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Holidays! THE OFFICIAL REVIEW: [Album] "CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT" SP-4726

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Dec 1, 2014.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    38 vote(s)
    79.2%
  2. ****

    9 vote(s)
    18.8%
  3. ***

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
    2.1%
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Thanks for this. Very helpful, as that little note has never made sense to me. I guess the note is better than: “Sorry, we couldn’t get the publishing rights for these lyrics!”

    Funny that it was something so mundane as publishing rights...
     
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    One other song from Christmas Portrait that has had publishing rights issues is It's Christmas Time, as the official Piano/Vocal songbook from Hal Leonard mentions that the rights to the song were unattainable.
     
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  3. Many thanks!
     
  4. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    I don't know about you others, but I bought the newest Japanese re release of Christmas Portrait. I still love this line up of songs, but I have to ask. Is there a release besides the original that does not include the choir on Ave Maria? It's on here too, and I was hoping it wasn't.

    I've not heard the German version. How does it compare?

    Overall, this sounds great, and I'm glad it doesn't have the 90's effects of the 2 cd set. Still, I'm curious. ????
     
  5. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Well, now, I'm listening again, she does sound rather reverb-y. Have to compare again. I was hoping for a copy of the original, but it might be a copy of a copy. Yet, and still, I love the songs, in this order.

    Merry Christmas to one and all!!!
     
  6. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    The only place your going to find Ave Maria without the choir is the original LP and the rare German Pressing on CD. I managed to secure 2 German Pressing CD's for my collection, always good to have a spare especially after I ruined one copy I had. I also have a mint white label promo LP that sounds amazing. I really dislike all the reverb in the re- issues.
     
    Mary Beth and LondonRobert like this.
  7. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Thank you. And strangely now, the new DVD also excludes the choir. There are some interesting edits and cuts on the DVD, but I am rather loving it!
     
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  8. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I love this album...5 stars, absolutely! This is my "go to" album during the Christmas season. Forget Mannheim Steamroller, Bing Crosby, Country Christmas, Mariah Carey, etc. The one track on this album that completely destroys me is; I'll Be Home For Christmas. Karen's unbelievably beautiful vocals dredge up such emotions! The intro to the album is great with the Richard arranged instrumentals leading into the exquisite KC vocals. I like the fact that they pay tribute to the Lord (the reason for the season). Ave Maria and Christ Is Born wonderfully sung by Karen brings such poignancy to the recording. And of course, Merry Christmas Darling has become a standard that is now on the play lists of most holiday music stations. IMHO; this album is a "must have" for any holiday music collection.
     
    K.C. Jr, Eyewire, Murray and 2 others like this.
  9. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Amen!!
     
    Murray and Mark-T like this.
  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    ^^^Ditto!
     
  11. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Just realised that the Vocal Arrangements for the original Spike Jones album whom Richard sought out to do their album - Jud Conlon, also did some of those gorgeous vocal pieces from Disney's Alice and Pan in the '50's.

    As Richard stated, he passed away in '66, and May/Knight do a spectacular job, but always fun to see how interests (my interests at least) tie together.

    Neil
     
  12. "He Came Here For Me" from AOFC gets me every time. Especially the last line; delivered with appropriate effect from Karen.
     
    Chris May and Mark-T like this.
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I also like "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day", especially the line 'God is not dead nor doth he sleep'. Unfortunately, while Karen's vocals are pretty good, Richard's arrangement leaves much to be desired (this is one track that I really wish Richard would re-record the backing for, as it currently sounds very gloomy with no trace of the 'Bells' that Karen is singing about---every Christmas I prefer listening to Burl Ives' version because, while it is similar to Karen's in terms of tempo, it doesn't sound as gloomy).
     
    Geographer likes this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Please note:
    I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
    was arranged by Peter Knight.

    Many of the non-secular Christmas songs are incredibly beautifully nuanced by Karen.
    Of course, a number of tunes ,
    Invocation-Benediction, Love is Surrender come to mind,
    were inspired from "above" !
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I never thought of Love is Surrender as a religious song. They make it sound like a simple but great pop song.
     
  16. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    It is a contemporary Christian song. The lyrics were adapted slightly for the Carpenters version. These are the lyrics as originally written and performed by Ralph Carmichael:

    1.
    Talk about love
    how it makes life complete
    You can talk all you want
    make it sound nice and sweet,
    But the words have an empty ring,
    and they don't really mean a thing,

    Chorus:
    Without Him love is not to be found;
    not to be found.
    For love is surrender,
    Love is surrender to His will
    Love is surrender to His will

    2.
    Sing about love
    and the strength it can give
    You can sing how you're ready
    to face life and live,
    But you know as the days go by
    that no matter how hard you try,

    Chorus

    3.
    Shout about love
    and the wars will all end
    You can shout we're all brothers
    and even pretend
    But you can't cover up the past
    just pretending we'll never last,

    Chorus
     
  17. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Hey, we justed passed the 39th anniversary of Christmas Portrait’s release on Oct. 13.
     
    goodjeans likes this.
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I'm currently listening to this album right now (West German CD version). It's November 1, so as far as I am concerned, it is open season on Christmas and Christmas music. It's still amazing how this album just seems to flow. With most Christmas albums, and even non-seasonal albums, in general, you'll have a pause in between every track, and the way the pause is you know that the album is going on to the next track. Whereas with Christmas Portrait, both sides sound like medleys or like a performance that you would hear at an orchestra concert, where one tracks flows into another, or if there is a break in between songs, its a dramatic break in order to switch from one tempo to another.
     
    Carpe diem and goodjeans like this.
  19. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Man, I must be getting into the holiday spirit. I put on this wonderful album and am currently listening. The more I hear it, the more I am convinced in is a masterpiece. I hope my family is ready, because I am going to be wearing this out for the next 6 weeks or so. The attention to detail in this album is amazing. Little nuances that make the listening experience so unforgettable. I absolutely love the way they frame traditional songs with the little "intro", and feel this is what sets the duo apart from the other more traditional recordings. Of course, Karen's vocals, what can I say? Let the water works begin.
     

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