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Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Nov 24, 2017.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side 1

    13 vote(s)
  2. Side 2

    8 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter



    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)


    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.
    Carpe diem likes this.
  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Can't there be a third option here? :wink: It's just so hard!
  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    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!!
    Chris May likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Spot On, Side Two for me, also....
  6. Toolman

    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.
    goodjeans and Sabar like this.
  7. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

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

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Side one, chock full of Christmas standards and flows beautifully.
    Chris May likes this.
  9. Murray

    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:
  10. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Amen, Side Two, is my favorite, but honestly I listen to both sides in order, I never just play one side
  12. CraigGA

    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 likes this.
  13. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    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 :)
    CraigGA likes this.
  14. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    if you are truly conflicted, listen to the cd.
  15. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active 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.
  16. GaryAlan

    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.
    Chris May likes this.
  17. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Agreed.
  19. David A

    David A Active 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 saw CP on Amazon on vinyl, for...$94. :shock:
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    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 !
    David A likes this.
  21. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active 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).
    David A likes this.

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