Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album

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Chicago XXV:
The Christmas Album
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 25, 1998
GenreRock, Christmas
LabelChicago Records
ProducerRoy Bittan
Chicago chronology
The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II
Chicago XXV:
The Christmas Album

Chicago XXVI: Live in Concert
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
What's It Gonna Be, Santa?
Chicago WhatsItGonnaBeSanta.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 14, 2003
Recorded1998 and 2003
GenreRock, Adult contemporary
ProducerRoy Bittan
(1998 tracks)
and Phil Ramone
(2003 tracks)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 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. 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]

1."The Little Drummer Boy"Katherine Davis/Henry Onorati/Harry SimeoneChamplin/Scheff4:05
2."God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"traditionalScheff3:23
3."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Hugh Martin/Ralph BlaneChamplin and Scheff4:02
4."The Christmas Song"Mel Tormé/Robert WellsLamm3:39
5."O Come All Ye Faithful"traditionalScheff4:46
6."Child's Prayer"Lee Loughnane/John DurrillChildren's choir, with Scheff3:24
7."Feliz Navidad"José FelicianoLamm4:17
8."Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"Fred Coots/Haven GillespieChamplin/Scheff3:56
9."Christmas Time Is Here"Lee Mendelson/Vince GuaraldiLamm3:49
10."Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"Sammy Cahn/Jule StyneLoughnane3:29
11."What Child Is This?"traditional/William Chatterton DixScheff/Champlin4:41
12."White Christmas"Irving BerlinLamm2:28
13."Silent Night"Franz Xaver Gruber/Joseph MohrScheff3:18
14."One Little Candle"Mysels/RoachChildren's choir1:26

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

1."Winter Wonderland"Felix Bernard/Dick SmithLamm4:19
2."Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"Cahn/StyneLoughnane3:29
3."Jolly Old Saint Nicholas"Benjamin HanbyHowland3:35
4."The Little Drummer Boy"Davis/Onorati/SimeoneChamplin and Scheff3:29
5."This Christmas"Donny Hathaway/Nadine McKinnorScheff4:03
6."Feliz Navidad"FelicianoLamm4:17
7."Bethlehem"Bill Champlin/Tamara ChamplinScheff, with Champlin4:07
8."The Christmas Song"Tormé/WellsLamm3:39
9."O Come All Ye Faithful"traditionalScheff4:46
10."Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"Johnny MarksChamplin3:44
11."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Martin/BlaneChamplin and Scheff4:02
12."Sleigh Ride"Leroy Anderson/Mitchell ParishLamm/Champlin/Scheff/Loughnane3:55
13."Silent Night"Gruber/MohrScheff3:18
14."What Child Is This?"traditional/Chatterton DixScheff/Champlin4:41
15."Christmas Time Is Here"Mendelson/GuaraldiLamm3:49
16."God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"traditionalScheff3:23
17."Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"Coots/GillespieChamplin/Scheff3:56
18."Child's Prayer"Loughnane/DurrillChildren's choir, with Scheff3:24
19."One Little Candle"Mysels/RoachChildren's choir1:26
20."White Christmas"BerlinLamm2:28

(New additions in italic)


  • Bill Champlin – organ, keyboards, acoustic piano, acoustic guitar, synth vibes, guitars, electric piano, programming, synth bass, lead and backing vocals, arrangements, BGV arrangements, brass arrangement on "Bethlehem"
  • Keith Howland – guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals, arrangements, BGV arrangement on "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"
  • Tris Imboden – drums
  • Robert Lamm – acoustic piano, vibes, electric piano, clavinet, lead and backing vocals, arrangements, brass arrangements
  • Lee Loughnane – trumpets, flugelhorn, muted trumpet, piccolo trumpet, lead and 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 and tenor saxophones, flutes
  • Jason Scheff – bass guitar, electric upright bass, fretless bass, keyboards, programming, lead and 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 – backing vocals on "Feliz Navidad", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "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 and Mona Lisa Young.
  • Ryan Kelly – children's choir conductor
  • Children's choir on "Child's Prayer" and "One Little Candle" – Amity Addrisi, Michael Amezcua, Alex Bittan, Ryan Bittan, Clark Gable, Kayley Gable, Kate Lamm, Sean Lamm, Dylan Loughnane, River Loughnane, Sarah Pankow, Brittany Scott and Jade Thacker.

Production (Chicago XXV)

  • Produced by Roy Bittan
  • Engineered and Mixed by Ed Thacker
  • Assisted by Posie Muliadi and Eric Ferguson
  • Production Coordinator – Valerie Pack

New Recordings for "What's It Gonna Be, Santa?"

  • Produced by Phil Ramone
  • Engineered and Mixed by Ed Thacker
  • Additional Production – Chicago and David McLees
  • Sound Supervision – Lee Loughnane and Jeff Magid
  • Remastering – David Donnelly
  • Product Manager – Mike Engstrom
  • Discographical Annotation – Gary Peterson
  • Editorial Supervision – Cory Frye


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