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Now That's What I Call Christmas! CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 23, 2001
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The title doesn't lie, even if it does sounds like a hyperbolic pitch from an old late-night cable TV ad. With 36 tracks of various genres spread over two discs, Now That's What I Call Christmas might be the best, most eclectic "value-plus" holiday record ever released, assuming your tastes embrace crooners such as Cole, Crosby, and Como, plus contemporary boy bands such as Boyz II Men, as well as the ubiquitous. In between there are the sumptuous classics by Bobby Helms, Brenda Lee, the Beach Boys, Elvis, and Burl Ives on disc one, balanced on disc two by more recent standards, including Bruce Springsteen's live version of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and John and Yoko's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." You're not obligated to like everything here, but that's why Santa invented the forward button on your CD player.

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The title doesn't lie, even if it does sounds like a hyperbolic pitch from an old late-night cable TV ad. With 36 tracks of various genres spread over two discs, Now That's What I Call Christmas might be the best, most eclectic "value-plus" holiday record ever released, assuming your tastes embrace crooners such as Cole, Crosby, and Como, plus contemporary boy bands such as Boyz II Men, as well as the ubiquitous Britney Spears.

In between there are the sumptuous classics by Bobby Helms, Brenda Lee, the Beach Boys, Elvis, and Burl Ives on disc one, balanced on disc two by more recent standards, including Bruce Springsteen's live version of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and John and Yoko's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." You're not obligated to like everything here, but that's why Santa invented the forward button on your CD player. --Martin Keller

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: October 23, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI / Universal / Sony Music Entertainment
  • ASIN: B00005OLYC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,649 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel R. Martin on October 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This CD is one of the best Christmas compilations I have found, as it collects an assortment of older and contemporary Christmas tunes, separated into two discs.
The song selection and disc split is pretty good. If you're entertaining the grandparents, put on the first disc; if you're trying to be hip and cool, put on the second disc. The first disc is primarily older classic Christmas songs, many of which are found on other compilations. The second disc contains contemporary Christmas songs, including instant classics.
Nearly all of the 36 songs have been previously released and are available elsewhere, but some of the songs are rather hard to find on CD. For instance, the Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is on Midge Ure's Greatest Hits and an Import Christmas CD. It is otherwise difficult to obtain, as is Springsteen's classic version of "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."
The main style of music missing from these CDs, however, is the classic Motown sound - Christmas songs by Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, the Temptations, etc. (There are also some 80's Christmas classics not inlcuded, such as Bryan Adams' "Christmastime" and Hall & Oates version of "Jingle Bell Rock" - it would be difficult to have everything included, and those songs can be found elsewhere.)
The liner notes provide a brief explanation of each song, which is somewhat interesting but not always accurate. (For instance, the notes indicate that the Beach Boys have never recorded a Christmas album in their 40 year career - a search at Amazon reveals the 1964 Christmas Album, which has been repackaged and rereleased with extra tracks.)
Notwithstanding missing the classic Motown tracks, for the price of this CD (dollar amount), it can't be beat - there's a little something for everyone, young and old alike. If you're going to buy only one Christmas compilation, this is highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Now where else can you find all this talent on just 36 tracks and 2-CD-Set that covers five decades of "Christmas Music"...from the popular "NOW" series from Universal Music, a decision was made to release some lesser known selections from top talent from the past and present...and you know what, it works!
To clarify my above statement, many artist/musicians have released Christmas albums, but no one has ever heard as many of them on one CD..."NOW" gives you this and more...36 artists from 36 different genres such as Country, R&B, Alternative Rock, New Age, Folk, Jazz, Comedy, Reggae, Easy Listening and of course "Classic Christmas" standards.
Must make mention of the stand outs ~ "MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING"(Carpenters)..."LITTLE DRUMMER BOY/PEACE ON EARTH"(Bing Crosby/David Bowie)..."HAPPY CHRISTMAS(WAR IS OVER)"(John&Yoko)..."IT MUST HAVE BEEN OL' SANTA CLAUS"(Harry Connick Jr.)..."JINGLE BELLS"(Diana Krall)...and my personal favorite "AWAY IN THE MANAGER"(Mannheim Steamroller), you'll never come up with a better compilation for this time of the year.
Entire album will make your Holiday's a time to cherish...excellent opportunity to introduce the youngsters to some of the standard Christmas classics, and never a better time to familarize the older generation with the NOW generation!
Total 2-CD-Set ~ Universal Music 314-585-620-2 ~ (2001)
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Format: Audio CD
A remarkably low-priced two CD-set chock full of Christmas classics, "Now That's What I Call Christmas" is simply too good to pass up. The names read like a Who's Who of 20th Century Pop: Sinatra, Ella, Bing Crosby, Elvis, Lennon, Springsteen, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, the Beach Boys, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and a host of others. The songs run the gamut from classic (Crosby's "White Christmas") to novelty (Elmo & Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer") to flat-out fun (Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"). Disc One, loaded with classics, is the stronger of the two. However Disc Two, filled with more modern material, has its moments as well. Most notable are Springsteen's wonderfully gruff "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and Lennon's 1970 classic "Happy Christmas(War is Over)". Overall, you'd be hard pressed to find a better selection of Christmas music anywhere. It's all here -- from the crooners to the rockers. Truly a perfect stocking stuffer, I only wish this collection had been available years ago.
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Format: Audio CD
Now That's What I Call Christmas! offers a little bit of something for every musical tastes. The two disk set runs the gamut from Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald to Shaggy and Britney Spears. The set offers classic Christmas songs like the all-time standard "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song", Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree", Gene Autrey's "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" and "Let It Snow" by Dean Martin. Other well known songs include Bruce Springsteen's classic take on "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", the song that started the benefit song trend in the 80's, Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" which is still a powerful and beautiful song, the odd pairing of Bing Crosby and David Bowie on the beautiful "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth", John Lennon's "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)", The Beach Boys' rollicking "Little St. Nick" and Paul McCartney's bright and cheery "Wonderful Christmas". Some lesser known songs standout like Diana Krall's sultry "Jungle Bells" and The Isley Brothers' "Special Gift". You can skip over such weak songs like the overplayed and inane "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", Gloria Estefan's "Love On Layaway" and Michael Bolton's "Love Is A Holiday". As far as Christmas collections go, this one ranks right up near the top.
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