Michael Fremer Rated 8/11 Music, 8/11 Sonics!
Analog Planet Rated 11/11 Music, 9/11 Sonics!
This deluxe 2-LP set of A Charlie Brown Christmas features a brand-new (2022) Stereo Mix of the classic album remastered from the original 3-track and 2-track sources on record number one. The second record features 13 unreleased outtakes, highlights taken from five sessions of recording material that are amazing in their own right and show how this iconic score took shape.
Housed in a gatefold jacket, the set also features new liner notes from Peanuts historian, Derrick Bang.
Every year since 2014, a new vinyl pressing of the soundtrack for the inimitable holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas is released into the world. This is not an unwelcome turn of events as the music, performed by pianist Vince Guaraldi and his trio, hasn't lost a glint of its tinsel-y shine in over 50 years. But it really hasn't been until this year that these new issues have felt vital for a collector. The 2022 edition of the soundtrack includes a second LP made up of outtakes from the original recording sessions, offering fans a chance to hear how Guaraldi developed his solos and his approach to standards like 'Greensleeves' and 'O Tannenbaum.' And there's something wonderfully humanizing about hearing the metronome and false start in the first take of 'Linus & Lucy,' the bouncy bop that should have been included on the Voyager golden disc.
The remix cut to lacquer by Kevin Gray sounds great, is well-pressed and reasonably priced. Time for another generation of young record lovers to enjoy 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' on vinyl!
After all these years of hearing just the original takes, it is fantastic to follow the journey on what the musicians went through to nail down those exemplary performances we've all come to know and love. In many ways, this new 2LP edition of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' is idyllic, because it gives you the essence of all the outtakes in a very easy-to-assimilate, single-disc listening experience... I've already spun my copy five or more times as of this posting, as this album never gets tiresome. Indeed, with this new remix of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' now available, Christmastime is truly here.
With A Charlie Brown Christmas, Guaraldi reinvigorated the Christmas chestnuts 'O Tannenbaum,' 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,' and 'What Child Is This' and created such tender holiday standards as 'Christmas Time Is Here,' all infused with seasonal joy and a sense of childlike wonder. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
- Deluxe Edition
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- 2022 Stereo Mix from the Original Analog Sources
- 13 Unreleased Outtakes from 5 Recording Sessions
- Audio Remixed & Remastered by Paul Blakemore from the Original 3-Track & 2-Track Sources
- Lacquers Cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Gatefold Jacket
- New Liner Notes from Peanuts Historian Derrick Bang
Disc 1 - The Original Album (2022 Stereo Mix)
- O Tannenbaum
- What Child Is This
- My Little Drum
- Linus and Lucy
- Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
- Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
- Christmas Is Coming
- Für Elise
- The Christmas Song
Disc 2 - Recording Sessions Highlights
- O Tannenbaum (Take 2/recorded September 21, 1965)
- O Tannenbaum (Take 3/recorded September 21, 1965)
- Greensleeves (Take 6/recorded October 28, 1965)
- Linus And Lucy (Take 1/recorded September 17, 1965)
- Christmas Time Is Here (Take 1/recorded September 17, 1965)
- Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal) (Rehearsal/recording Date Unknown)
- Christmas Time Is Here (Take 4/recording Date Unknown)
- Skating (Take 1/recorded September 22, 1965)
- Jingle Bells (Takes 1-4/recorded September 21, 1965)
- Christmas Is Coming (Take 3/recorded September 17, 1965)
- Christmas Is Coming (Take 3/recorded September 21, 1965)
- Für Elise (Takes 1-2/recording Date Unknown)
- The Christmas Song (Take 8/recorded October 28, 1965)