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The Complete Christmas Recordings

Andy Williams

Real Gone Music 2013

Review by David Bowling

Andy Williams, 1927-2012, enjoyed a career that lasted over six decades. Early on he was part of a vocal group with his brothers and then as a solo artist, he sold tens-of-millions of records and had a popular television variety series, 1962-1971. He was an easy listening crooner, whose smooth style allowed him to remain commercially successful during the rock and roll era.

Real Gone music has now raided the Williams’ vaults and released The Complete Christmas Recordings. They should have put Columbia in the title as he released two albums of Christmas music after he left his long-time label and they are not included. Still, there is a lot of Christmas music here. His three Columbia Label albums, The Andy Williams Christmas Album (1963), Merry Christmas (1965), and Christmas Present (1974), are combined with three non-album Christmas singles and previously unreleased Spanish and Italian versions of “White Christmas.” The sound is clean and a booklet of his life and music is included. It all forms the definitive release of his Christmas material.

He was a pure pop singer from the beginning to the end of his career. His big hits, “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story,” “I Like Your Kind Of Love,” “Can’t Get Used To Loving You,” “Days Of Wine And Roses,” “The Village Of Saint Bernadette,” and the number one “Butterfly” are all far from a rock and roll sound.

The three original studio albums, when combined, form one long Christmas release. The songs are interchangeable as his style was always the same. The music is a combination of traditional Christmas Carols such as “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night Holy Night,” “O Little Town Of Bethlehem,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and pop Christmas songs including “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bells,”  “A Song And A Christmas Tree (The Twelve Days Of Christmas),” and “Sleigh Ride.”

The music of Andy Williams is what it is. If you are a fan or appreciate an easy listening vocal sound, and are in a Christmas mood, then this is an album for you.

Rating: ***

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