Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection

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Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection
A young female with blond hair and blue eyes facing forward while holding the neck of guitar with her right hand.
EP by Taylor Swift
Released October 14, 2007
Recorded May–August 2007
Sound Emporium Studios
Quad Studios Nashville
Warner Bros. Studio
MasterMix
(Nashville, Tennessee)
Genre
Length 19:15
Label Big Machine
Producer Nathan Chapman, Shelli Hill, Sue Patterson, Scott Borchetta (exec.)
Taylor Swift chronology
Taylor Swift
(2006)
The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection
(2007)
Beautiful Eyes
(2008)

Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, or simply The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, is the first extended play (EP) released by American country recording artist Taylor Swift. The EP was first released on October 14, 2007 by Big Machine Records exclusively to Target stores in the United States and online. The release was originally a limited release for the 2007 holiday season, but was re-released to iTunes and Amazon.com on December 2, 2008[1][2] and again in October 2009 to Target stores. The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection features cover versions of Christmas songs and two original tracks written by Swift, "Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Christmas Must Be Something More", all of which have a country pop sound.

Music critics received the album with favorable responses, where some would have preferred a full album. The EP was a commercial success, peaking at number twenty on the Billboard 200 and at number one on Top Holiday Albums. Songs from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection have been performed at several venues.

Background and composition[edit]

For the original release of The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, Swift partnered with the American retail company Target; it was made available as an exclusive limited release at Target stores in the United States and online, at Target.com.[3] The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection's cover art is from Swift's music video for "Teardrops on My Guitar" (2007).[3] On October 6, 2009, the EP was re-released by Target[3] and made available as a digital download on the iTunes Store and Amazon.com, both making minor adjustments to its cover art and removing "Sounds of the Seasons", leaving it as The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.[1][2]

The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection is holiday music with a country pop inclination.[4] The EP is mainly composed of cover versions of holiday hits and Christmas carols. The EP's opening track is a cover version of "Last Christmas" by Wham! from their 1986 album Music from the Edge of Heaven.[5] The original song "Christmases When You Were Mine" was written by Swift, Liz Rose, and Nathan Chapman. Lyrically, the track fixates on prior Christmases, in which the song's protagonist, was happier. The lyrics also express that the current Christmas is much harder to cheer for than previous ones.[6] Swift covered "Santa Baby", a 1953 song originally performed by Eartha Kitt. "Silent Night" is a Christmas carol cover that is musically performed differently, replacing the instrumentation from piano to acoustic guitar; Swift's vocals are also faster than traditionally recorded for the song.[6] "Christmas Must Be Something More" is the second original song from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, self-penned by Swift. The lyrics attempt for audiences to recognize the reason for the celebration of Christmas, the commemoration of Jesus Christ's birth.[6] The closing track is a rendition of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", which was popularized by Bing Crosby on his 1942 album of the same name.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
CMT Favorable[8]
Country Standard Time Favorable[6]
Deseret News Favorable[9]

The EP received generally positive critical reception. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said the songs on The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection were "all crisp, cheerful arrangements that are suitably seasonal but also faithful to her bright country-pop."[7] Craig Shelburne of CMT said, "Thanks to this teen star, a new generation of sensitive girls may discover the melancholy but oh-so-melodic 'Last Christmas'. She also includes two original holiday songs."[8] An uncredited review in Deseret News felt that the release was too short, with only 6 songs, yet fulfilled its task.[9] Dan Maclntosh of Country Standard Time concluded, "Swift is fine singer, who finds ways to inject sincere emotion into every line she sings. They say the best things come in small packages. And that saying holds true for Swift's new one."[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

On the week ending December 8, 2007, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection debuted at number eighty-eight on the Billboard 200.[10][11] The following week, the EP rose to a new peak at number forty-six on the Billboard 200.[12] Following its 2009 re-release, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection re-entered the Billboard 200 at number twenty, its peak, and extended its run on the chart to twenty-four weeks.[10] For the 2007 holiday season, the EP peaked at number eighteen on Top Country Albums and at number twenty-two on Top Holiday Albums, and for the 2009 holiday season, it peaked at number fourteen on both Top Country Albums and Top Holiday Albums.[10] For the 2010 holiday season, The Taylor Holiday Collection re-entered the Top Holiday Albums Chart at number one.[10] As of December 2014, the EP has sold 1,040,000 copies in the United States.[13]

Promotion[edit]

Swift first performed a song from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, "Silent Night", on November 28, 2007 in New York City, at the Rockefeller Center, which was broadcast by The Today Show; Swift dressed in a long black dress and a white winter coat and performed while playing a rhinestoned acoustic guitar.[14] She then performed "Christmases When You Were Mine" on November 29, 2007 in St. Charles, Missouri, at the Family Arena, as part of her set for WIL's Jinglefest 2007, and "Santa Baby" in Bloomington, Minnesota, at the Mall of America on December 8, 2007.[15] Swift appeared on The Today Show again on Christmas Day of 2007, performing "Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Silent Night".[16]

All of the tracks except "Christmas Must Be Something More" received airplay on several country radio stations and therefore each charted on Billboard's Hot Country Songs: "Last Christmas" peaked at number twenty-eight,[17] "Christmases When You Were Mine" peaked at number forty-eight,[18] "Santa Baby" peaked at number forty-three,[19] "Silent Night" peaked at number fifty-four,[20] and "White Christmas" peaked at number fifty-nine.[21]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Last Christmas" (Wham! cover) George Michael 3:28
2. "Christmases When You Were Mine"   Taylor Swift, Liz Rose, Nathan Chapman 3:06
3. "Santa Baby" (Eartha Kitt cover) Joan Javits, Philip Springer, Tony Springer 2:41
4. "Silent Night"   Josef Mohr, Franz Xaver Gruber; arr. by Swift 3:32
5. "Christmas Must Be Something More"   Swift 3:52
6. "White Christmas"   Irving Berlin 2:34
Total length:
19:15

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 1,040,000[13]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Personnel[edit]

As listed in liner notes.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - EP by Taylor Swift". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection: Taylor Swift: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com (US). Amazon Inc. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Holiday Collection - Only at Target : Target". Target.com. Target Corporation. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ "allmusic - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection (EP booklet). Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records. 2007. 70012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Maclntosh, Dan. "Taylor Swift - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Country Standard Time. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - Taylor Swift". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Shelburne, Craig (November 28, 2007). "Taylor Swift, Toby Keith Offer New Holiday Music". CMT News. Viacom. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "New CDs spark holiday spirit". Deseret News. Jim M. Wall. 14 December 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - Music Charts". aCharts.us. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ "US Albums Top 100 - December 15th, 2007". aCharts.us. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Trust, Gary (8 July 2014). "Ask Billboard: Ed Sheeran & Taylor Swift's Red Reigns". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Christmas in Rockefeller Center, Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8-9 pm ET". NBC. NBC Universal. November 21, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  15. ^ "WIL's Jinglefest 2007". Familyarena.com. Family Arena. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Taylor Swift Live - Today Show (2007) - Interview & Christmases When You Were Mine". AOL. Time Warner, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Last Christmas by Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Christmases When You Were Mine by Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Santa Baby by Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Silent Night by Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  21. ^ "White Christmas by Taylor Swift". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Best of 2011 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-12. [dead link]
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Taylor Swift – The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 December 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]