In 1978, The Carpenters released their Christmas Portrait album, followed by another Christmas album, An Old-Fashioned Christmas, in 1984. This 2 CD set contains both albums with their original sequencing. It supplants the previously released Christmas Portrait compilation CD.
I've never been asked what my favorite Christmas album is, but Christmas Portrait would certainly get some serious consideration, along with Vince Guaraldi and Phil Spector. (Rolling Stone recently ranked it at #16 of all-time; I respectfully disagree.) It is nice to listen to it here in its original running order. If you don't mind, I'm just going to enjoy Karen's effortless voice and Richard's classic arrangements for a while and not write anything.
Disc 2, An Old-Fashioned Christmas, released after Karen's death, contains several unused tracks from the Christmas Portrait along with some newly-recorded instrumentals alongside their 1974 single, a slow version of Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town. Complete liner notes available here.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: originally, Christmas Portrait #145, An Old-Fashioned Christmas #190, the Christmas Portrait album has made more appearances in subsequent years.
Tracks: It's all good and while I love a good Christmas tune medley, it doesn't get much better than Merry Christmas Darling.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Christmas Portrait was introduced to me in the early '80s by a good friend, so listening to it always brings back good memories of his brief time with us. Did I mention how nice it is to hear the original sequencing again?
Previously revisited for the blog:
The Singles: 1969-1981 (2000)
Christmas Portrait (1984)