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Publicity for An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Someday, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Someday

    Someday Active Member Thread Starter

    Does anyone, particularly here in the UK, have any evidence of publicity material for An Old-Fashioned Christmas?

    It was put out as an A&M 'budget' release, but was there no fanfare at all?

    I remember hearing Santa Claus is Coming to Town in a small local record store and I'm pretty sure this wasn't 1984, rather 85 or 86. On enquiring, I was told of the album and found it on cassette.

    I guess it just 'slipped out' quietly? ... or may have been issued to tie in with the Yesterday Once More compilation ...
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    You have to remember that Santa Claus had been out as a 45 single since 1974.

    Otherwise the only single released to promote “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” was the “Do You Hear What I Hear?/Little Altar Boy” single, which was a promo 45 only. It’s to bad it wasn’t released as an actual 45.

    And I know that Richard appeared on the TV show “Solid Gold” singing a very different “Home For The Holidays”.
  3. I have a similar recollection, but in the US. I heard “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” on the radio one morning, getting ready for school (1984) and flipped. I was 12 at the time and had completely missed the first single release, only being familiar with Christmas Portrait. The DJ just commented on Karen’s voice and how bittersweet, to hear it, but no mention of an album. I just made an assumption that a new album came with the song and mentioned it to my sister, who, that day after work, dropped by the local record store and bought it. I saw no specific promotion.
  4. Someday

    Someday Active Member Thread Starter

    That's interesting. Thanks! Here in the UK, I understand Christmas Portrait received scant attention also (I was only 10 in 1978). I know that Karen helped promote Singles 74-78 at a record store somewhere in London, I think on the same visit as doing Bruce Forsyth's Big Night ... but I don't know of any active promotion for CP.
  5. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Active Member

    It's strange that both Christmas albums ended up getting something of a 'soft' release in the UK alongside greatest hits collections (The Singles 1974-1978 alongside Christmas Portrait and Yesterday Once More alongside An Old-Fashioned Christmas). The market for Christmas albums in the UK has never been very big, so perhaps A&M figured that people might see the Christmas albums alongside the hits collections in the shops and buy them that way.

    They certainly didn't promote the Christmas albums as separate entities in the UK though (apart from Karen singing Christmas songs on the Bruce Forsyth show in 1978). The result was what you might expect - the two hits collections did good business while the two Christmas albums sold next to nothing. In all my years of trawling secondhand record stores, I've never even seen a UK copy of An Old-Fashioned Christmas, so I imagine there aren't many of them out there.
  6. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    I doubt they "soft released" only in the UK. "Christmas Portrait" was the first Carpenters LP that caught me by surprise in a store -- that was in the fall of '78 and I had no idea it was coming out. "Old Fashioned Christmas" was likewise a surprise (doubly surprising as I examined the gaudy orange "$4.99" price sticker and low-rent packaging). Kind of ironic that they now seem almost solely recognized for Christmas music.
  7. Somehow I'd heard the Carpenters were releasing a Christmas album in 1978. I remember calling my local record store (this shows how old I am) and asking the must-be-knowledgeable person that answered, "Can you tell me the name of the new Carpenters Christmas album?" After a brief hold, he came back on the line and said, "Christmas Portrait".
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    How did the promote Christmas Portrait: Special Edition? Was it given a "hard" promotion in the UK or US because it was on the new CD format?
  9. Someday

    Someday Active Member Thread Starter

    My first memory of the Special Edition (UK) was RC appearing on a chat show - I'm pretty sure it was Wogan (1982-92) to promote The Compact Disc Collection. So this must have been 1989. I remember him explaining that the two Christmas albums had been edited and combined into one. Can't think of any other promotion for the SE, just finding it on the shelf in a record store.
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I have a copy of that appearance somewhere. He brought a copy of the box set with him and opened it to show Terry the various discs, pronouncing "Karen would have loved the compact disc".
  11. CDs were still very new at that point and the selection was small. Record stores that had a CD rack made it of a size that you could flip through in a very short time as you browsed for your favorites. My recollection is that I just found CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT: SPECIAL EDITION in one of those racks, and I think my reaction was, "Gee, another Christmas Album on CD. Why don't they put out the studio albums on CD?" Those were slower coming out. CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT though had that special new function of being longer than most albums had been allowed in the vinyl days, so it was hailed as something extra special.
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Even nowadays, CPSE tends to be an extremely long album amongst most Christmas CD's, or even CD's in general. Considering that most CD's are still about 30-45 minutes nowadays, CPSE is almost double the length.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Interesting thing about the three Christmas cds,
    in terms of time-spent on Karen's vocals
    (in contradistinction to Richard's instrumental pieces):
    (1978) Christmas Portrait, Karen.... 33 minutes 41 seconds
    (1984) cd Special Edition, Karen....41 minutes 8 seconds (" celebrating 70 continuous minutes of the best....").
    (1984) Old Fashioned Christmas, Karen.....19 minutes 37 seconds.

    Special Edition cd of Christmas Portrait gave us almost
    more minutes of Karen than its LP counterpart.
  14. The first time I heard about "An Old Fashioned Christmas" was when it was mentioned on an episode of the tv program "Entertainment Tonight", when they had a short segment on what album was released on the very date when the show was broadcast. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known.

  15. I found the "An Old Fashioned Christmas" by mistake in November 1984 at our local "Musicland". I belonged to the official Carpenters fan club, but didn't receive the fan club newsletter announcing the new LP until January 1985. At first I thought it was "Christmas Portrait" re-issued with a new cover, but once I read the song titles, I knew this was a "new" release. The album got very little promotion at the time. I had my niece Brandy with me who was only 19 months old. A great memory
    goodjeans likes this.

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