.8 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 2, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

12 cozy Christmas classics including the title track plus Little Drummer Boy; Silver Bells; Winter Wonderland; Hear the Bells on Christmas Day; Snow for Johnny; Christmas Is a Birthday; Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and more holly jolly tunes.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Special Products
  • ASIN: B000002QVS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,086 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I think the only way to dislike Burl is if you believe he was like his "Big Daddy" character in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." But if you appreciate his unique voice and folk approach to singing, you will adore him. This is a fine and unusual Christmas album, since Burl's versions of these songs are not the standard ones. But they are delightful nonetheless. Everyone knows "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas," one of the stellar songs from his 1964 Christmas special, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This is not the identical version to the illustrious TV show, but it still works.
Burl Ives is an American icon and it's a pity that his style of music has gone out of fashion. This album is a feel good effort and it's impossible not to listen to it without smiling, laughing and wishing Burl was still around to sing his special brand of music. Hopefully this album will induce you to sample some of Burl Ives' other non-Christmas efforts. He was uniquely talented and a pleasure to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this Burl Ives Christmas CD! It has a great blend of old favorites with the special burl ives touch. I love to sing along with these songs as i decorate my tree. To me, it wouldn't be Christmas without Burl Ives!
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Format: Audio CD
Burl Ives was primarily known as one of America's greatest folksingers; and that quality is the strongest part of this album. In addition to Rudolph (from the TV special) and Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl really shines best on songs that tell wonderful stories, most notably "Christmas is a Birthday, Christmas Child, and Christmas Can't be Far Away". You've probably never heard most of these but I guarantee these will enhance the experience of anyone who enjoys the yuletide season. He is less spectacular on the standards such as "White Christmas", and "Silver Bells", (probably due to our familiarity with the Bing Crosby versions) but they are nevertheless sturdy, well-produced versions. My kids love the whole album, but I enjoy the whole thing, I am sure, for different reasons. The production is 1st rate, and Burl can spin a story in song as well or better than anyone. Try it and you'll find at least a few gems in here.
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Format: Audio CD
The only complaint about "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" is that Burl Ives sings only a dozen songs on it and you can find CD collections that will offer more tracks culled from his various Christmas albums. His first, "Christmas Day in the Morning," came out in 1952, followed by "Christmas Eve" in 1956. "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" came out in 1965, with the soundtrack to the classic holiday television special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the following year. The title song of this album was written by for the special by Johnny Marks, who also wrote the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which Ives sings on this album, and the final track, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." That is a pretty good trio of Christmas songs, which would make Marks one of the best writers of Christmas songs ever.

How this album is different from the previous Burl Ives Christmas albums is that he has shifted to this point to more of a pop-oriented approach to singing Christmas songs that the traditional folk style that defined his earlier albums. There are still some folk songs on this album, with "Christmas is a Birthday," "Christmas Child (Loo, Loo, Loo)," "Christmas Can't Be Far Away," and "Snow for Johnny." But most of the songs are definitely more popular than secular, with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," and "Silver Bells." I tend to think of "The Little Drummer Boy" as being more religious than it really us, but that is more because the music is more hymn-like.

The net result is that you have Burl Ives singing eight recognizable Christmas songs and introducing you to four songs that you have probably not heard before that are perfectly suited to his strengths as a singer.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Burl Ives' 1965 "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas" is a perfect "album" - a truly cohesive audio snapshot which captures the aura of joy and hope which is what Christmas ought to be all about - even for atheists like myself.

My parents bought the LP in the sixties - and by the late seventies the LP was worn out. By the nineties the cassette recording of the LP had also bitten the dust, but the memories remained of my alltime favourite Christmas album.

This "AAD" (analogue source, analogue master) CD is an original stereo recording which has clearly been made with due care from the original master tape. It is a thrill to listen to - especially if you're already a fan of Burl's. I've been blessed with finding great condition LP versions of his earlier albums that I love - including "Wild Side Of Life", "Old Time Varieties" and "Captain Burl Ives Ark" - which I've transferred to CD. But vinyl is not the best quality long term storage medium - there's no substitute for a good condition master tape.

The production is excellent - even though there are a few places where you can hear the limitations of early sixties mixing equipment. A robust and warm tone is evident in each track and I love the instrumental and vocal arrangements.

I also greatly appreciate that this CD includes the LP's original cover notes (and that no "extra tracks" were added).
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