• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 12 22.6%
  • ****

    Votes: 25 47.2%
  • ***

    Votes: 14 26.4%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.9%

  • Total voters
    53

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Incidentally, they are two entirely different recordings. The track from ‘84 was originally cut in ‘78 with the intention of having Karen’s lead overdubbed, which never happened, so Richard added the piano.

The performance version from the Christmas special was just that—a live performance intended for instrumental only, which actually varies some in the arrangement as well.
Oh, man, that's painful. We were SO CLOSE to getting Karen's lead on 'O Holy Night'....the perfect song for her in every way.
 

Someday

Well-Known Member
No! Can't believe it came so close. I wonder if she ever rehearsed it? Then again, her rehearsals were great enough to record, so maybe not.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
@Chris May, do you know why this album wasn’t released on CD until (I think) it was presented as Christmas Collection, disc 2?

I see it was released on CD in Japan, never in the U.S. (except the aforementioned). I find it a shame, because many of these songs (that feature Karen’s voice) are a pleasure to listen to, as are Richard’s instrumental orchestrations.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
@Chris May, do you know why this album wasn’t released on CD until (I think) it was presented as Christmas Collection, disc 2?

I see it was released on CD in Japan, never in the U.S. (except the aforementioned). I find it a shame, because many of these songs (that feature Karen’s voice) are a pleasure to listen to, as are Richard’s instrumental orchestrations.
Because A&M at the time felt that the hybrid disc, Christmas Portrait—The Special Edition sufficed, as it contained a mashup of both albums and was selling quite well up until this point.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Because A&M at the time felt that the hybrid disc, Christmas Portrait—The Special Edition sufficed, as it contained a mashup of both albums and was selling quite well up until this point.
I suppose you’re right! For me a highlight is the 1984 remix of the Santa Claus single. Do you know, was the single version on “Complete Singles” a tape transfer or a needle drop?
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I suppose you’re right! For me a highlight is the 1984 remix of the Santa Claus single. Do you know, was the single version on “Complete Singles” a tape transfer or a needle drop?
Offhand, if I recall, it was pulled from the ‘74 mix tape.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I totally agree Cuyler.
It still bothers me that this album was referred to as a budget release. It has never got the recognition that it deserves. It was nice that Japan gave us this as a stand-alone CD in the box sets.
Discogs shows that Japan released "An Old Fashioned Christmas" CD three times, with two of them being on SHM-CD. I hope to get my hands on a copy one day.
Offhand, if I recall, it was pulled from the ‘74 mix tape.
Thanks for the answer! I couldn't tell, because the sound is sharper than the 1984 remix, but I didn't hear any gravelly vinyl noises.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Yes, the Complete Singles version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was sourced from a UK tape I believe, unlike the Japanese Single Box version which was a needledrop. Mr. Lubinsky continues to tell us that "Calling Occupants (edit)" was also sourced from tape, but it's clearly a needledrop, and identical to the Japanese Single Box.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Yes, the Complete Singles version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was sourced from a UK tape I believe, unlike the Japanese Single Box version which was a needledrop.
England has long been the go-to source for Carpenters mixes, as they have a much more consistent cataloguing and preservation system.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Discogs shows that Japan released "An Old Fashioned Christmas" CD three times, with two of them being on SHM-CD. I hope to get my hands on a copy one day.

Thanks for the answer! I couldn't tell, because the sound is sharper than the 1984 remix, but I didn't hear any gravelly vinyl noises.
I didn't realize that the 2001 re-issue of An Old Fashioned Christmas from Japan just used the same CD from the 1996 Christmas Collection, the actual CD disc has the exact same label that says *Christmas Collection* An Old Fashioned Christmas on it with the same red and green lettering like it appeared in 1996.

It's really sad that this album never got a separate CD release in the USA. Yes it got released in 1996 but part of a collection and not a separate release. It's crazy when you think about it, from 1984 to 1996 it never got put on CD as it's own album. If it wasn't for Japan it would only be available on CD as part of a collection comp.
 
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