Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas, Elvis Style

We all know Elvis loved Christmas. And I bet he would've been happy had he known what his own Christmas music means to a lot of people this time of year. This is how he helps me get in the merry mood:

On December 1 each year, I start listening to my favorite Elvis Christmas album If Every Day Was Like Christmas. Many Christmas compilations with Elvis have come and gone during the years, but this one remains the best. Released in 1994 it includes all the songs from his two original Christmas albums plus a couple of alternate takes.

Speaking of alternate Christmas takes, six more of them were released on the excellent FTD album I Sing All Kinds from 2007. Obviously not being overdubbed in any way, they offer a more intimate Christmas feeling than the masters. This is especially true when it comes to "If I Get Home On Christmas Day" that lacks the bombastic arrangement of the original release. I also have to mention the two outtakes of "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day," the best Elvis Christmas song in my opinion. Essential Christmas listening.

Not so essential, but controversial, is Elvis Presley Christmas Duets released last year. This Christmas I decided to give it a chance (having only heard audio samples of it on the Internet earlier) and actually bought it yesterday, on Christmas Eve. I have to say that Tygrrius over at The Film Frontier expressed it well when he called Christmas Duets "a bit of a jumbled mess" in his review of the CD.

Better then to stick to the original songs. Every Christmas I always play my very first Elvis record. Fittingly enough, it's titled Blue Christmas, and is a RCA LP manufactured in Sweden in 1976. It sports the same cover as Elvis' Christmas Album from 1957 which I admit is both confusing and unimaginative. But it has a pretty good mix of songs taken from Elvis' two oroginal Christmas albums and will always have a special place in my collection.

I guess every fan has his or her way of spending Christmas, Elvis style. How do you spend yours? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Roland said...

Hello Thomas,

I too spend this time of year with listening to Elvis' Christmas music.
Since last year the Christmas duets album is one of the albums played through this time. I decide every day, which album to listen to.
But on Christmas eve it's the Christmas Peace album (before it, it was the Everyday is like Christmas-album). So i can spend 2 hours of listening to peaceful music.
The first disc is the one played at the time of gift giving.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about "all things Elvis" throughout the year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, your family and brother and all the readers of your blog.

MĂ„rtenbrother said...

Merry Christmas!!! I agree, If Everyday was like Christmas is the best christmas compilation. Especially the US version with the Graceland popup!

Thomas said...

A Happy New Year to both of you! And Roland, thank you for describing your Christmas, Elvis style!

Anonymous said...

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I love to read your stories!