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Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas

By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, December 17, 2011 | Music

FTD has a nice timing with releasing the classic version of Elvis second Christmas album.


The design is good as usual with this series. The booklet has the album cover with the picture of Trouble With Girls and has more results of this photo shoot and also some more of Elvis in action in the fringe suit. Of course the session info and some background is there too, decorated with all kinds of memorabilia.


The first CD contains, as usual, the original album and as bonus the master of the remake of I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day. The disc is completed with 6 first takes. With most sessions Elvis knew exactly what he wanted and this one is no exception. Next to messing up lyrics some slight tempo changes are the most noticeable differences with the masters. Some banter and joking are a nice extra. Unfortunately one of the reels was reused, and that one contained the early takes of Winter Wonderland, a song that seems to have brought fun in the studio…

All together we get a fair amount of new outtakes, but as said, it is not all that was recorded but all that could be found. The result is that the second CD contains mainly takes from I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day and If I Get Home On Christmas Day. The highlight of the set is to me the full version of Merry Christmas Baby, about the only Christmas song I really like – but that is just my Christmas trauma. It’s not the first disc I have it on, but without a doubt in the best sound quality.


Releasing this CD now seems a good move to me, keeping the popularity of (Elvis’) Christmas song in mind.

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Rob Wanders wrote on December 18, 2011
a great product from FTD. im not so into xmassongs also but i like most of the songs on this cd (with the exception of The first noel and Silver bells) . the soundquality is superb. its a pity that halfway the song Merryxmas baby, the soundquality changes. i dont think they can do anything about it cause its also heard on another cd i have with the full version of this song. highlights for me are the versions of the song: I'll be home on xmasday; what a wonderful bluesy feeling this song has.
Jamie wrote on December 18, 2011
Hello, Elvis's stock was pretty good in 1971. The 'Love Letters' LP was poor but 'From Elvis in Memphis', 'Elvis in Person', 'On Stage', 'That's the Way it Is' and 'Elvis Country' had all been very good, and had restored his credibility as a vital artist. This LP was recorded because the 1957 Christmas album had sold in its millions - particularly in its budget release format - and so an opportunity was spotted to bring in some serious revenue. Or in other words, 'Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas' was driven by financial considerations and undermined Elvis's broader career aspirations. It would be churlish to contrast this album with the 1957 one because no artist can spread their prime years over a 14 year period. Make up your own mind how much inventiveness, audacity and tongue-in-cheek irreverence you might expect from Elvis recording in Nashville, the home of country music, in the 1970s. Given the shortage of outtakes from these sessions I thought Ernst could have sneaked in the 'This Is Elvis' soundtrack' version of 'Merry Christmas Baby'. The neglect of that soundtrack has been going on for 30 years now and I suspect the present generation of Sony/BMG and FTD sound engineers are other than impressed with the many tamperings that afflicted that album. Anyway, Elvis in Nashville singing Christmas stuff in 1971. Enough said.
claunath82 wrote on December 19, 2011
Great release from FTD just in time for Christmas, the sound is really good and cover and booklet are great. 5/5
sitdown revamped wrote on December 20, 2011
I always liked this album. A matured type of lyrics, accoding to the 1966 quote about Christmas. Winter Wonderland is one of my favourites. It really swings. And it contains an "Elvis-Ending" ;-) What about a compilation of all the songs which include an Elvis ending, studio, movie and live tapes? I Got A Woman, Got A Lot of Living To Do, Rock A Hula Baby, I Don't Wanna Be Tied (movie version), Winter Wonderland...which other song did he end like that? Seasons greetings. Peter
Polk Salad Robert wrote on December 20, 2011
I received my copy a week ago,but still cant listen to it before Christmas Night because its one of my wife`s X-Mas presents for me ! Its hard to withstand such a long time..so close and yet so far from paradise !? But meanwhile I just listen to the Christmas Duets which I really like alot ,on the contrary to the terrible Spankox Christmas Remix Album ! Merry Christmas to everybody and especially the Elvisnews Team !!!
Martin DJ wrote on December 20, 2011
Sitdown Revamped: I can help has such an ending.
Rob Wanders wrote on December 21, 2011
well JeanMarie I know what you mean, but most of these songs are just pretty ballads/lovesongs with the word christmas in it. yes the sound of the bells are a bit disturbing, but not much.
Greg Nolan wrote on December 26, 2011
This is another beauty of a release in FTD's "Classic Albums" series of expanded versions of the King's original Lps. I was pleased to get mine at great discount - thankfully arriving just days before Christmas Day. I'm surprised people have to mention problems with Christmas - one of the most universally beloved holidays outside of a few Scrooge and crank types. I'll assume we just have some sour sorts here. Frankly. this stuff is only listenable for about 2-3 weeks a year but I do enjoy him recording familiar classics of the season (yes, "Silver Bells," "O Come O Ye Faithful" ) as well as the more modern country and blues-flavored tracks that if not for the mention of the holiday would make for excellent contemporary music in 1971 and even now. The expanded album is strictly for serious fans of the King. If you're a casual fan, you'll be fine with the original LP and various CD incarnations since, often mating it with the '57 tracks, stray singles and a few key outtakes. But for the rest of us, this is just a deluxe venture into the King at work. The booklet is informative and full of great behind-the-scenes documentation, from RCA paperwork (often about the artwork and song choices) to very seasonal-style photo of the a white clad-King in December of '68 (albeit for another project), some not often seen. The sound is fantastic and it's a real no-brainer for the serious fan. Elvis-heads: buy with confidence!
LonElvis wrote on December 26, 2011
I got this set for Christmas and it's a fantastic set. Most of the 1971 Christmas recordings can be enjoyed all year long - especially Merry Christmas Baby and I'll be Home on Christmas Day. Both of those are not just my favorite Elvis Christmas songs but are among my all-time favorite Elvis songs - period. There are several outtakes of I'll be Home on Christmas Day which make this set worth the price of admission by themselves. This is one of the best FTDs ever in my humble opinion. I normally break out my Christmas music in early to mid November and enjoy it through the end of the year. I have no doubt this set will be enjoyed much longer, especially the outtakes. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! TCB!
Master Fatman wrote on January 04, 2012
I've been looking forward to this on for a very long time, and I wasn't disapiontet. A very good set indeed. To bad that some of the takes were erased back in 71. Happy New year! :-)
VivaLasDavies wrote on January 05, 2012
This looks good as do all FTD's but as for the songs....they're basically just a bunch of drippy ballads with the word "Christmas" in the title. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this, but not many are prepared to say it. I've bought many versions over the years to keep the collection complete but NEVER play it, least of all at Christmas!
Tony C wrote on January 05, 2012
Where does this "fact" about Bing Crosby and Decca Records protesting about Elvis' version of "White Christmas" come from? Irving Berlin, the composer, did complain about the release of Elvis' version, even going as far as to order his staff to telephone radio stations demanding them not to play it. Most ignored him and this controversy only increased sales, giving more money to the composer. A more simple route would have been for him to deny RCA permission to release Elvis' version, but of course this would have also denied him the royalties. Being offended is one thing, but money talks! When we start enquiring why Elvis did not record particular songs we could, of course, include every pre-1977 song written. Quite some list that would be.
Orion wrote on January 06, 2012
Wonder if Mr. Berlin did the same thing when the Drifters (not Cliff Richard's 1st group) released the original Doo-Wop version of this song BEFORE Elvis... Just asking.
Jerome wrote on January 06, 2012
I bought this set also but I am hugely dissapointed as they are only Christmas-songs on this release...
Steve V wrote on January 06, 2012
Orion - to answer your question, yes Mr Berlin was very upset about the Drifters version pre-Elvis. He was basically anti-rock and roll on his tune. But like the man says, money talks and rock and roll was making lots of it. As for this release, since I only play these songs at Christmas (why would you NOT play them then VivaLas?), I dont see a need for me needing outtakes.
Orion wrote on February 08, 2012
Christmas in February ? Well, when the music is this beautiful then I why not all year around ? This one just arrived in my mailbox after a lengthy delay. I won't go into detail - you wouldn't believe me. Anyway, this one sound too good to be true. The liner notes have an eyewitness account of these sessions, and by you listening on headphones, you fell like your sitting in that circle. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !! Can anyone beat Vic or Sebastian's mastering of Elvis' music ? Since I'm listening to Christmas music, Guess I'll make my Christmas wish. I wish all of Elvis' releases could sound this good. A very sayisfying release from FTD.