Christmas Is Almost Here Again [Bonus Tracks]

Christmas Is Almost Here Again [Bonus Tracks]

by Carly Simon
     
 

A mix of old favorites and new compositions, of sparse acoustic and full-bodied electric arrangements, Carly Simon's Christmas Is Almost Here is full of holiday treats. Simon's soothing voice sounds perfectly at home here, even though much of the album was recorded live in a Beverly Hills hotel room. Kudos to producer Don Was, who captured Simon's comfortableSee more details below

Overview

A mix of old favorites and new compositions, of sparse acoustic and full-bodied electric arrangements, Carly Simon's Christmas Is Almost Here is full of holiday treats. Simon's soothing voice sounds perfectly at home here, even though much of the album was recorded live in a Beverly Hills hotel room. Kudos to producer Don Was, who captured Simon's comfortable spontaneity, especially on the many tracks with little more than an acoustic guitar and her lovely vocals. The album begins quietly, with Livingston Taylor's melancholy title track, Simon's own soaring ballad "The Land of Christmas (Mary)," and the traditional carols "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night." The mood lightens with the rousing gospel tune "Twelve Gates to the City," featuring Billy Preston's funky organ work. "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," a duet with Simon's son Ben Taylor, employs a subtle reggae beat anchored by drummer extraordinaire Jim Keltner and a slinky electric piano line courtesy of Benmont Tench of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers. Keltner and Tench also help out on the cover of John Lennon's passionate "Happy X-mas (War Is Over)." In another star turn, Willie Nelson drops in for "Pretty Paper," his voice seductively wrapping around Simon's. As the recently released Anthology reminds us, Carly Simon's been delivering pop pleasures for more than 30 years. Christmas Is Almost Here is a welcome new gift from an old friend.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Christmas albums by major veteran pop stars long past their commercial prime are usually not highlights of their catalogs, and for the most part this isn't an exception. There are, too, some of the failings common to these kinds of projects: unmemorable treatments of songs that have been heard too often (like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night") and some bland, middle-of-the-road arrangements. Yet for at least some of the time, this is definitely an above-average holiday offering. Don Was' presence as co-producer ensures some creativity and diversity to the sound, as do the contributions of top session players like Jim Keltner, Billy Preston, and Benmont Tench. Simon's vocals are strong, and most surprisingly, one of the two originals, "The Land of Christmas (Mary)," is not only pretty straight-ahead and gutsy, but sounds a lot better than most of the contemporary material she did on her secular records in the 1980s and 1990s. Some mild blues gospel overtones make it into "Twelve Gates to the City" (the one song to feature Billy Preston, on organ and vocals), and a reggae beat is set to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." A couple of unclichéd selections make it into the program with Willie Nelson's "Pretty Paper" (on which Nelson himself duets with Simon) and John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." It's not an exciting release by any means, but it's not as immediately forgettable as many holiday efforts by similar performers are. [The 2003 edition was identical to the original release, but with two bonus songs added.]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2003
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227389123
catalogNumber:
73891

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carly Simon   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Willie Nelson   Guitar,Vocals
Andreas Vollenweider   Harp
Billy Preston   Hammond Organ,Vocals
Burt Bacharach   Piano,Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Benmont Tench   Wurlitzer
Mark Goldenberg   Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar
Deron Johnson   Synthesizer
Rob Mathes   Piano
Dean Parks   Acoustic Guitar
Ben Taylor   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Arnold McCuller   Vocal Harmony
Joel Shearer   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Dobro
Adam MacDougal   Piano
Judd Fuller   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
Chris Chaney   Bass

Technical Credits

Willie Nelson   Composer
Andreas Vollenweider   Composer,Producer
Irving Berlin   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Carly Simon   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Yoko Ono   Composer
Livingston Taylor   Composer
Buck Ram   Composer
Franz Gruber   Composer
Nick Brophy   Digital Editing
Ed Cherney   Engineer
Kim Gannon   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Hugh Martin   Composer
Lucy Simon   Composer
Don Was   Producer,Engineer
Peter Simon   Cover Photo
Ralph Blane   Composer
Chris Papastephanou   Engineer
Frederick Oakeley   Composer
John Francis Wade   Composer
Joseph Mohr   Composer
Jim Parr   Producer,Engineer
Traditional   Composer

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