Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carpenters - Christmas Portrait (1984)


Along with the Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, this is one of my top three Christmas CD's.  It is actually a compilation of two Christmas albums by the duo, Christmas Portrait (1978) and An Old-Fashioned Christmas (1984).  It's cheesy soft pop highlighted by Karen Carpenter's wonderfully pure voice and it's exactly the kind of cheesy soft pop goodness that I need this time of year.

Click here to get Richard Carpenter's take on the album.  He mentions that this album is patterned after the 1956 album, Spike Jones Presents A Xmas Spectacular. I wonder if that's available anywhere.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Christmas Portrait #145, An Old-Fashioned Christmas #190.  This "Special Edition" compilation returns to the charts almost annually; as I write this, it sits at #117.

Tracks: It's a pleasant 70 minutes of music, sequenced perfectly.  It's hard to pick favorites, but today I'll pick Christmas Waltz, It's Christmas Time, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and Merry Christmas Darling.  Because of personal childhood issues, I'm not a fan of O Holy Night, but the instrumental version offered here is somewhat tolerable.

Exclusive longbox photo courtesy of the Hambonian Archives

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  This music was introduced to me by my good friend Richard L. as we drove together around town during a progressive Christmas party for our church choir.  Progressive parties are a horrible idea, but getting from home to home with Richard made it much more pleasant.  Richard loved this album and enjoyed pointing out his favorite parts of the complex arrangements.

3 comments:

  1. Nice. This album is a holiday staple for me too. I think the first time I heard it was around 1992. A friend lent me a cassette, and I promptly ordered a CD copy through Columbia House.
    I have an obscene number of Christmas CD's. Probably close to 100. This is a favourite for sure.

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  2. Most people give me grief about liking a Carpenters album. Glad to finally hear from someone who agrees with me.

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  3. There's no word but "pure" to describe Karen Carpenter's voice. Even if folks don't like their "style" of music.

    I have to admit, this is the only album I own by the Carpenters though. :)

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