• 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.

THE OFFICIAL REVIEW: "AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS"

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • ****

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • ***

    Votes: 7 36.8%
  • **

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    19
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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
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“AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS”​

An_Old_Fashioned_Christmas_THUMB.jpg
Catalogue Number: A&M SP-9107
Year of Release: 1984
Chart Position: U.S.: #190
Album Singles: "Little Altar Boy"/"Do You Hear What I Hear"
Medium: Vinyl/Cassette/CD

Track Listing:

1.) It Came Upon A Midnight Clear :43 (Sears/Willis)
2.) Overture 8:13

a. Happy Holiday (Berlin) Irving Berlin Music Company, adm. by Williamson Music Company (ASCAP)
b. The First Noel (P.D. Trad. Old English Carol)
c. March Of The Toys (Herbert) Warner Bros., Inc. (ASCAP)
d. Little Jesus (P.D. From the Oxford Book Of Carols)
e. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) Jewel Music Publishing Co., Inc. (ASCAP)
f. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (P.D. L.H. Redner) Longitude Music Co. (BMI)
g. In Dulce Jubilo (P.D. 14th Century German melody)
h. Gesu Bambino (The Infant Jesus) (Yon) Beam Me Up Music (ASCAP)
i. Angels We Have Heard On High (P.D. Trad. French Carol)


3.) An Old-Fashioned Christmas 2:34 (Carpenter/Bettis)
4.) O Holy Night 3:31 (P.D. Adolphe Adam/Adapted by Richard Carpenter)
5.) (There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays 2:13 (Allen/Stillman)
6.) Medley 3:43

a. Here Comes Santa Claus (Autry/Haldeman) Gene Autry's Western Music Publishing (ASCAP)
b. Frosty The Snowman (Nelson/Rollins) Chappell & Co. (ASCAP)
c. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) St. Nicholas Music Inc. (ASCAP)
d. Good King Wenceslas (P.D. John Mason Neale, Adapted by Richard Carpenter) Almo Music Corp./Hammer and Nails Music, adm. by Almo Music Corp. (ASCAP)


7.) Little Altar Boy 3:43 (Smith)
8.) Do You Hear What I Hear? 2:53 (Regney/Shayne)
9.) My Favorite Things 3:53 (Rodgers/Hammerstein)
10.) He Came Here For Me 2:12 (Nelson)
11.) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 4:04 (Gillespie/Coots)
12.) What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? 2:51 (Loesser)
13.) Selections from “The Nutcracker” 6:14 (P.D. Peter Illych Tchaikovsky, Adapted by Richard Carpenter)

a. Overture Miniature
b. Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
c. Trepak
d. Valse Des Fleurs


14.) I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day 2:21 (Marks/Longfellow, Adapted by Johnny Marks)

Album Credits:

Conceived and Produced by Richard Carpenter
Lead vocals: Karen Carpenter and Richard Carpenter
Piano: Richard Carpenter
Arranged by: Peter Knight (#2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14), Richard Carpenter (#1, 11) and Billy May (#10)
Keyboards: Richard Carpenter & Pete Jolly
Upright Bass: Pete Morgan
Electric Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt & Barry Morgan
Harp: Skiala Kanga & Gayle Levant
Tenor Sax: John Phillips
Vocals: The O.K. Chorale Conducted by Dick Bolks, The English Chorale Conducted by Robert Howes, Karen & Richard Carpenter
Recorded at:
A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA
Engineered by Roger Young, Ray Gerhardt and Robert De La Garza
EMI "Abbey Road" Studios
Engineered by Eric Tomlinson
Assistant: Allan Rouse
Mixed at:
A&M Recording Studios
Engineered by Roger Young
Assistants: Clyde Kaplan & Jim Cassell
Evergreen Studios
Engineered by John Richards
Assistants: Dave Marquette & Mike Hatcher
Mastered by Arnie Acosta at A&M Mastering Studios, Hollywood CA
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Produced by Jack Daugherty and Richard & Karen Carpenter
Art Direction: Chuck Beeson
Album Design: Melanie Nissen
Illustration: Robert Tanenbaum
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dedication:

This album lovingly dedicated to the memory of my late sister and friend Karen, who was extremely fond of both Christmas and Christmas music. - Richard Carpenter
 

Downunder

Well-Known Member
As Carpenter's albums go, this one ranks as one of my alltime favourites. I believe Richard put a fair bit of his vocal "fill" into the opening medley & it came up trumps superbly. I also love the flow from O Holy Night into Home For The Holidays, the anticipation of Karen's voice is just so hard to describe.

Regards, Steve
 

aaflyer98

Well-Known Member
I don't know about anybody else, but when I first bought this album on it's original release date, it seemed like forever waiting to hear Karen sing! I know she appears on 7 songs, but the album feels so empty to me after "Christmas Portrait". Richard's instrumentals are great, but I'm here for Karen! And, of course, I knew then (and now) that Karen was gone and we are lucky to have this album, and for that I am grateful. These "outtakes" from Karen are superb and some of Karen's finest performances. Now, if we could just get a ONE CD set that has all of Karen's Christmas vocal songs on it....
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
*** (3) -- A slight improvement over its predecessor, but somewhat more ambitious, in the sense that it gets robbed of the warmth of Christmas Portrait, which was much better-delivered!

Otherwise, who else could deliver a Christmas Album for A&M (besides Herb) with the conviction, skill and sincerity (and justifiably getting a good share of radio-play, to this day) as these two? :bigsanta:



Dave

...and the Weather HERE is STILL making me think of Christmas, though sure ORDINARILY wouldn't... :santa:
 

TonyBoy

New Member
I wish there was more! I am a huge Carpenters fan..ever since the spring of '73 when I heard "Sing" on AM89 WLS in Chicago...I remember reading the Billboard new album releases in "84, and anticipating the release of this album...True, it's not as cohesive as Christmas Portrait, but given the circumstances(never completed), it's holds up well over the years. Any song with Karen singing is gold...her voice is magic, the arrangements are superb, the production is flawless...Brother Rich served as Executive Producer throughout their career...he chose the right musicians...he picked the songs he felt were suited for Karen..chose the right key...what can you say? The stars were aligned...the Brother and Sister duo clicked...it was meant to be..and how fortunate are we, the fans! As far as song selection, "Little Altar Boy" is killer as well as "I Heard the bells on Christmas Day"...they're all winners! And around Thanksgiving every year, "Merry Christmas Darling" is all over the radio..the first time hearing it again every Christmas makes me cry, but with tears of joy...Currently, I have "A Kind of Hush" in my car CD player!
 

no1kandrfan

Well-Known Member
I gave this one 4 stars. Karen had some great performances on this one; Home For The Holidays is one of my all-time favorites, and Richard's piano work is some of his finest.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
"What are You Doing New Year's Eve?" is worth the price of the disc.
Just beautiful!
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I can remember hearing this album for the first time as a kid. We had Christmas Portrait up until then gracing our home every year.

I think my initial reaction (and for many years following its release) was that it didn't live up to what the first Christmas album did. Karen was now gone, and I agree, there was a bit more of Richard's inflection before Karen's entrance on the album in comparison with its predecessor. However, all these years later and with a more seasoned ear, I gave this album a "5".

Honestly, had I never heard "Portrait" nor the Carpenters, and then heard this album out of the blue for the first time, I think I would have been stunned. The selection of material, the arrangements and Richard's treatment at the piano mixed with the multiple songs produced extremely well as they were with Karen make this album a true gem.
 
I remember back in 1987, I was working in a Sherman record store up here in Montreal (it became HMV in 1990) and that's when Karen became my favorite female singer*. I was in charge of the music playing in the store and I was constantly playing "Christmas Portrait"..., and as someone mentioned earlier, I thought the intro way too long before we could hear Karen sing on "An Old-Fashioned Christmas".

*Karen became my favorite female singer in 1987, but I really didn't know how she looked and that she played the drums. It was with the "PBS Special" in 1997 that I saw/heard who she really was..., but again I only had the second part of the special on tape, so it was when I bought it (Close To You : Remembering The Carpenters) in 1998 that I completely fell in love with her (and Richard) and started to collect Carpenters items.
 
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