Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Toasts of Christmas Past Classic Holiday Discs Easily Beat the New Additions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Toasts of Christmas Past Classic Holiday Discs Easily Beat the New Additions

Article excerpt

A blizzard of Christmas discs drifted into the GET OUT workshop this season, a sampling of which are critiqued in this edition's centerfold. However, they consist primarily of cracked tunes more fit to be shuffled off to the Island of Misfit Toys than to be shuffled through automatic disc changers.

Christmas as a distinct music genre has produced wonderful material over the last few decades, the class of `96 notwithstanding.

If music lovers are on your shopping lists, here are "Twelve Discs of Christmas" ideal for stuffing into their stockings. A Christmas Present For You Phil Spector (Rhino) Spector's glorious stable of artists, including Darlene Love, The Ronettes and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, deliver signature wall-of-sound renditions of familiar gems. Love's fervent "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" makes many critic's all-time-best lists, but the sleeper here is the Crystals' rollicking "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Burl Ives (MCA) Ives' warm, unhurried style is ideal for lounging around a crackling fireplace. This child-friendly collection includes the definitive "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and the feel-good title track ("I don't know if there'll be snow/But have a cup of cheer"). Christmas Album Elvis Presley (RCA) The other King imbues sacred and secular tracks, including a heavy-hearted "Blue Christmas" and a heraldic "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem," with un paralleled vitality. Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy (Sony) An old, classic recording of the ballet with a splendid "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and a vivid "Waltz of the Snowflakes." It's Christmas Time In The City Ed Sweeney (North Star) These acous tic, instru mental interpretations of holiday favorites are marvels of unpretentiousness. …

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