Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album

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Chicago XXV:
The Christmas Album
Chicago25.jpg
Studio album by Chicago
Released August 25, 1998
Recorded 1998
Genre Rock, Christmas
Length 50:50
Label Chicago Records
Producer Roy Bittan
Chicago chronology
The Heart of Chicago 1967-1998 Volume II
(1998)
Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album
(1998)
What's It Gonna Be, Santa?
(2003)
Chicago XXVI: Live in Concert
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
What's It Gonna Be, Santa?
Chicago WhatsItGonnaBeSanta.jpg
Studio album by Chicago
Released October 14, 2003
Recorded 1998 and 2003
Genre Rock, Adult Contemporary
Length 74:33
Label Rhino
Producer Roy Bittan
(1998 tracks)
and Phil Ramone
(2003 tracks)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]

Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album is the nineteenth studio album by the American band Chicago, their twenty-fifth album overall, released in 1998 on the band's Chicago Records label. It is an album of Christmas songs. The album was re-issued by Rhino Records in 2003 as What's It Gonna Be, Santa? with six additional, newly recorded tracks.

Produced by Roy Bittan, the original album - featuring Chicago's interpretations of well-known Christmas classics plus one original tune (co-penned by Lee Loughnane) - was very well received upon its release in August 1998, peaking at #47 in the US and going gold during a stay of 7 weeks on the charts. After Chicago entered into a long-term partnership with Rhino Records in 2002, that label re-issued Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album that same year. It was further decided to record six additional Christmas songs - with Hot Streets and Chicago 13 producer Phil Ramone - and re-issue the whole package in 2003 under a new design, title and sequencing, entitled What's It Gonna Be, Santa?, deleting its predecessor in the process. It has been reported that the band had initially considered recording an entirely new holiday effort, but didn't due to cost factors.[citation needed] Guitarist Keith Howland sang his first lead vocal on the track, "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas".[citation needed] This later release reached #102 in the US during a stay of 5 weeks on the charts.

Track listings[edit]

Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
1. "The Little Drummer Boy"   Katherine Davis/Henry Onorati/Harry Simeone Champlin/Scheff 4:05
2. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"   traditional Scheff 3:23
3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"   Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane Champlin and Scheff 4:02
4. "The Christmas Song"   Mel Tormé/Robert Wells Lamm 3:39
5. "O Come All Ye Faithful"   traditional Scheff 4:46
6. "Child's Prayer"   Lee Loughnane/John Durrill Children's choir, with Scheff 3:24
7. "Feliz Navidad"   José Feliciano Lamm 4:17
8. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"   Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie Champlin/Scheff 3:56
9. "Christmas Time Is Here"   Lee Mendelson/Vince Guaraldi Lamm 3:49
10. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"   Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne Loughnane 3:29
11. "What Child Is This?"   traditional/William Chatterton Dix Scheff/Champlin 4:41
12. "White Christmas"   Irving Berlin Lamm 2:28
13. "Silent Night"   Franz Xaver Gruber/Joseph Mohr Scheff 3:18
14. "One Little Candle"   Mysels/Roach Children's choir 1:26


What's It Gonna Be, Santa?[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
1. "Winter Wonderland"   Felix Bernard/Dick Smith Lamm 4:19
2. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"   Cahn/Styne Loughnane 3:29
3. "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas"   Benjamin Hanby Howland 3:35
4. "The Little Drummer Boy"   Davis/Onorati/Simeone Champlin and Scheff 3:29
5. "This Christmas"   Donny Hathaway/Nadine McKinnor Scheff 4:03
6. "Feliz Navidad"   Feliciano Lamm 4:17
7. "Bethlehem"   Bill Champlin Tamara Champlin Scheff, with Champlin 4:07
8. "The Christmas Song"   Tormé/Wells Lamm 3:39
9. "O Come All Ye Faithful"   traditional Scheff 4:46
10. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"   Johnny Marks Champlin 3:44
11. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"   Martin/Blane Champlin and Scheff 4:02
12. "Sleigh Ride"   Leroy Anderson/Mitchell Parish Lamm/Champlin/Scheff/Loughnane 3:55
13. "Silent Night"   Gruber/Mohr Scheff 3:18
14. "What Child Is This?"   traditional/Chatterton Dix Scheff 4:41
15. "Christmas Time Is Here"   Mendelson/Guaraldi Lamm 3:49
16. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"   traditional Scheff 3:23
17. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"   Coots/Gillespie Champlin/Scheff 3:56
18. "Child's Prayer"   Loughnane/Durrill Children's choir, with Scheff 3:24
19. "One Little Candle"   Mysels/Roach Children's choir 1:26
20. "White Christmas"   Berlin Lamm 2:28

(New additions in italic)

Personnel[edit]

  • Bill Champlin - organ, keyboards, acoustic piano, acoustic guitar, synth vibes, guitars, electric piano, programming, synth bass, lead & backing vocals, arrangements, BGV arrangements, brass arrangement on "Bethlehem"
  • Keith Howland - guitars, keyboards, lead & backing vocals, arrangements, BGV arrangement on "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"
  • Tris Imboden - drums
  • Robert Lamm - acoustic piano, vibes, electric piano, clavinet, lead & backing vocals, arrangements, brass arrangements
  • Lee Loughnane - trumpets, flugelhorn, muted trumpet, piccolo trumpet, lead & backing vocals, arrangements, brass arrangements, BGV arrangement on "Child's Prayer"
  • James Pankow - trombone, keyboards, brass arrangements, BGV arrangement on "One Little Candle"
  • Walter Parazaider - alto & tenor saxophones, flutes
  • Jason Scheff - bass guitar, electric upright bass, fretless bass, keyboards, programming, lead & backing vocals, arrangements, BGV arrangements

Additional personnel

  • Roy Bittan - organ, acoustic piano, accordion, keyboards, synth bells
  • Luis Conte - percussion
  • John Durill - keyboard, additional arrangements on "Child's Prayer"
  • Tim Pierce - guitars, acoustic guitars
  • George Black - programming
  • Larry Klimas - baritone saxophone
  • Nick Lane - additional arrangements on "Winter Wonderland"
  • Carmen Twillie - background vocals on "Feliz Navidad", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" & "White Christmas", adult choir director on "The Little Drummer Boy"
  • Adult choir on "The Little Drummer Boy" - Alex Brown, Tamara Champlin, Alvin Chea, Gia Ciambotti, H.K. Dorsey, Gary Falcone, Edie Lehmann Boddicker, Bobbie Page, Oren Waters, Maxine Waters-Willard & Mona Lisa Young
  • Ryan Kelly - children's choir conductor
  • Children's choir on "Child's Prayer" & "One Little Candle" - Amity Addris, Michael Amezcua, Alex Bittan, Ryan Bittan, Clark Gable, Kayley Gable, Kate Lamm, Sean Lamm, Dylan Loughnane, River Loughnane, Sarah Pankow, Brittany Scott & Jade Thacker
Production (Chicago XXV)
  • Produced by Roy Bittan
  • Engineered & Mixed by Ed Thacker
  • Assisted by Posie Muliadi & Eric Ferguson
  • Production Coordinator – Valerie Pack
New Recordings for "What's It Gonna Be, Santa?"
  • Produced by Phil Ramone
  • Engineered & Mixed by Ed Thacker
  • Additional Production – Chicago & David McLees
  • Sound Supervision – Lee Loughnane & Jeff Magid
  • Remastering – David Donnelly
  • Product Manager – Mike Engstrom
  • Discographical Annotation – Gary Peterson
  • Editorial Supervision – Cory Frye

References[edit]

  • Chicago Records 3035 (Chicago 25, The Christmas Album)
  • Rhino Records 73892 (What's It Gonna Be, Santa?)