Itunes Price for the Special Edition stands at $11.99,
Carpenters at #44 (as of 11/21/2106).
UMG...or, whomever decides on these retail prices,
needs to adjust the price accordingly,
and perhaps sales will trend greatly upward....
....my two cents worth.....
I think Midnight just gives a more festive opening.
Do we know for sure that there are no Karen vocals in the Overture? When comparing the two Overtures it's odd that if Richard was going for a duplicate style that he put vocals into the OFC Overture when the CP overture was just instrumental. And I always thought that I could hear some Karen mixed into the choir, almost like she had recorded snippets for an Overture that was dropped from CP or just snippets from other Christmas projects.I love the opening and it's far better than the one on the original 1978 album, my issue with it is that we have to wait around 13 minutes before Karen sings a note. If the opening instrumental medley had been limited to around 4 minutes, it would have made that side of the album a lot more palatable.
Do we know for sure that there are no Karen vocals in the Overture? When comparing the two Overtures it's odd that if Richard was going for a duplicate style that he put vocals into the OFC Overture when the CP overture was just instrumental. And I always thought that I could hear some Karen mixed into the choir, almost like she had recorded snippets for an Overture that was dropped from CP or just snippets from other Christmas projects.
Karen's not featured anywhere in the overture on An Old Fashioned Christmas. We know that because a) Richard has confirmed that there were seven songs Karen sang on, which are all represented elsewhere in the tracklist and b) Karen never performed as part of the choir on any of their studio albums. I think the reason for the added vocalists was to make up for the fact she was nowhere to be heard for the first quarter of an hour of side 1
It’s still amazing just how well this album flows together, considering that it’s a “best of” album from the 2 Christmas albums. I wonder, had the CD been out in 1978, would the Christmas Portrait: Special Edition have been the album that came out? Considering how much work Richard did in 84 on this sequencing, could this be the album that he had had in mind originally? The album really works together very well, whereas a lot of “best of albums” or even Christmas albums in general, seem to start and stop with every track, whereas with CPSE, when it starts with “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” it doesn’t stop until it’s final track, “Silent Night”.
I think the AOFC opening sounds better, more joyful than the original CP opening. Both Immanual and Midnight Clear are great songs in their own right, but Immanual is written in a lower key and doesn’t work as well for an opening about Christmas. And the overture, it’s more interesting on AOFC because it’s got the few lines of singing. For me CPSE was the on CP I knew until I got the CC, and I still think of CPSE as “The” CP.
But with AOFC the album, while the structure overall appears similar it doesn’t flow like the original CP or the SE. There are a lot of stops, and some songs just sound like they were put in their order just because. With AOFC, it’s surprising that Richard didn’t segue the tracks together better and make a better flowing album, and yet he managed to do just that on CPSE.
The Special Edition is without First Snowfall. So, it is not my favorite collection. I agree with Harry and also include The First Snowfall!