on April 30, 2004
Bing was an eclectic singer who dabbled extensively in many genres of music: Hawaiian, Irish, cowboy songs and of course, Christmas music, which is showcased here. This is an excellent introduction for those who don't have other Crosby CD's in your collection or who want to hear his "holiday" side. It contains his standard hits which have been recycled time and again on other anthologies. Most Bing-ologists will have all these songs in their collection, some of them many times over. But if you are new to Crosby, this is an acceptable choice and I guarantee that you will become hooked on Bing's magnificent voice. It's quite weak on his earlier work and it does contain some curious omissions, but then again, Bing didn't sing Christmas music much until the early 1940's. Yet there are some stellar songs included as well, like one of personal favorites, "I'll Be Home For Christmas," One of his greatest recordings.
For the novice Crosby-Christmas fan, this set is perfect for several reasons: not only does it give you a fine overview of Bing's career, the sound quality is exceptional. The packaging of the set is excellent and it even includes some nicely written liner notes with a synopsis of Bing's Christmas songs and musical style, as well as an explanation of his tremendous musical impact upon the 20th century.
Other reviewers have complained about the sound quality on this set. I am puzzled at this criticism. I have most of these songs on casette, vinyl and some even on their original 78 and 45 issues. The sound quality here is quite acceptable and good on most tracks. This set will give you many hours of enjoyable listening and help you branch off into other Crosby CD's which includes his lesser-known vocals. Hopefully this collection will convince you that Bing's vocal mastery was unparalled. Then you can sample his earlier, jazz-influenced work during his Columbia years in the early 30's and branch off into his 20's work with the Rhythm Boys. But for the beginning Crosby listener, this is as good a choice as any. I highly recommend this set. Enjoy!
on November 8, 2003
I love Christmas music, often pulling it out to listen to mid-year. And you'll never catch me listening to anything but Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas. That's why I'm a little ashamed to admit to only just now getting this classic collection.
What I've been missing all these years is a truly wonderful CD. Bing has a rich, strong voice that is pleasing to listen to. The arrangements feel dated, but that's part of the charm. It feels like an old friend from the very first listen.
My only real complaint (and a minor one at that) is the pacing of the album. The first six tracks are all slower numbers. They do include a great version of "Silent Night," and Bing's classic recording of "White Christmas," so I do enjoy listening to them. Still, by "I'll be Home for Christmas," I'm ready for an upbeat track.
Fortunately, the second half doesn't disappoint in that regard. "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," both sung with the Andrews Sisters, kick things up a notch or two. Both are fairly familiar arrangements with just enough newness to set them apart from the other versions you already have.
The CD ends with the songs I was unfamiliar with. "Christmas in Killarney" is a fanciful description of the holiday in Ireland, while "Mele Kalikimaka" wishes us a Merry Christmas from Hawaii. Both songs sound a little like the land they represent and are a fun way to end the CD.
The recordings here are old, as shown by the occasional scratchy background noise, especially noticeable on "Adeste Fideles." But it doesn't affect my enjoyment one bit. My only regret is not getting this great CD sooner.
on September 22, 2003
This compilation was a best-seller each Christmas season as a vinyl LP for many, many years and, since the advent of the CD, that has not changed. You might see it with the banner "White Christmas" - like this issue - or simply "Merry Christmas" with the only difference being a slightly different order of listing of the same 12 selections.
It's an MCA "compact price" release and so contains no liner notes whatsoever, nor does it show when the songs were actually recorded. What I can tell you is that the version of White Christmas is the second one, recorded in 1947 with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra and which, as Decca single 23778. made the Billboard pop charts 20 different times, the last coming in 1985 [MCA 65022 since 1980].
The original version of that Irving Berlin classic was recorded in 1942, also with the Trotter Orchestra and The Ken Darby Singers, and it too charted from 1942 to 1946. It can be found on the CD The Very Best Of Bing Crosby Christmas, also available through Amazon.
As for the other selections, tracks 7, 8, and 12 each feature The Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen & His Orchestra and were recorded in the early to mid-1940s, as were Silent Night/Adeste Fideles, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, the annual B-side to the 1947 version of White Christmas, Faith Of Our Fathers, and I'll Be Home For Christmas. Track 9, a duet with Carol Richards, was recorded in 1950, while track 10 was done in 1951.
Very soon you'll see this at practically every check-out counter. If you don't already own a copy pick one up and keep the tradition alive. Christmas simply isn't Christmas without the mellow voice of Bing Crosby somewhere in the backgroud.
on December 23, 2002
All I can say is WOW!!!! Hearing Bing sing these songs sure does put one in the Christmas mood. "White Christmas" - the version heard on this recording - is one of the most popular songs of all time. There's a song for everyone here! From favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Jingle Bells" for the kids, to sacred classics like "Adeste Fidelis" and "Silent Night" to fun songs like "Christmas In Killarney" and Mele Kelikimaka," there's something for all Christmas tastes. Bing was one of the greatest singers of all time and his songs will always live on.
The sound on the CD is very good. Even though most of the songs on this disc do indeed sound like they were recorded in the 40's for 78-RPM discs, they all sound magical. I'm a sucker for that old sound when it comes to CD's.
Essential listening at Christmas and great for anytime of the year for that little bit of Christmas spirit you need every so often.
Personal Note: While celebrating Christmas with the family yesterday, we played the 78 RPM record of Bing's "Adeste Fidelis" (the same recording heard on this disc). Listening to Bing sing that beautiful song while watching the record spin at close to 80 times a minute almost brought tears to my eyes (and I'm a 19 yr old guy!). With all the clicks and pops on the record (along with the crack that runs from rim to label; the record didn't skip at all!), it was very uplifting to listen to. Bing's "Silent Night, Holy Night" is on the flip side of the record, but I haven't yet given it a listen.
Have this album on tape and CD, and may buy another before the day is over!!! (and what a great price!)
HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!
on December 25, 2003
I absolutely love listening to Christmas music and I like Bing Crosby and when I listened to someone's Bing Crosby Christmas album which was a 33' vinyl recored I liked it so much I decided I wanted to go and buy it for my collection of Christmas music so I went out and found the CD version of this delightful Christmas album and I love it, all the songs are wonderful but my personal favorites are White Christmas, Christmas in Killarney, and Mele Kalikimaka, I have loved that song ever since hearing it for the first time in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase. I very greatly recommend this Christmas CD, it very much belongs in a Christmas music collection along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Andy Williams, etc!
on December 16, 2003
This is a retitled version of Bing Crosby's classic album "Merry Christmas". The songs are in a different order than on the original release, for some reason. But whatever order the songs are in, they are all classics. It doesn't get much better around Christmas time than hearing Der Bingle sing "Silent Night", "Adeste Fideles" and "White Christmas". The CD also includes three duets with the legendary Andrews Sisters, and one duet with the forgotten Carole Richards. One thing I have to question is the inclusion of "Faith of Our Fathers". It's a good song, but it's not a Christmas song. Regardless of that, I highly recommend this CD.
on October 29, 2003
WHITE CHRISTMAS is a legendary pop song celebrating the spirit of Christmas.
This CD contains several songs surrounded in a musical production that will transport you back in time.
Alongside other infamous Christmas recordings (NAT KING COLE, MEL TORME), this CD stands the test of time and is still a must have at Christmas.
Break open the EGGNOG and relive childhood memories with a legendary male vocalist and classic seasonal standards.
on February 5, 2009
Bing Crosby was the king of Christmas and his songs aren't only beautiful, but fun and warm and hold a lot of memories for me. His film White Christmas is one of my favorites and his album Merry Christmas is the best music for the holidays.. My parents had this album in vinyl and when I moved out I needed the CD. If you want warm fuzzies over the holidays get this CD.
on February 8, 2009
No one can sing Christmas carols like Bing can! Maybe it's because I grew up listening to albums by him and other great singers of the time. It could be nostalgia that makes us love listening to this album. The "White Christmas" and so forth. Whatever it is, I recommend it highly. Not a bad song on the whole CD.
What can I say, its White Christmas by Bing Crosby. Everybody knows some of it and some people know all of it. The sound quality of some of the tracks keeps this from getting a five star rating. Some of the later tracks sound quite good though. Bings voice rings through nicely on many of them. Lots of fun.