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An Old-Fashioned Christmas Favorite Song

What Are Your 3 Favorite Tracks?


  • Total voters
    43

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
Karen and Richard together were like peanut butter and jelly on those records. Both were phenomenal and noteworthy in their own individual talents, but put them together and you have a whole other dynamic going on that is exponential. I enjoy hearing the doubled vocal by Richard, which sets up the anticipation while awaiting Karen's entrance. Just perfect :)
Agree with you, Chris!
Perhaps that's why my favorite of the Christmas records only have Karen and Richard and no chorale. The ones with the chorale are superb, but nothing beats the homespun arrangements of "Merry Christmas Darling" and "Santa Claus..." :D
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I guess I never did mention my top 3 even if I voted earlier on. DYHWIH was one as was New Years Eve and Santa Claus.
 

Misael Castillo Lopez

Active Member
I'm right there with the folks that cited Do You Hear What I Hear? as one of their faves. My perspective isn't always popular amongst the staunch Karen-only fans, but Karen and Richard together were like peanut butter and jelly on those records. Both were phenomenal and noteworthy in their own individual talents, but put them together and you have a whole other dynamic going on that is exponential. I enjoy hearing the doubled vocal by Richard, which sets up the anticipation while awaiting Karen's entrance. Just perfect :)
I think the same thing as you is a song that grows and ends on high in tone, voice, musicalization, independent of the musical lyric, is the one that detaca in this album...
When listening for the first time, the masterful entrance of Karen is never expected...that's the big surprise.. Regards:)
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I like Do You Hear What I Hear for several reasons. Karen’s voice feels like a mixture of satin and velvet when she comes in after Richard, and it builds in the old fashioned traditional route and it is arranged and orchestrated with perfection. This is not considered a Christian Christmas song, yet to me anything that mentions Christ is Christian. (I guess that shows how much society has changed as a whole.). It was written as a peaceful awakening to the Cuban missle crisis.
He Came Here For Me is a classical art song which shows Karen’s dexterity and precision to pitch while relating to range and interval relationships, while the accompaniment does not necessarily double the vocal lead.
And, who can resist the innocence of an adult Santa Claus with seductive tones of making your desire fulfilled for Christmas! Who else but a contralto with a one of a kind voice!
I love all if Karen’s songs but picked those for I play them more. Home For the Holidays, I Heard the Bells and Little Altar Boy would round out a pair of three ; ) with What Are You Doing Nee Years Eve as a good luck charm.
 
"Do You Hear What I Hear?", especially Karen's last ending notes, gives me the chill factory every time! "Little Altar Boy" I had never heard before and I dearly love it. "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" is a bittersweet vocal from Karen. I Love the "An Old Fashioned Christmas" LP and am thankful that Richard released it. PS: would have loved to have "Christmas Alphabet" released on it but Karen & Kristy McNichol's vocal were recorded together
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
In my mind, I can also hear her singing songs from their 3rd Christmas album. Included are Baby, It's Cold Outside, Christmas Lullaby (an Amy Grant composition) and Blue Christmas.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
In my mind, I can also hear her singing songs from their 3rd Christmas album. Included are Baby, It's Cold Outside, Christmas Lullaby (an Amy Grant composition) and Blue Christmas.
Another song that might’ve been on their third Christmas album is “Come On Ring Those Bells”. I know that a lot of churches use it in their Christmas cantata’s and pageants:

But I was just watching a Betamax of a documentary that I taped last night called “Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas” that was talking about all the Christmas songs written by Jewish composers. Songs such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Winter Wonderland”, “Silver Bells”, “White Christmas”, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (and with Rudolph, both the original story and song were written by Jews). It was an interesting doc on the background of some of the well known secular Christmas songs. As one of the interviewees said, for Jewish composers it just made business sense, because they could either sell to 3% of the population with Hannukah songs, or 97% of the population with Christmas songs.
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
Gloria Estefan's "Christmas Through Your Eyes" reminded me of something the Carpenters could have done. (I'm not usually one to get on this badwagon)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I suppose, if I had to pick a standout track, it would be "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town". When CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT was issued, it was such an immediate disappointment to see the song listed in the track listing, yet appear in that abbreviated form as a transitional song that it became a great joy to see it finally properly placed on an album years later. Then came the disappointment of it being a remix, making that well-worn 45 all the more important.

That track, that 45 single arrangement, is a favorite. It was from day one when I first heard it to today.
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
Funny you mention worn 45s Harry. I believe my buying bulk CarpenterS items was born here. Wear a record? No problem. I've always bought 2 to multitudes of copies. Like CALLING OCCUPANTS day of release I bought 15 from D.J.s Sound City Portland, Or. I have my collection set where I can play, save and give away. This year for Christmas I'm gifting vinyl copies of HORIZON. As mentioned here long ago, I have well over 40 copies. Intended for a wall design and sharing. On the transparent album cover I write a simple Love, Jeff. There I give a generous slice of my heart.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I was just looking at what people’s Favorite Top 3 tracks from AOFC are and it looks like:

1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (19 votes)
2. Little Altar Boy (16 votes)
3. Do You Hear What I Hear? & What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (Tie, 11 votes each)
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The one I hear most on the radio is Home For The Holidays from this album. Interesting.
The only tracks I've ever heard on the radio here in the UK are Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Merry Christmas Darling. It would be nice to hear some of the others now and again.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
The only tracks I've ever heard on the radio here in the UK are Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Merry Christmas Darling. It would be nice to hear some of the others now and again.
I've heard a couple of others ('Jingle Bells' and 'White Christmas'), but as the Christmas albums have never had much of a profile in the UK, it's only 'Merry Christmas Darling' and (to a much lesser extent) 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town', which were both charting singles, that ever get played. I'm sure the majority of the public in the UK have little idea they ever recorded a full Christmas album.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I'm sure the majority of the public in the UK have little idea they ever recorded a full Christmas album.
I would agree with that.

It’s interesting that Christmas Portrait cost a fortune to make, bombed at the time of its release and sank off the charts without a trace, but has gone on to enjoy huge sales over the years and become one of their most cherished albums among the fans.

I can’t think of another example of any album that was so poorly received commercially that has gone on to become so beloved.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I would agree with that.

It’s interesting that Christmas Portrait cost a fortune to make, bombed at the time of its release and sank off the charts without a trace, but has gone on to enjoy huge sales over the years and become one of their most cherished albums among the fans.

I can’t think of another example of any album that was so poorly received commercially that has gone on to become so beloved.
Christmas albums are a bit of a special case in this respect. As there's a period every year when they will be revisited by radio/consumers, they're always likely to get an extra sales boost each year (at least in the US), which a regular studio album wouldn't. Some do better than others, and Christmas Portrait has in recent years started to shift reasonable numbers over the festive season (although strangely, when you look back at the Christmas charts in the 1980s and early 1990s, it was only doing middling business compared to the other Christmas albums that were available).

This is only the situation in the US though - I imagine its total sales (including the Special Edition CD) in the UK are still behind those of nearly all their studio albums.
 

New Horizons.

Active Member
The only tracks I've ever heard on the radio here in the UK are Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Merry Christmas Darling. It would be nice to hear some of the others now and again.
I heard BBC radio Stoke play Do you hear what I hear about three years ago,Saturday afternoon 4pm just before Christmas when visiting my folks.I was rather shocked but very pleased to hear it.
I chose Little Altar boy,Do you hear what I hear?and What are you doing new years eve?.
Don't forget Petula Clark hosted that BBC radio 2 special on Carpenters Christmas music in 2016 on Christmas eve.I know Little Altar Boy was played amongst others.
 

Jarred

Active Member
I would agree with that.

It’s interesting that Christmas Portrait cost a fortune to make, bombed at the time of its release and sank off the charts without a trace, but has gone on to enjoy huge sales over the years and become one of their most cherished albums among the fans.

I can’t think of another example of any album that was so poorly received commercially that has gone on to become so beloved.
Did it bomb in the US?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
From its release October 1978 to January 1981 it sold Gold (500,000 copies).
That is, Christmas Portrait LP did not tear-up the charts initially.
As per Billboard Charts, in January 1979, it was at #145 after five weeks on chart.
 

Jarred

Active Member
Was the lack of enthusiasm just an extension of the general lack of Carpenters popularity in the late 70s? Had it been released in 1974 it would have been massive from the get-go, four years later and it's not a hit, but grows to become one as their music gets reevaluated and holds better than most late-70s acts.
 
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