9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Much more than Rockin' around the Christmas tree,
This review is from: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree: The Decca Christmas Recordings (Audio CD)
Brenda is one of those singers - just like Bing Crosby - who's most famous song is a Christmas classic, despite a vast catalog of other material. On this collection, Brenda demonstrates her skills on a wide variety of Christmas songs, although there is only one carol (Silent night).
The oldest recordings here (from 1956, when Brenda was only 11) are Christy Christmas and I'm gonna lasso Santa Claus - this song is quite amusing but also has a moral tale, as it points out that Santa is more generous to the rich than the poor. Sadly, that will always be true.
In 1958, Brenda recorded Papa Noel, a cajun-flavored song, and Rockin' around the Christmas tree. Expected to be a massive hit, it missed the charts completely, though Brenda wasn't yet in the big time. Following the multi-million selling I'm sorry in 1960, a decision was taken to try again that Christmas. This time, the song went high in the charts, not just in America, but around the world.
The remainder of these songs, except the last three (which were recorded in 1965, but remained unissued outside Japan until the release of this CD), were first released on Brenda's original Christmas album in 1964, which also included some of the earlier tracks, including (of course) Rockin' around the Christmas tree.
Some of the songs were originally popularized by other singers, including Jingle bell rock (Bobby Helms), White Christmas and Silver bells (both Bing Crosby), This time of the year (Brook Benton) and Blue Christmas (Ernest Tubb, but made even more popular by Elvis), but Brenda's vocal style makes her versions distinctive, even though the arrangements are mostly faithful to the originals. It's a marshmallow world is a brilliant song which had already appeared on the Phil Spector Christmas album, though I don't know it's origin.
What really makes this album, though, are the original songs. Apart from those recorded in 1956 and 1958, there is Christmas will be just another lonely day (a serious song written by Ray Stevens, best known for his comic songs), Strawberry snow and the slightly silly (but brilliant) The angel and the little blue bell.
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Initial post: Jan 5, 2014 3:13:06 PM PST
JAMES D WINTERS says:
Excelent review & great to hear "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" in stereo, but are all the rest of the songs from the 60's on this collection in mono?
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