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Elvis Presley Christmas Duets
Elvis' most cherished holiday classics reinterpreted by today's biggest female stars with Elvis Presley! The album features 'Blue Christmas' with Martina McBride, 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' with Carrie Underwood, 'Here Comes Santa Claus' with LeAnn Rimes, 'Santa Clause Is Back In Town' with Wynonna Judd 'Silent Night' with Sara Evans, 'White Christmas' with Amy Grant plus Gretchen Wilson, Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John and three Bonus Tracks.
|Audio CD Release Date:
||October 14, 2008|
|Number Of Discs:
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 150 reviews|
|1. ||Blue Christmas Elvis Presley & Martina McBride|
|2. ||I'll Be Home for Christmas Elvis Presley & Carrie Underwood|
|3. ||Here Comes Santa Clasu (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) Elvis Presley & LeAnn Rimes|
|4. ||Santa Claus Is Back In Town Elvis Presley & Wynonna Judd|
|5. ||Silent Night Elvis Presley & Sara Evans|
|6. ||White Christmas Elvis Presley & Amy Grant|
|7. ||Merry Christmas Baby Elvis Presley & Gretchen Wilson|
|8. ||O Little Town of Bethlehem Elvis Presley & Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town|
|9. ||Silver Bells Elvis Presley & Anne Murray|
|10. ||O Come, All Ye Faithful Elvis Presley & Olivia Newton-John|
|11. ||The First Noel (2008) Elvis Presley|
|12. ||If I Get Home On Christmas Day (2008) Elvis Presley|
|13. ||Winter Wonderland (2008) Elvis Presley|
Average Customer Review:
( 150 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 70 found the following review helpful:
Elvis just stopped in for the holidays.Oct 15, 2008
By D. P. McClure
"Disciple of Rock"
I love this. The first track I listened to was "If I Get Home on Christmas Day" because that is my favorite Elvis Christmas song. I love the way they updated the music without trying to make it sound trendy or phony. Next I listened to Winter Wonderland - they really made the rhythmic elements of this song shine while still allowing James Burton's guitar solos to stand out deservedly. After that, I listened to "The First Noel": This just flat-out brought tears to my eyes, that's how beautiful it is. I don't want to spoil it for you, but, on "The First Noel", they added a beautiful almost baroque-esque string arrangement that really tugs at the heart strings. Ahhh, right now I'm listening to "I'll Be Home for Christmas"...it's so amazingly and divinely beautiful. The illusion of "duets" created by adding these talented female singers to Elvis' already existing tracks is very effective. Yes folks, we get to have Elvis right here with us for one more Christmas - and thankfully we'll have this cd to listen to for lasting memories. 5 holly-jolly stars.
29 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Fun overall, but lacks some chemistry.Nov 21, 2008
By J. Kirk
"Christmas Duets" is not a waste of money, but it could be better.
Ever since the day that Celine Dion did a duet with Elvis on American Idol, there has been a new standard for such performances. I am not a huge Celine fan, but I will concede that her vocals managed to bring back some of the charming presence of Elvis.
Elvis Presley's "Christmas Duets" is another story. I believe all the stars on this album intended to do a wonderful job, and all things considered, they sang quite well. However, it is difficult to provide the sense of Elvis' presence when singing with old recordings. These Elvis recordings were originally solo works, which is one possible reason for the lack of chemistry. Another reason is that Elvis was unfortunately not here to reciprocate glances and to share the performance. Elvis would likely have presented these songs slightly different if he had originally sung them in a duet.
Overall, the chemistry on this CD is on or below par with Elvis. However, I did find some entertaining highlights within this CD. My favorite track is Olivia Newton-John's "O Come, All Ye Faithful". Olivia's musical experience brings her nearest to the lush sounds we would hear in a real duet with Elvis. Here are some interesting facts: I know that Elvis covered two of Olivia Newton-John's early songs ("Let Me Be There" and "If You Love Me Let Me Know") on "Moody Blue", his last album to be released in his lifetime. I also know that Olivia Newton-John has previous experience singing duets with posthumous musicians. Newton-John released a duets CD titled "2" that includes a very touching recording titled, "Tender-field Saddler". "Tender-field Saddler" was originally sung by the now deceased Australian songwriter and entertainer Peter Allen. Olivia's duet with Peter Allen has been described as a modern miracle in musical technology. She also sings "Tender-field Saddler" live on her new DVD, "Live In Sydney".
Another highlight is "I'll Be Home For Christmas", sung by Carrie Underwood. The clear and penetrating vocals of Carrie are very well placed, and not overpowering. Like others on this CD, Carrie is very respectful to Elvis, who probably seems like a mythical superhero musician that she grew up hearing but not seeing.
Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, and Wynonna Judd also sing quite well. I enjoyed Judd's sassy, playful voice in "Santa Claus Is Back In Town." Overall I can easily recommend purchasing this CD. "Christmas Duets" will be fun to come back to year after year.
21 of 23 found the following review helpful:
An nice addition to the King's LegacyDec 05, 2008
After reading all of the reviews for this album, I felt I had to add my opinion.
The reviews here seem to be divided into two camps. The positive reviews seem to come from those who enjoy hearing "new" versions of the King's classic recordings. The negative reviews seem to come from fans who feel that albums like this are somehow disrespectful to Elvis' legacy.
I have to put myself in the first group. I am also a big fan of Elvis. I wish he were alive today and still recording great new music. Unfortunately that's not the case. There won't be any new "hidden" recordings brought to light in the future. Even most of the "alternate" studio takes have also already been released.
So, if we want to hear "new" Elvis music, we can wait for new remixes, or when technology progresses further, even cleaner digital remasters.
Or we can enjoy albums like this.
No, it's not likely to replace the original versions in most fans' collections, but many will consider it a nice addition. In fact, if you could find someone who had never heard the originals and played them back to back with these duet versions, they might like some of the duet version even more than the originals (the duet with Amy Grant on "White Christmas" is a strong candidate, as is the saucy versions of "Merry Christmas Baby" with Gretchen Wilson and "Santa Claus is Back in Town" with Wynonna Judd).
I think this album was done as well as it could have been done. The female artists recorded in the same studio in which Elvis recorded the original versions. The instrumentation sounds as clean as I've ever heard it. Those reviewers who suggest that the females simply recorded "over" Elvis's vocals must not be listening very well. The three remixed, Elvis only songs that close the album are a nice bonus.
And the female artists represent a nice range of talent, including two performers Elvis knew and admired (Olivia Newton-John and Anne Murray), established artists like Wynonna Judd, Martina McBride, and Sara Evans, and relative newcomers like Carrie Underwood.
Some "purists" have stated that Elvis would not have liked this, and would never have consented to a duets album. Who knows? If you had told me in 1977 that Rod Stewart would be recording standards later in life, I would have laughed at you (Rod would have, too).
So I suggest folks just enjoy this for what it is - an addition to, not a replacement of the past. No one is suggesting that only the duet version of "Blue Christmas" will be aired from now on.
And if it gets some new or younger fans interested in Elvis, what's the harm?
6 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Fascinating but buy the original Elvis firstSep 07, 2009
By Peter Durward Harris
"Pete the music fan"
Having the majority of Elvis Presley's officially released tracks including all of his famous music, I was intrigued by this album. Inevitably, it arouses mixed feelings and I am left, after hearing it, to ponder what might have been if Elvis had recorded duets during his lifetime. There is no way that duets created by overdubs can ever be as brilliant as those created by two people singing together in the studio. Of course, I knew that before I bought this album but I still wanted it. And to be fair, the engineers, the musicians and the women who sang the duet parts all did as well as could be expected on such a project.
Of the participating women, Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John established their careers while Elvis was alive, while Amy Grant and Wynonna Judd came to prominence in the eighties, so all four of them would be likely to have heard plenty of Elvis' music on the radio, as it was newly released, during their childhood. But the influence and appeal of Elvis goes way beyond those who were around during his lifetime. Some of the women featured on this album weren`t even born by the time of his death and they also turn in great performances.
The album gets off to a great start with Blue Christmas (featuring Martina McBride), which I would have liked even more than I already do without the woo-woo backing sounds (they are better suited to his original recording than this version). Carrie Underwood has plenty of fans who love her music, but also plenty of detractors who say that she sometimes shouts rather than sings. There was no danger of her shouting on the classic ballad, I'll be home for Christmas, in which she performs her part brilliantly. If you're one of Carrie's detractors and you are alarmed by her presence here, fear not. While I'm not one of her biggest fans, I do like her music.
Arguably the most famous female singer here is LeAnn Rimes, featured on Here comes Santa Claus. This bright, cheerful song is all over in less than two minutes but it's a great song that was (I think) first recorded by Gene Autry, who was also the first singer to record Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (a song that Elvis didn't record). Next comes Wynonna Judd, a well known Elvis fan who has recorded several Elvis covers, sometimes as a member of the Judds. Wynonna joins Elvis on the bluesy Santa Claus is back in town.
Sara Evans has yet to record her own Christmas album but she has recorded at least one Christmas song for inclusion on multi-artist Christmas albums. Here she joins Elvis for the most-covered Christmas song of all, Silent night. I've heard plenty of versions of this song and, like most of the others, this duet sounds brilliant without standing out from the rest, except for the obvious fact of it being a duet. It's a great song but, being a simple ballad, there's very little that any singer or musician can do to make it distinctive without destroying its essential simplicity. So this version sounds entirely predictable but I like it that way.
Amy Grant has recorded three complete Christmas albums (and wrote the original songs Tennessee Christmas and Breath of heaven, either or both of which may yet come to be recognized as Christmas standards), plus four other tracks that appeared on a compilation otherwise made up tracks from those earlier albums. She joins Elvis on White Christmas and the result is every bit as good as you would expect. Gretchen Wilson joins Elvis on the bluesy Merry Christmas baby, by far the longest track here at over eight minutes running time; Elvis` solo recording ran for less than six minutes. It sounds fine but the length doesn't add to the quality. Next comes O little town of Bethlehem, featuring the two women from Little Big Town. I'm not familiar with that group's music although I know that they also have featured male vocalists and the vocals on their own music are shared around, making for plenty of variety. I expect to buy some of their own music eventually.
The last two duets feature Anne Murray and Olivia Newton-John). Not only are they the oldest women participating, but they are also the only non-Americans. I felt it was particularly appropriate that Anne Murray joined Elvis on Silver bells, as it was on Anne Murray's first Christmas album that I first acquired a version of that song and I have always felt that Anne's voice was particularly suited to the song. I've acquired or heard plenty of other versions of the song since then, but Anne's is still among my favorites. Her duet with Elvis is also excellent. Olivia is in fine form too, on O come all ye faithful.
The album closes with three bonus solo tracks (First Noel, If I get home on Christmas Day, Winter wonderland). I thought at first that they may simply have been taken from earlier re-masters to pad out the album, but they, too, have been re-worked in some way. In that case, it might have better to find three more women to join Elvis on these tracks. As it is, these tracks tend to overshadow the duets that have gone before, brilliant as those are. This reinforces my belief that if you haven't got an Elvis Presley Christmas compilation, you should buy that first. Solo versions by Elvis of all the songs here can be found on Christmas peace, along with seven of his other Christmas recordings. But this is a high-quality album that has much to commend it.
17 of 23 found the following review helpful:
Old is Gold!Nov 07, 2008
November 6, 2008 - the date I met up with 2 very old friends and what a suprise it is was. Firstly James Bond 007 - great show and Craig is smashing.
Secondly, I bought and listened to the "new" album from Elvis with duets with the biggest Country and Gospel female stars of today. What a cheerful start to Christmas. The new digitally mixed album with new orchestrations and vocal was like Elvis never left us. I love ONJ's duet, simply smashing... American Idol Underwood is super too.
Now this is one Christmas album that people will listen to for generations (just like the concept of the now classic Natalie Cole's Unforgetble). For me, it is also Elvis back to his roots of Country and Gospel. Amen for that !
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