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Brilliant collection of Anne's Christmas music
on November 2, 2003
Anne recorded two seasonal albums in the eighties - Christmas wishes in 1981 and Anne Murray Christmas in 1988. This compilation contains all the tracks from those two albums except No room at the inn and Born in Bethlehem. It also contains two extra tracks, The season will never grow old and Have yourself a merry little Christmas, recorded in the early nineties for another Christmas album, plus several new tracks recorded for this album. The nineties Christmas album also included Deck the halls, Ding dong merrily on high and Jingle bells. It is a pity that those tracks (along with No room at the inn and Born in Bethlehem) were not added to this collection, but this is still a very fine collection.
The new recordings for this collection are Let it snow, O little town of Bethlehem, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, First Noel, Hark the herald angels sing, a medley of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and Frosty the snowman and a Santa medley (Jolly old Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus is coming to town, Here comes Santa Claus). These recordings make this collection desirable for those Anne Murray fans who already had her earlier Christmas releases, which are no longer in print.
Among the other classic Christmas songs that everybody knows, I particularly like her version of Silver bells, but Anne is also in top form on Joy to the world, Little drummer boy, White Christmas, It came upon the midnight clear, I'll be home for Christmas, Do you hear what I hear, O holy night, Winter wonderland, Go tell it on the mountain, The Christmas song, O come all ye faithful, Away in a manger, We three kings, Mary's boy child and Silent night.
Those classic songs are great and it's good to hear Anne sing them, but for me it is the less obvious songs that make this collection particularly special. Christmas wishes, my favorite song here, is an outstanding song that deserves to become a standard but seems destined not to be. Christmas in Killarney is an up-tempo Irish song that Anne clearly enjoys singing. Sweet little Jesus boy is a great song that will be familiar to fans of Kenny Rogers as he recorded it twice. The season will never grow old is a cover of a Rita MacNeil song.
This is a magical Christmas collection that covers all aspects of Christmas, both festive and the spiritual.