The Christmas Album
Columbia Records C 30957 | Released November 1971 | Peak Chart Position: n/a
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THE LINER NOTES
Recording an annual Holiday LP was almost a requirement if you were a pop or country act in the nineteen seventies. If you were Lynn Anderson, you recorded two your entire career and the first would become one of the most successful of its kind.
Released without a supportive single in November of seventy-one, ‘The Christmas Album’ was co-produced by husband Glenn Sutton and CBS legend Clive Davis, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100; a notable achievement for any Christmas release. An eleven-song set of new and old yules, Sutton and Davis made the decision early on to eschew traditional faith-themed carols, with one exception, opting instead for a potpourri of countrypolitan arrangements of traditional and original holiday fare. And while many of the classic songs in the set were well-worn, and maybe a bit threadbare, they’re re-decorated, here, with arrangements that glisten like ornaments on a tree, topped with vocals from Lynn that bring new life to each.
With a title that belies its originality and inventiveness, Foster and Rice’s "Ding-a-Ling, the Christmas Bell" tells the story of a broken Jingle Bell who lost his harmony. "Don't Wish Me Merry Christmas", the sole original from producer Glenn Sutton, brings a tint of blue to this brightly lit LP, underscoring the reality of loneliness for so many during the holidays. Liz Anderson’s “The Spirit of Christmas” reminds us what the real reason for the season is, and Ben Peters’ "Soon It Will Be Christmas Day" feels like both a new standard and an old chestnut we’ve heard before.
It would be twenty-eight years before Lynn would record another Christmas album, but the timelessness of this classic LP made it as fresh and new each Christmas as the year it was released.
A rare and evergreen gift from one of popular music’s most gifted singers.
J Buck Ford
"Ding-a-Ling the Christmas Bell" / "Jingle Bell Rock" / "The Spirit of Christmas" / "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" / "Soon It Will Be Christmas Day" / "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" / "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" / "Mr. Mistletoe" / "A Whistle and a Whisker Away" / "Frosty the Snowman" / "Don't Wish Me Merry Christmas"