• 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] "CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT" SP-4726

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 55 79.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 13 18.8%
  • ***

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    69

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I was under the impression that Jerry Weintraub's strategy for the TV specials was to keep them visible as an act so that they would continue to retain some form of audience in their future career moves (whether albums or tours), but I don't know if the specials were being used as a medium to attract younger fans. Given the corny format and largely uninteresting guest stars, I'm guessing the aim was to appeal to an older audience.

The Weintraub stable of acts was clearly heavily employed as guests on the specials though. John Denver, the one really big current name to appear on the first few specials, was managed by Weintraub, as were John Davidson, Suzanne Somers and the McNichols.

Re the McNichols, I wonder if Weintraub used the Carpenters special as a platform to promote them rather than because they were genuine 'guest stars' who would add anything to the show - didn't they have an album out in 1978 around that time?
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
Kristy was on the first Christmas special in 1977, then Jimmy joined her for the Carpenters second Christmas special in 1978, Christmas Portrait. They released a self titled album in 1978. TheIr single remake of the Chiffons He’s So Fine went to #70 on the hot 100. They also had their version of Slow Dance on that record. I’m sure that’s where Carpenters heard it, now being friends, and liked the song well enough to record their own version. Unfortunately it wasn’t released until after Karen passed. It should have been on MIA. I love the song, which fits beautifully on the Lovelines lp though. By they way, if you’re curious about the McNichol’s version, it’s on YouTube, and pretty bad.
 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
By they way, if you’re curious about the McNichol’s version, it’s on YouTube, and pretty bad.

Yet if you read the comments on the YouTube posting, they’re overwhelmingly positive. The song obviously evokes a great deal of nostalgia for many people. Another arrangement from that late 70s time period that Richard pretty much carbon-copied.

 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
They should’ve had Kristy stick to acting. I’m so glad that Karen recorded this. It’s of course not too challenging a tune technically or emotionally demanding, but Karen sounds so playful and there’s a quiet, but palpable yearning heard. The arrangement is so smooth and atmospheric (thank heavens that it was held off from VOTH, which I believe it was intended for), and Karen shows her gift for finding poetic, shaded depth in the most innocuous of words.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Hard to believe it’s that time of year, but 42 years ago today one of the Best Christmas Albums ever! I didn’t hear the original Christmas Portrait until I got the Christmas Collection for my birthday in 1998, and I wasn’t able to hear the original mixes for Jingle Bells & Ave Maria until I tracked down an LP copy around 2007. I later got the West German CD, as the LP’s sound is rather compressed sounding and not as good as the other Carpenters LP’s (of course that’s what happens when an LP is loaded to its capacity with Christmas Portrait using nearly 58 minutes of an LP’s 60 minutes capacity!).
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
In case you've never seen the original sticker that came with CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT LPs on that first release, here is my best attempt at a reproduction. My sticker was used by the giver as a present to me, so with Photoshop, I had to remove that writing. Also the upper left corner had some damage to it, probably from trying to peel it off. This is close to the way it looked when new:

XmasPortStickerSm.jpg
 

ChrisCarpenterCollecter

Well-Known Member
In case you've never seen the original sticker that came with CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT LPs on that first release, here is my best attempt at a reproduction. My sticker was used by the giver as a present to me, so with Photoshop, I had to remove that writing. Also the upper left corner had some damage to it, probably from trying to peel it off. This is close to the way it looked when new:

View attachment 5922
I love that! This would make a great Christmas Card!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Since the catalog number was on this, I assume it was part of the package from the record company. Has anyone else seen one of these? As I said, the record was a gift to me so I never shopped for it.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
Since the catalog number was on this, I assume it was part of the package from the record company. Has anyone else seen one of these? As I said, the record was a gift to me so I never shopped for it.
I have 2 copies of the album with the "gift sticker" that I bought on EBAY several years ago. One copy has the sticker on the outer shrink wrap. The second one is a WLP version with the sticker on the album cover.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Today I dug out my copy of this LP, I found this on Ebay a couple of years ago, a UK pressing, it is in perfect condition, not a single mark or scuff and it only cost £10 with free postage! I was amazed with it when it turned up because it looked like it was brand new, not 40 years old! It still had the insert lyric sheet too :)
121665258_3387523174661966_7258380027943034876_n.jpg
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
I have 2 promo copies with the label stuck to the cover itself. The reissue 3210, and Japanese versions have no sticker at all. The test pressing says 9/15/78 with timing corrections made on All bands 9/20/78.
I remember getting it in October from the radio station my boss worked at, about a week before we had it for sale. I wore it out. Best Christmas album ever!
 

MorningOpensQuietly

Well-Known Member
In case you've never seen the original sticker that came with CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT LPs on that first release, here is my best attempt at a reproduction. My sticker was used by the giver as a present to me, so with Photoshop, I had to remove that writing. Also the upper left corner had some damage to it, probably from trying to peel it off. This is close to the way it looked when new:

View attachment 5922
I'm pretty sure mine had this sticker as well! This triggered my memory of happy times listening to Christmas albums, especially this jewel! Thanks.
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
In case you've never seen the original sticker that came with CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT LPs on that first release, here is my best attempt at a reproduction. My sticker was used by the giver as a present to me, so with Photoshop, I had to remove that writing. Also the upper left corner had some damage to it, probably from trying to peel it off. This is close to the way it looked when new:

View attachment 5922
It looks great. I had it on my original album.
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
Almost that time of year again...The good news is the duo seems to be getting a lot more air play on the conventional over-the-air holiday radio stations I listen to. Even Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is heard quite often, which is one of Karen's best vocal performances IMO.
I absolutely agree.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
You know, they just don’t do cover artwork like CP’s anymore. I find the newer artwork is more like let’s take a photo wintry photo rather than have some Christmas theme to it, like the artist with Santa Claus or dressed up like Santa Claus.
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
They were made to look like magazine covers, like those of Saturday Evening Post, etc. Artists like Currier & Ives or Norman Rockwell. Great covers and an homage to days of old.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
They were made to look like magazine covers, like those of Saturday Evening Post, etc. Artists like Currier & Ives or Norman Rockwell. Great covers and an homage to days of old.
Yeah, but overall in the industry, nowadays you really don’t see much effort put into covers. Maybe that’s because they think most people are just seeing it as a thumbnail or CD cover vs a LP cover.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
So I just gave the LP a spin. Really great way to kick off the Christmas season. Of course, on “Merry Christmas Darling” I was missing the DX7, but that’s only on the Time-Lofe CD.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
They did - on the label.

They did. Look next to the canvas, just above Santa’s glasses, on the yellow paper.

Been meaning to respond to your replies to my question why the original logo wasn’t used on the album. What I meant to ask was why didn’t they use the original logo on the front cover, across the top? Where did this “new”, alternate logo come from and why was it used? Maybe they didn’t think the sharp official logo went with the drawing on the cover. It would be fun to see what it would have looked like with the official logo.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Been meaning to respond to your replies to my question why the original logo wasn’t used on the album. What I meant to ask was why didn’t they use the original logo on the front cover, across the top? Where did this “new”, alternate logo come from and why was it used? Maybe they didn’t think the sharp official logo went with the drawing on the cover. It would be fun to see what it would have looked like with the official logo.
There was probably a mock-up done with a large logo, and I’m trying to picture it, and I think it would’ve made the cover too busy looking, or with Santa’s cap and the top of the easel, too much of the logo would’ve been hidden. As it is, part of the “T” is hidden by the easel. Also with how they have “Christmas Portrait” and “A&M” in between those two bars reminds me of old newspaper front pages from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Whereas you look at “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” and there is plenty of space above the picture. Again, the logo only intrudes on the picture frame a little bit.
 
Top Bottom