Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis

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Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis
Studio album by Johnny Mathis
Released 1986
Recorded 1986 at
One on One Studios,
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California,
Conway Studios,
Hollywood, California,
Ocean Way Recording,
Hollywood, California [1]
Genre Vocal
Holiday[2]
Length 33:28
Label Columbia
Producer Denny Diante[1]
Johnny Mathis chronology
Right from the Heart
(1985)
Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis
(1986)
The Hollywood Musicals
(1986)
Alternate cover
CD cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
People (negative)[3]

Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis is a Christmas album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released in August 1986 by Columbia Records.[4] The album, Mathis's fourth holiday-themed release, spent a week on Billboard magazine's Christmas Albums chart in the issue dated December 12, 1992,[5] (no such chart was published in 1986)[6] and two weeks on its Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in December 1994.[5]

The recording of "Jingle Bells" on this release is subtitled "(Let's Take a Sleigh Ride)" on the front and back covers of the album jacket.[1] (The CD booklet does not include song titles on the cover.) The track opens with background vocalists singing, "Let's take a sleigh ride, a merry sleigh ride," and the subtitle is inserted into each refrain of the chorus. Although no credit for additional lyrics is cited, the credit for the arranger of this rendition, Ray Ellis, is listed with the songwriter's name on the LP label.[1]

The album's opener, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", was featured in the 1992 holiday release Home Alone 2: Lost in New York[7] and included on its original soundtrack album.[8] In the issue of Billboard dated November 28, 2009, the list of the "Top 10 Holiday Songs (Since 2001)" places the Mathis recording at number 10.[9]

Reception[edit]

People magazine's reviewer, Ralph Novak, describes Mathis's singing on the album as "characteristically smooth, yet never very engaged", and feels that the arrangements "tend to big stringy orchestrations that are too much for intimacy and not passionate enough for majesty.[3]

Track listing[1][edit]

  1. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (Meredith Willson) – 2:14
    • Jeremy Lubbock – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Jules Chaikin – contractor
  2. "Toyland" (Glen MacDonough, Victor Herbert) – 3:41
    • Ray Ellis – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Joe Soldo – contractor
  3. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (Edward Pola, George Wyle) – 2:45
    • Jeremy Lubbock – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Jules Chaikin – contractor
  4. "Jingle Bells" (James Pierpont) – 2:54
    • Ray Ellis – arranger, conductor
    • Daren Klein – recording engineer
    • Erno Neufeld – concertmaster
    • Marion Klein – contractor
  5. Medley – 5:09
    a. "Christmas Is for Everyone" (Richard Loring, Dorothy Wayne)
    b. "Where Can I Find Christmas?" (Doug Goodwin)
    • Ray Ellis – arranger, conductor
    • Daren Klein – recording engineer
    • Erno Neufeld – concertmaster
    • Marion Klein – contractor
    • International Children's Choir (Irene Bayless, director) – backing vocals
    • The kids from St. Michael's School, North Hollywood – backing vocals
  6. Medley – 4:03
    a. "Every Christmas Eve" (Leslie Bricusse, Henry Mancini)
    b. "Giving (Santa's Theme)" (Leslie Bricusse, Henry Mancini)
  7. "The Christmas Waltz" (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) – 2:36
    • Ray Ellis – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Joe Soldo – contractor
  8. "We Need a Little Christmas" (Jerry Herman) – 1:54
    • Ray Ellis – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Joe Soldo – contractor
  9. Medley – 3:44
    a. "Caroling, Caroling" (Alfred Burt, Wilha Hutson)
    b. "Happy Holiday" (Irving Berlin)
    • Jeremy Lubbock – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Jules Chaikin – contractor
  10. "It's Christmas Time Again" (Sonny Burke, John Elliot, James K. Harwood) – 4:28
    • Jeremy Lubbock – arranger, conductor
    • John Arrias – recording engineer
    • Gerald Vinci – concertmaster
    • Jules Chaikin – contractor

Song information[edit]

"Jingle Bells" is the oldest of the songs that Mathis covers here and was published under the name "The One Horse Open Sleigh" in 1857.[10] "Toyland" originated in the 1903 operetta Babes in Toyland,[11] and "Happy Holiday" was first performed in the 1942 film Holiday Inn.[12] Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters reached number 19 on Billboard magazine's Records Most Played by Disc Jockeys chart and number 23 on its list of the Best-Selling Pop Singles of the week in 1951 with the first recording of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas".[13] Peggy Lee's rendition of "It's Christmas Time Again" was released in 1953,[14] and "Caroling, Caroling" first appeared on the 1954 LP The Christmas Mood by The Columbia Choir.[15]

"The Christmas Waltz" was written for Frank Sinatra[16] and debuted as the flipside to his 1954 cover of "White Christmas".[17] "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" was written for The Andy Williams Show[18] and first appeared on The Andy Williams Christmas Album in 1963.[19] "We Need a Little Christmas" was first performed in the 1966 Broadway musical Mame.[20] "Where Can I Find Christmas?" comes from the 1973 TV special The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas,[1] and the medley of "Every Christmas Eve" and "Giving (Santa's Theme)" was part of the soundtrack of the 1985 film Santa Claus: The Movie.[21]

Personnel[1][edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g (1986) Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis by Johnny Mathis [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records FC 40447.
  2. ^ a b "Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis - Johnny Mathis". allmusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Picks and Pans Review: Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis". People. December 8, 1986. 
  4. ^ (1993) The Music of Johnny Mathis: A Personal Collection by Johnny Mathis [CD booklet]. New York: Columbia Records C4K-48932.
  5. ^ a b Whitburn 2004, p. 167.
  6. ^ Whitburn 2004, p. 106.
  7. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - Soundtracks". imdb.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  8. ^ (1992) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by various artists [CD booklet]. New York: Fox Records 07822 11000-2
  9. ^ "Holiday Cheer". Billboard. 2009-11-28. p. 38. 
  10. ^ "The Story of Jingle Bells". American Music Preservation.com. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Babes in Toyland". ibdb.com. The Broadway League. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Holiday Inn (1942) - Soundtracks". imdb.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Whitburn 1994, p. 35.
  14. ^ (1953) "It's Christmas Time Again/Ring Those Christmas Bells" by Peggy Lee [7-inch single]. New York: Decca Records 9-28939.
  15. ^ (1954) The Christmas Mood by The Columbia Choir [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records CL 6336
  16. ^ Cahn 1974, p. 138.
  17. ^ (1954) "White Christmas/The Christmas Waltz" by Frank Sinatra [78 RPM disc label]. Los Angeles: Capitol Records CL 14174.
  18. ^ Williams, Andy. Interviewed by Karen Herman. Archive of American Television, A Program of the Television Academy Foundation. emmytvlegends.org, 19 September 2005. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  19. ^ (1963) The Andy Williams Christmas Album by Andy Williams [album label]. New York: Columbia Records CS 8887.
  20. ^ "Mame". ibdb.com. The Broadway League. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  21. ^ (1985) Santa Claus: The Movie – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by various artists [album jacket]. Los Angeles: EMI America Records SJ-17177

References[edit]