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🎄 Holidays! THE OFFICIAL REVIEW: [Album] "AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS" SP-9107

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • ****

    Votes: 25 49.0%
  • ***

    Votes: 13 25.5%
  • **

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • *

    Votes: 1 2.0%

  • Total voters
    51

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Hard to believe it’s almost that time of year! I was thinking that we had just passed Old-Fashioned’s anniversary, but it’s anniversary is on the 26.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I’m just listening to “Holy Night” on the DVD “Carpenters Christmas Memories” and I noticed that Richard’s piano, and even towards the end the backing instruments are different from what’s on AOFC.
 
I was in the Carpenters' fan club, and had no clue about An Old Fashioned Christmas being released. I was looking through Christmas LP's at Musicland and found it, at first I thought it was a re-issue of A Christmas portrait, but once I took a better look, I found out it was a "new" LP! Took it home and played it at once even though it was still late November! I loved it and am thankful for this Carpenters Christmas treasure. Christmas isn't Christmas without the Carpenters!
 
My memory matches Richard's.
1. The album was a midline release with a 5.98 list price (other new albums at this time were 8.98 or 9.98).
2. The only reason I knew this album was released was by reading Billboard. Otherwise, I would have known nothing about it.

The album ultimately sold well because it is a phenomenal album. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it's one of the best albums released after 1980 by any artist in any genre. And I should mention that I am a huge fan of music in general, not just the Carpenters. I have been a music critic for since writing album reviews for my high school paper in the 70's. I have a massive music collection that spans from country to rock to r&b, & even rap. When I noticed 8 people rated this album under 4 stars, it was the most disturbing thing I have encountered on this board.
I paid $7.99 for my original copy in 1984
 

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
For the AOTW series there are no albums corresponding to SP 5169, 5170 or 5171. 'OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS' is discussed here (5172), and the next item is SP 5173, 'CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT SPECIAL EDITION' from 1987. From this point I plan to move forward to '5174' next week.

JB
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
For the AOTW series there are no albums corresponding to SP 5169, 5170 or 5171. 'OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS' is discussed here (5172), and the next item is SP 5173, 'CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT SPECIAL EDITION' from 1987. From this point I plan to move forward to '5174' next week.

JB
Wasn’t CPSE released in 84 at the same time as AOFC?
 
I’m just listening to “Holy Night” on the DVD “Carpenters Christmas Memories” and I noticed that Richard’s piano, and even towards the end the backing instruments are different from what’s on AOFC.
Tom, Richard re-recorded a lot of the stuff that was featured in the TV specials. The instrumentals were recorded at Abby Road in London, England. Kinda neat with The Beatles connection
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Tom, Richard re-recorded a lot of the stuff that was featured in the TV specials. The instrumentals were recorded at Abby Road in London, England. Kinda neat with The Beatles connection

The previous poster wasn’t comparing the DVD version with the TV special, they were comparing it with the version on the 1984 album. I’ve not done a back to back comparison but if they are different does that mean it’s been tinkered with again since 1984?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Tom, Richard re-recorded a lot of the stuff that was featured in the TV specials. The instrumentals were recorded at Abby Road in London, England. Kinda neat with The Beatles connection
He may have done that, but the original special was in mono, whereas the DVD is in stereo. The only prior stereo mix was the AOFC, and when you listen to the DVD, Richard used the AOFC mix of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, while the 1974 mono mix showed up on the Perry Como DVD.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Upon further listening, it sounds like the special might’ve had “O Holy Night” recorded right to videotape, in 2-Channel mono, where Richard’s piano was on track 2 and the orchestra was on track 1 (I remember being taught this in college with linear editing, put your most important stuff on 2, such as the reporters voice, because that was the inside track, whereas 1 was the outside track, which was recorded on the very edge of the tape, and if something happened that caused the tape to get damaged there, then you would only loose or have damage to your sound effects and other non-important audio), and it on the DVD it sounds like Richard has tried to mix the AOFC orchestra in to give that stereo sound, while retaining his original mono piano, and some of the mono orchestra. This remix of “O Holy Night” is exclusive to the DVD, as it’s not on any CD.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
on the DVD it sounds like Richard has tried to mix the AOFC orchestra in to give that stereo sound, while retaining his original mono piano, and some of the mono orchestra.

If this is the case, it begs the question: why bother go to all this effort? The AOFC mix was readily available to superimpose onto the DVD clip.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I was just watching the DVD. Richard plays the piano more forcefully in one section of “O Holy Night”, which is different from the 84 piano. (Although the 77 piano track contains a lot of tape hiss, which it seems Richard was able to drown out when the orchestra plays with the stereo mix, but when it’s just the piano it is very noisy, even for a mono recording. I’m not to sure why he wasn’t able to use a digital filter to try and lower the hiss.).

But the DVD needs it’s own page on the resource, because it got a lot of remixes that have appeared nowhere else (even the Winter Wonderland/Silver Bells/White Christmas medley is a different edit as parts of the interludes between songs are missing things that are on the CDS, and White Christmas is missing the first verse).

(Just watched “Ave Maria” and it’s the Christmas Portrait original version with no choir).
 
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I took the DVD and made a whole complete audio recording including all the speaking parts giving them their own track when the speaking part didn't blend into the next track. I ended up with 17 tracks. I agree some of these are only found here and it's great DVD but also makes for an excellent audio CD.

I imported it into my iTunes library giving it album artwork, love listening to this each season.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
From Bing to Curly, “Sam’s Lounge” has the spirit of Christmas

From Bing to Curly, “Sam’s Lounge” has the spirit of Christmas


"If, by any chance, you have never heard the Three Stooges warble “All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” or Karen Carpenter sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and never gazed upon the accompanying record album cover artwork, this is your time to do so......"
"And then I asked Goldenberg to name his all-time favorite Christmas song.
He thought for only a moment, then said: “It’s ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ by the Carpenters.
The 1984 re-mix by Richard (Carpenter). It’s fantastic, powerful.”
He found the album and cued up that song. We were experiencing a holy New Haven moment: sipping the wine Goldenberg had thoughtfully provided, hearing the angelic voice that came out of the Elm City all those years ago.
This is a great, great song!” Goldenberg said. “Listen to her voice.
Richard slowed it down and orchestrated it, expanded it. It’s perfect.”
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Ironically it’s in my car CD player right now. I listened to Christmas Portrait the day before. Just had to listen to them since my West German cd of CP was in the mail today. It was great to hear the original Ave Maria sans the choir on disc this morning for the first time, without getting out my vinyl. Another piece of history for my collection.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I loved the new Karen tracks! They are mixed so well and she never sounded better. I could have done without all the orchestral medley and I never listen to it. It’s not as magical as the one in Christmas Portrait!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I just remember listening to side A and being disappointed and wondering if Karen would ever put in an appearance. The album is made up of far too much filler. It was said by Richard and Karen that they recorded enough tracks for two Christmas albums, but I disagree; take away the filler and this is only about half an album. I get that he was trying to create another concept Christmas album, and the sequencing flows nicely enough but with all the instrumentals, the momentum is regularly broken - unlike with Christmas Portrait. That said, it was very nice to finally get it on CD as part of the Christmas Collection.
 
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