The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
|The Beach Boys' Christmas Album|
|Studio album by The Beach Boys|
|Released||November 9, 1964|
|Recorded||October 20, 1963; June 18–30, 1964|
|Studio||Capitol Studios and United Western Recorders, Hollywood|
|The Beach Boys chronology|
|The Beach Boys UK chronology|
|Singles from The Beach Boys' Christmas Album|
The Beach Boys' Christmas Album is a November 1964 album by the Beach Boys; their eighth album, including one live album, it contains five original songs and seven standards on a Christmas theme. The album proved to be a long-running success during subsequent Christmas seasons, initially reaching number six in the US Billboard 200 chart in its year of release and eventually going gold. James E Perone in The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World wrote that it is "regarded as one of the finest holiday albums of the rock era".
While leader Brian Wilson produced and arranged the rock songs, he left it to Dick Reynolds (an arranger for the Four Freshmen, a group Wilson idolized) to arrange the forty-one piece orchestral backings on the traditional songs to which the Beach Boys would apply their vocals. One single was released from the album, the original song "The Man with All the Toys" backed with the group's rendition of "Blue Christmas". "Little Saint Nick", a single which had already been released the previous year, was included on the album.
In 1977, the Beach Boys attempted to follow the album with Merry Christmas from the Beach Boys, but it was rejected by their label. The entire Christmas Album plus selections from the Merry Christmas sessions were later assembled for the 1998 compilation Ultimate Christmas.
The album was devised as a response to Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963), an album Brian had attended recording sessions for. He played piano on the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" but was dismissed by Spector due to his substandard piano playing. Original album cover photo by George Jerman for Capitol Photo Studio.
With the exception of "Little Saint Nick", sessions for the album spanned from June 18–30, 1964, one month after the All Summer Long album was completed. "Christmas Day" is the first Beach Boys song to feature a lead vocal from Al Jardine.
In addition to orchestral renditions of "Jingle Bells" and the original Wilson composition "Christmas Eve" which never received vocal overdubs, outtakes of the All Summer Long track "Little Honda" and Today! single "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" were recorded in between June sessions.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Jason Ankeny stated: "Brian Wilson's pop genius is well suited to classic Yuletide fare, and the group delivers lush performances of standards ranging from 'Frosty the Snowman' to 'White Christmas' as well as more contemporary material like 'The Man With All the Toys' and 'Blue Christmas.'"
While interviewing Wilson for a promotional radio special in 1964, Jack Wagner remarked that Wilson's decision to sing solo on a version of "Blue Christmas" could be "the start of a whole new career," to which Wilson responded "I don’t know. It could and it couldn't. I really don’t know." Referring to the standards which he believed "proved that the Beach Boys' vocal power was bigger and more agile than the surf and hot rod records [and] staking a claim for wider musical terrain," author Luis Sanchez reflected: "The Beach Boys' Christmas Album music shows a quality of aesthetic selectivity that none of the group's records that came before it do, aspiring not just to assimilate one of pop's stock ideas, but also enabling Brian to make one of his biggest artistic advances."
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|United States||1988||Capitol||CD||CDP 7 91008-2||First CD issue; the single mix of "Little Saint Nick" (in mono and with overdubbed sleigh bells) replaces the LP version as the first track. The first five tracks are presented in mono, while other seven tracks from the original sequence are in stereo.|
|Japan||1989||Toshiba EMI Japan||CD||TOCP-5945||All twelve original tracks are in stereo, plus the single mono version of "Little Saint Nick" and its B-side "The Lord's Prayer" (mono version) added as bonus tracks.|
|United States||1991||Capitol||CD||CDP 7 95084-2||All twelve original tracks in stereo and four bonus tracks added: the single version of "Little Saint Nick", its B-side "The Lord's Prayer" (this time in stereo), and alternate takes of "Little Saint Nick" (utilizing the melody from the group's song "Drive-In") and "Auld Lang Syne" (without Dennis' spoken message overdubbed). "The Man With All The Toys", "Santa's Beard", "Merry Christmas, Baby" and "Christmas Day" are in mono, while other eight tracks from the original sequence are in stereo.|
- 1998: Ultimate Christmas
- 2004: Christmas with the Beach Boys
- 2009: Christmas Harmonies
|1.||"Little Saint Nick"||Brian Wilson/Mike Love||Mike Love||1:59|
|2.||"The Man with All the Toys"||B. Wilson/Love||Brian Wilson/Love||1:32|
|3.||"Santa's Beard"||B. Wilson/Love||Love||1:59|
|4.||"Merry Christmas, Baby"||B. Wilson||Love||2:22|
|5.||"Christmas Day"||B. Wilson||Al Jardine||1:35|
|6.||"Frosty the Snowman"||Steve Nelson/Jack Rollins||B. Wilson||1:54|
|1.||"We Three Kings of Orient Are"||John Henry Hopkins||Love/B. Wilson||4:03|
|2.||"Blue Christmas"||Billy Hayes/Jay W. Johnson||B. Wilson||3:09|
|3.||"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"||J. Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie||B. Wilson/Love||2:20|
|4.||"White Christmas"||Irving Berlin||B. Wilson||2:29|
|5.||"I'll Be Home for Christmas"||Kim Gannon/Walter Kent/Buck Ram||B. Wilson||2:44|
|6.||"Auld Lang Syne"||Trad. arr. B. Wilson||group, Dennis Wilson (spoken word)||1:19|
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The Beach Boys
- Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals; rhythm guitar; handclaps
- Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals; handclaps
- Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; bass; keyboards; handclaps
- Carl Wilson – harmony and backing vocals; lead guitar; handclaps
- Dennis Wilson – harmony, backing and spoken word vocals; drums, handclaps
Session musicians and production staff
Orchestra Conducted by Benjamin Barrett. Special Arrangements by Dick Reynolds.
- Robert Barene – violin
- Arnold Belnick – violin
- Harry Bluestone – violin
- George "Red" Callender – tuba
- Frankie Capp – drums
- Gene Cipriano – woodwind
- Eugene DiNovi – piano
- David Duke – french horn
- Jesse Ehrlich – cello
- Virgil Evans – trumpet
- Jimmy Getzoff – violin
- Billy Green – woodwind
- Urbie Green – trombone
- Clifford Hils – upright bass
- Bones Howe – percussion
- Robert Jung – woodwind
- Armand Kaproff – cello
- Raymond Kelley – cello
- Bernard Kundell – violin
- William Kurasch – violin
- Henry Laubach – trumpet
- Alfred Lustgarten – violin
- Arthur Maebe – french horn
- Lew McCreary – trombone
- Oliver Mitchell – trumpet
- Richard Nash – trombone
- Richard Perissi – french horn
- Al Porcino – trumpet
- Dorothy Ramsen – harp
- Lou Raderman – violin
- Karl Rossner – cello
- Henry Roth – violin
- Joseph Saxon – cello
- Wilbur Schwartz – woodwind
- Frederick Seykora – cello
- Paul Shure – violin
- Marshall Sosson – violin
- Darrel Terwilliger – violin
- Al Viola – electric guitar
Sales chart positions
|1964||US Billboard 200||6|
|1964||"The Man with All the Toys"||US Billboard Hot 100||3|
- Doe, Andrew Grayham. "GIGS64". Endless Summer Quarterly. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-818-4 p. 72
- Allmusic review
- Doe, Andrew. "RIAA". Endless Summer Quarterly. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- James E Perone (10 Nov 2015). ABC-CLIO. p. 42 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8XG9CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA42#v=onepage&q&f=false. Missing or empty
- Sanchez, Luis (2014). The Beach Boys' Smile. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 59–61. ISBN 978-1-62356-956-3.
- Sanchez 2014.
- Sharp, Ken (January 2006). "Christmas with Brian Wilson". Record Collector. United Kingdom: 72–76.
- Elliot, Brad (1998). Ultimate Christmas (Digital Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records.
- Boyd, Alan; Linette, Mark; Slowinski, Craig (2014). Keep an Eye On Summer 1964 (Digital Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. Mirror
- Larkin, Colin, ed. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4.
- Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 46. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.