Monday, December 13, 2010

Beach Boys - Christmas Album (1964)

While it may seem rather incongruous for the definitive voices of summertime to tackle the music of the holiday season, The Beach Boys' Christmas Album succeeds brilliantly; Brian Wilson's pop genius is well suited to classic Yuletide fare, and the group delivers lush performances of standards ranging from "Frosty the Snowman" to "White Christmas" as well as more contemporary material like "The Man With All the Toys" and "Blue Christmas."  
The Musicians
Al Jardine - guitar, vocals
Mike Love - vocals
Brian Wilson - bass guitar, vocals
Carl Wilson - guitar, vocals
Dennis Wilson - drums, vocals 

The Beach Boys' Christmas Album is a Christmas album by The Beach Boys, released on November 16, 1964. Containing five original songs and seven standards, the album proved to be a long-running success during subsequent Christmas seasons, initially reaching #6 in the US Christmas album chart in its year of release and eventually going gold.
Of the original songs, "Little Saint Nick" was already famous, having been a hit single the year before. "The Man with All the Toys" was another hit during Christmastime 1964. "Christmas Day" is noteworthy for being the first Beach Boys song to feature a lead vocal from Al Jardine.
While leader Brian Wilson produced and arranged the "rock" songs, he left it to Dick Reynolds (an arranger of The Four Freshmen, a group Wilson idolized) to arrange the orchestral backings on the traditional songs to which The Beach Boys would apply their vocals.

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