• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline for October 2021! The new book Carpenter: The Musical Legacy will be available on October 19 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released October 22, and is available for ordering here.

🎶 Album Sides THE ALBUM SIDES [Poll]: "CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT" (SP-4726)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side 1

    Votes: 19 59.4%
  • Side 2

    Votes: 13 40.6%

  • Total voters
    32

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
“CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT”

christmasportrait.jpg

Catalogue Number: A&M SP-4726
Date of Release: 10/13/78
Chart Position- U.S.: #145
Album Singles: "Christmas Song"/"Merry Christmas, Darling"
Medium: Vinyl/Cassette/CD (West Germany/U.S. "Special Edition", Japan,
U.S. Christmas Collection, Disc 1)/8-Track

Side 1:
1.) O Come, O Come Emmanuel*** :28 (P.D. Arrg. & Adapted by Richard Carpenter)
2.) Overture*: 4:38

a. Deck The Halls (With Boughs Of Holly) / (P.D. Trad French Carol)
b. I Saw Three Ships (P.D. Trad Welsh Carol)
c. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane)
d. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (P.D. Trad English Carol)
e. Away In A Manger (Luther’s Cradle Hymn) / (P.D. Luther/Mueller/Spilman)
f. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) / (P.D. Will C. Dix)
g. Carol Of The Bells (P.D. Trad Ukranian Carol)
h. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) / (P.D. English version: Oakeley/Wade/Reai)


3.) The Christmas Waltz* 2:15 (Cahn/Styne)
4.) Sleigh Ride** 2:39 (Parish/Anderson)
5.) It’s Christmas Time/Sleep Well, Little Children* 2:53 (Young/Stilman/Bergman/Klatzkin)
6.) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas** 3:55 (Martin/Blane)
7.) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town* 1:05 (Giliespie/Coots)
8.) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)** 3:39 (Torme/Wells)
9.) Silent Night* 3:19 (P.D. Orig. Music by Franz Gruber, Arrg. & Adapted by Peter Knight)

Side 2:
10.) Jingle Bells* 1:10 (P.D. Orig Music: James Pierpont, Arrg. & Adapted by Peter Knight)
11.) The First Snowfall/Let It Snow (Medley)* 3:35 (Webster/Burke) & (Cahn/Styne)
12.) Carol Of The Bells* 1:39 (P.D. Trad Ukranian Carol, Arrg. & Adapted by Richard Carpenter)
13.) Merry Christmas Darling+*** 3:05 (Pooler/Carpenter)
14.) I’ll Be Home For Christmas** 3:48 (Gannon/Kent/Ram)
15.) Christ Is Born* 3:13 (Charles/Bartolucci)
16.) Medley**: 5:31

a. Winter Wonderland" (Smith/Bernard)
b. Silver Bells" (Livingston/Evans)
c. White Christmas" (Berlin)


17.) Ave Maria* 2:35 (P.D. Original Music: Johann Sebastian Bach, Adapted by Charles Gounod, This arrg & adaptation by Peter Knight)

Credits:

Produced by Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer Karen Carpenter
Lead Vocals: Karen Carpenter and Richard Carpenter
Arranged by Peter Knight*, Billy May**, and Richard Carpenter***
Keyboards: Pete Jolly and Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt and Cubby O’Brien
Guitars: Bob Bain, Tony Peluso and Tommy Tedesco
Harp: Gayle Levant and Dorothy Remsen
Oboe: Earl Dumler and John Ellis
Tenor Sax: Bob Messenger
Vocals: The Tom Bahler Chorale and Karen & Richard Carpenter
Engineered by Ray Gerhardt, Roger Young and Dave Iveland
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman
+"Merry Christmas Darling" Produced by Jack Daugherty
Special Thanks to: Ed Sulzer
Personal Management: Jerry Weintraub / Management Three
Art Direction & Design: Tim Bryant / Gribbit
Illustration: Robert Tenenbaum


© 1978 A&M Records, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Nearly impossible, the waltz signals the start of the season for me and I always love all the instrumental pieces as well. I have to vote for side 2 for MCD and I'll Be Home For Christmas and then there's Ave Maria. Just perfection!!
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
Both are good...Karen's vocal on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is so great, though, that I have to give my vote to Side One. For my money, Carpenters now have the definitive version.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
So many equally beautiful cuts, but "Silent Night" was the time breaker for me. Side One- by a hair.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Chris, you might as well ask "fish OR chips", "roast beef OR Yorkshire pudding", "pizza OR beer", "spaghetti OR meat balls", "peanut butter OR jelly", "cake OR ice cream"! :D

I find it absolutely impossible to choose a favourite side of Christmas Portrait. They are both equally perfect...

Wait, on second thought, I vote for side one. Definitely side one... of the CD (it only has ONE side)! :laugh:
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Chris, you might as well ask "fish OR chips", "roast beef OR Yorkshire pudding", "pizza OR beer", "spaghetti OR meat balls", "peanut butter OR jelly", "cake OR ice cream"! :D

I find it absolutely impossible to choose a favourite side of Christmas Portrait. They are both equally perfect...

Wait, on second thought, I vote for side one. Definitely side one... of the CD (it only has ONE side)! :laugh:
I Second that this album is so chock full of musical goodies It's one of those situations where I can't choose between the sides. But since I have the CD two fer with the second Christmas album I would say the same as you Side one of the CD Haha.
 
This makes it hard...The whole work is a masterpiece. However, I voted Side 2. Specifically, Karen's beautiful vocals on Merry Christmas Darling, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Christ Is Born, and Ave Maria tips the scale for me.
Amen, Side Two, is my favorite, but honestly I listen to both sides in order, I never just play one side
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
It really is too difficult for a decision. I was upset that First Snowfall was not on Special Edition yet I can’t do without Its Christmas Time/Sleep Well Little Children!
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
It really is too difficult for a decision. I was upset that First Snowfall was not on Special Edition yet I can’t do without Its Christmas Time/Sleep Well Little Children!

Agree 100%! The First Snowfall is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album - definitely most favorite on side 2 anyway, even though I ultimately voted side 1 :)
 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
A tough question, and I did just listen to the re-release on CD from Japan for the third time in two days. The mini lp recreation.

I love side 2 mostly, but I love side 1 more, in the end. Im not crazy about I'll Be Home For Christmas arrangement, and somehow the Spike Jones like arrangement for Silver Bells... I don't know.... Maybe it's just me.

I still always listen all the way through many times every year, and I'm loath to pick, but side one is an amazing arrangement, and side 2 feels like a collection of good songs that could have been better. Could say so much more, but I'll leave it alone for now.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I decided to listen--again--to Side One (of the 1978 LP),
then, of course, I turned the LP over to Side Two.....
and, I must say, my decision remains unaltered....favoring Side Two.
And, I might add, the only way I listen to Christmas Portrait is via the Vinyl LP--1978.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I decided to listen--again--to Side One (of the 1978 LP),
then, of course, I turned the LP over to Side Two.....
and, I must say, my decision remains unaltered....favoring Side Two.
And, I might add, the only way I listen to Christmas Portrait is via the Vinyl LP--1978.
I like the '78 version better too, but I listen to it on the Christmas Collection CD. But, I usually listen with a playlist made from both CD's with all Karen's songs and include Richard's piano selection on the Santa Claus Medley, Carol of the Bells and My Favorite Things. If I listen to the overture, I enjoy the '78 version better. Who knows, maybe this year I'll drag out my turntable to play the LP - its just that playlists using software is so much easier and instant - a turntable packed away and connecting again is like bringing out Christmas lights....you labor, but the result is nice. However, to me, nothing beats the clean sound of good digital sources with nice sound reproduction systems and decent speakers. My speakers (the ten plus one that surround me) are almost 20 years old, but they will probably carry me to the nursing home of the future. Maybe by then, I'll have a great set of headphones for the iPhone 20.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
As others have said, hard to choose. I went with side 2 solely because of "Merry Christmas Darling", probably my favorite C's Christmas song.

I decided to listen--again--to Side One (of the 1978 LP),
then, of course, I turned the LP over to Side Two.....
and, I must say, my decision remains unaltered....favoring Side Two.
And, I might add, the only way I listen to Christmas Portrait is via the Vinyl LP--1978.

I saw CP on Amazon on vinyl, for...$94. :shock:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Heard,
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
on radio this noon.
I must say, Karen's nuances in this song are incredible.
To be sure, you need to listen very carefully, as the choir sometimes
makes it difficult to hear hear only her voice.
Otherwise, an incredible performance !
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I also heard Karen’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” on TV today (it was on the local cable company’s billboard channel that plays one of the local radio stations).
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
Side one. There's nothing more magical than the first time we hear Karen open her mouth, going into Christmas Waltz. Still gives me chills and chokes me up. The whole album is amazing but this moment always stands out whenever I think of Christmas Portrait.
 
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