If you ignore, with the benefit of "grown-up" hindsight, the fact that the voices of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore were somewhat shrill, occasionally tuneless, and arguably annoying to obnoxious levels, the first volume of Christmas With the Chipmunks is a classic holiday record, and it certainly is that. The minor failings of those three cartoon voices are easy to ignore, and ultimately dismiss, especially if you were a child or were raising one in the 1960s and 1970s. For kids the world already pulsates with a sort of cartoonish, surreal vitality, and never more powerfully than at Christmastime, so the impossible-to-corral Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are the perfect spokesmen (or spokes-chipmunks, as it were) to capture that exhilarating sense of anticipation, the dreamily translucent run from the day after Thanksgiving until the morning when Santa Claus finally drops off the season's gifts. You really do have to withhold "critical" judgment when approaching this record, suspend any degree of cultivated jadedness, and place yourself back in those size five Keds you or your children used to wear. When that task has been accomplished, Christmas With the Chipmunks reveals itself for what it is: an album that is not only amusingly charming, but packed beginning to end with a wide-eyed sense of innocence and bountiful levels of seasonal exuberance, possibly enough to crack the stolid gazes of even the harshest Scrooges. An inspired novelty from the mind of actor and songwriter Ross Bagdasarian (who puts in a performance as the scatterbrained but affectionate taskmaster David Seville), the album is outstanding on a musical level, too -- a point that is often lost amid the chattering voices of the trio of lovable rodents. Some of the songs have a jazzy lilt, most immaculately on "Here Comes Santa Claus" and the wonderful "Over the River and Through the Woods," each of which is buoyed by goofy touches of orchestral percussion, ensuring that the music retains its good-natured wink and plays to the album's hokeyness. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," on the other hand, is knee-deep in early rock & roll production and rhythms, while Bagdasarian's original tune "The Chipmunk Song," an instant holiday classic, has the allure of an old Italian love song. The songs, of course, cannot be disparaged in the least, all of them Christmas standards. Despite the small quibble here or there, the same can be said about the album as whole. And if you heard these versions for the first time between the ages of three to ten years, they probably will remain the standards against which you will hold all others for the rest of your life.
|Label:||Emi Special Products|
Performance CreditsChipmunks Primary Artist
Technical CreditsDavid Seville Contributor
Irving Berlin Composer
Clement Clarke Moore Composer
Ross Bagdasarian Composer
J. Fred Coots Composer
Ray Evans Composer
Haven Gillespie Composer
Jay Livingston Composer
Johnny Marks Composer
Nick Draklich Producer
Ted Keep Engineer
Jack Rollins Composer
Donald Gardner Composer
Steve Nelson Composer
James Pierpont Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Christmas With the Chipmunks, Vol. 1 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Yep, it was Alvin and the Chipmonks. What a delight these songs from the 60's are. And, how cleaver was Ross Bagdesarian as Dave Seville, the rascally chipmonk's wranger, and their creator, and singing companion. I hope Bagdesarian was duly rewarded for his many talents before his passing in '72.
My memory longed for "The Chipmonk Song", but each of the other nine cuts are really cute too. And, hey, could #7 (The Night Before Christmas) be the very first rap song ever? Check it out.
This CD is just what my Xmas collection needed. Ahhhh, for the good ol' daze.
I bought this for my three yr old grandson, he loves it. We even bring it along in the car--good cute way to learn the Christmas songs.
I was trying to find a christmas CD for my 3 1/2 year old son and this was a great decision. The songs are perfect for kids, fun, easy to sing along with their favorite cartoon characters. And I have to mention Jingle Bells: most fun Jingle Bells version I've ever heard! We still listen to it eventhough the holidays are long gone:) I recommend it to everyone!