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The Carpenters were just about the last adult pop outfit of their era with anything resembling rock credibility (they did have a little of the latter in the early days, and weren't a kid act like the Osmonds) who could have pulled off a straight Christmas album. And they did it in superb style here, illuminated throughout by the delightful, complex, often playful arrangements, courtesy of Peter Knight, Richard Carpenter, and Billy May. Actually, for a change on a Carpenters album, Richard is the dominant personality on display across this record, as both co-arranger and producer, as well as the mastermind behind the project; Karen Carpenter's voice is also prominent, to be sure, most notably on "Merry Christmas, Darling" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and she threw herself into this next-to-last completed project (and their final release before a two-year hiatus), but it's Richard who comes to the fore everywhere here, in ways that are impossible to ignore. And the results are mightily impressive, as the mood never slackens in what amounts to a wall-to-wall celebration of the Christmas holiday. After a suitably festive introductory section, Karen Carpenter's solo voice comes up on the "Christmas Waltz" and the proceedings really take off, carrying us into the most engaging rendition of Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" that has come down in many a year, and it only gets better from there, through a brace of holiday staples that end up sounding fresh in her voice and his arrangements. There's not a slack moment on this album.

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: A&M
UPC: 0075021517325
catalogNumber: 5173
Rank: 16873


  1. It Came upon a Midnight Clear
  2. Overture: Happy Holiday/The First Noel/March of the Toys/Little Jesus [
  3. An Old-Fashioned Christmas
  4. The Christmas Waltz
  5. Sleigh Ride
  6. It's Christmas Time
  7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  8. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  9. The Christmas Song
  10. Carol of the Bells
  11. Merry Christmas Darling
  12. Christ Is Born
  13. O Holy Night
  14. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
  15. Medley: Here Comes Santa Claus/Frosty the Snowman/Rudolph the ...
  16. Winter Wonderland/Silver Bells/White Christmas
  17. Ave Maria
  18. Selections from "Nutcracker": Oveerture Miniature/Dance of the ...
  19. Little Altar Boy
  20. I'll Be Home for Christmas
  21. Silent Night

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carpenters   Primary Artist
Pete Jolly   Keyboards
Richard Carpenter   Keyboards,Vocals
Karen Carpenter   Vocals
English Chorale   Background Vocals
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Bob Messenger   Tenor Saxophone
Barry Morgan   Drums
Cubby O'Brien   Drums
Dorothy Remsen   Harp
Ron Tutt   Drums
Gayle Levant   Harp
O.K. Chorale   Vocals,Background Vocals
Pete Morgan   Upright Bass
Joe Osborn   Electric Bass
Peter Morgan   Bass

Technical Credits

Adolphe Adam   Composer
Charles Gounod   Adaptation
Franz Schubert   Composer
Peter Knight   Adaptation
Billy May   Arranger
Richard Carpenter   Producer
Buck Ram   Composer
Franz Gruber   Composer
Jack Daugherty   Producer
Kim Gannon   Composer
Ray Gerhardt   Engineer
Walter Kent   Composer
Nick Perito   Arranger
John Richards   Engineer
Eric Tomlinson   Engineer
Roger Young   Engineer
Tim Bryant   Art Direction
Richard Storrs Willis   Composer
Joseph Mohr   Composer
Howlett Peter Smith   Composer
John Sullivan Dwight   Composer
Pietro Yon   Composer
E. H. Sears   Composer

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