It seems like about this time every year there is a "new" Christmas album with Elvis being released. This year is no exception. In the USA Sony/BMG are issuing "Elvis Home For The Holidays", with the CD thrown into a tin can together with a couple of postcards and of all things, an Elvis guitar candle.
But it's still the usual bunch of Christmas songs, this time those from 1957 together with "Mama Liked The Roses". In other words the updated version of "Elvis Christmas' Album" released in 1970.
The fact is that Elvis recorded 20 Christmas songs in his career (not counting live takes). And these songs have been re-released so many times now its hard to keep track. Just look at the following list:
"Memories Of Christmas" 1982 (some unreleased versions included)
"I Wish You A Merry Christmas" 1987
"If Every Day Was Like Christmas" 1994 (the best of them all)
"White Christmas" 2000
"Christmas Peace" 2003
"Christmas Peace" 2004 (this time without the religious songs)
"Christmas Wishes" 2005
"Elvis Christmas" 2006
"Elvis Home For The Holidays" 2007
It seems the pace has actually increased in the last couple years, and the question I ask myself is: Why?
When "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" was released in 1994 I thought it was the ultimate Christmas CD, with all the Christmas songs and even some unreleased alternate takes included. I still think it is. (Especially the limited edition with a pop-up of Graceland!)
All the other Christmas albums after that one have been absolutely unnecessary in my opinion. And the only reason I can come up with is the usual one: money.
And let's face it, it isn't just the general public that pick up these records in the store, a lot of fans do too. I'm the first to admit that I was one of those, but during the last few years I have passed. There is a limit for everything and when it comes to re-packed and re-wrapped Christmas albums I have reached mine. How about you?