06/12/2019 5:08 pm  #1


New CD "The Christmas Album"

I want to see new Bing CDs. I welcome them with open arms provided they are worthwhile, a decent job is made of them, the tracks are properly identified and some effort made to put a new or individual slant on the selection with reasonable supportive notes

BUT -
A new CD entitled BING CROSBY The Christmas Album with subheadings "DeLuxe Edition" and "Original Recordings"  and according to Amazon "Collector's Edition" and "Remastered" has been appearing on some sites over the last number of days.
Of course I had to find out whether all that puffery was justified, so in your interests and those of the readers of "Bing", I acquired it.

It is published by PMI  (or Platinum Music Ireland Ltd), based in Northern Ireland, who apparently specialise in Irish and Country music. Unfortunately they do not know much about Bing Crosby's recordings, as three of the claimed titles are not what is claimed. Here's a run down -
 
Track 21 is listed on both Amazon and the record insert itself as a medley “Sleigh Ride - I'd Like To Hitch A Ride With Santa Claus”  but it is in fact a different version of Sleighride, not including “I’d Like to hitch a ride”
Track 22 is similarly listed as “Christmas Medley (Featuring Jeff Alexander Chorus - Deck The Halls, Bing & Gary Crosby - That Christmas Feeling, Bing & Lindsay Crosby - I'd Like To Hitch A Ride With Santa Claus)” but it is again a totally different medley of “Deck the Halls/Away in a Manger/ I saw Three Ships”. You certainly don’t need to be a Crosby expert to spot the difference between “I Saw Three Ships” and the claimed titles. 
In addition, the record insert identifies the first track “White Christmas” as the original recording. It is not. It is in fact the re-recording of 1947.

Apart from such carelessness the audio has been tweaked in various ways. I suppose that is what "Remastered" means. For some time I have been regarding the description as a rude word and certainly not to be taken to imply going back to original sources and getting the cleanest possible copy using the best in modern technology. 
I believe a degree of reverberation has been added to some tracks though it is possible that the LPs which were likely to be the source material had already had that done to them - there was a lot of that done in the '70s and '80s to get a "pseudo stereo" effect -  and most have clearly been boosted in the upper middle sound range.  The several studio recordings from 1962 were made in stereo but the stereo separation here does not sound very obvious to me. I'm not saying it doesn't exist but it does seem to me to have been diminished in some way.

A redeeming feature is the inclusion of a radio track from 1962 – track 13 is the introduction to a radio show of 24 December 1962 with Johnny Mercer and Rosemary Clooney which I don't think has been on any LP or CD and some fans might not have it.

Otherwise the self - description of the CD as “Deluxe Edition” and “Collector’s Edition” is wholly unjustified. The insert is a single folded sheet with minimal information beyond the listing of track titles (which as I have said are incorrect). Accompanists don't exist, dates, takes and other information expected in a true Collector's Edition - forget it.

The other bit of puffery “Colored Vinyl, Extra Tracks” is just that – the CD is white with a colour portrait of Bing in the centre, which is nothing special, and extra tracks compared to what?

Track listing  - (My identifications) 
1. White Christmas – 1947 re-recording
2. Silent Night - 1947
3. Here Comes Santa Claus - 1949
4. The Little Drummer Boy 1962 (Note not the 1977 version with Bowie)
5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 1962 
6. The Twelve Days Of Christmas 1949 
7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! 1962 
8. The Christmas Song 1947 
9. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 1942 
10. Rudolph The Red - Nosed Reindeer 1950.
11. The First Noel 1949 
12. Jingle Bells 1943 
13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas. 24 Dec. 1962 Radio from  “A Christmas Sing With Bing” with Johnny Mercer, Rosemary Clooney, the Norman Luboff Choir, Paul Weston and his Orchestra 
14. I'll Be Home For Christmas 1943 
15. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 1943 
16. Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) 1942 
17. Christmas In Killarney 1951 
18. O Holy Night 1962 
19. Winter Wonderland 1962 
20. Silver Bells 1950 
21. Sleigh Ride 1952 
22. Christmas Medley  Deck the Halls/Away in a Manger/ I saw Three Ships 1949
23. Snow 1954 with Danny Kaye, Trudy Stevens & Peggy lee
24. Happy Holiday 1942 
25. Faith Of Our Fathers 1942  
26. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas 1951
27. That Christmas Feeling 1950 L5821
28. White Christmas 1954 with Danny Kaye, Peggy Lee 

Not recommended unless you are prepared to buy a whole CD for a (quite decent) copy of the radio track "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".
Amazon UK - 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Original-Recordings-Remastered-including/dp/B07ZWBD2TT/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1OAFKD48B8SZR&keywords=bing+crosby+christmas+cd&qid=1575649396&sprefix=bing+cr%2Caps%2C171&sr=8-2
 Amazon US - 
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Original-Recordings-Remastered-including/dp/B07ZWBD2TT/ref=sr_1_2?crid=97NX312RUB3W&keywords=bing+crosby+christmas+cd&qid=1575650936&sprefix=bing+crosby%2Caps%2C297&sr=8-2
 
 

 

11/12/2019 2:47 pm  #2


Re: New CD "The Christmas Album"

I posted a "review" on Amazon drawing attention to the errors. After a pause for moderation, it appeared, only to vanish fairly quickly. At the same time a five star ranking appeared but without any reviews.

So I tried again. This time I received a reply from Amazon saying that my review was unacceptable, and they sent a  copy of their lengthy "Community Guidelines" to justify this. They mystify me as I cannot see where I have digressed. Indeed I have seen strong epithets used by others in reviews which are far worse than anything I attempted. Any means of appeal, if they exist, are well hidden, so I've tried again.
.
 

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11/12/2019 8:04 pm  #3


Re: New CD "The Christmas Album"

Richard Baker wrote:

I posted a "review" on Amazon drawing attention to the errors. After a pause for moderation, it appeared, only to vanish fairly quickly. At the same time a five star ranking appeared but without any reviews.

So I tried again. This time I received a reply from Amazon saying that my review was unacceptable, and they sent a  copy of their lengthy "Community Guidelines" to justify this. They mystify me as I cannot see where I have digressed. Indeed I have seen strong epithets used by others in reviews which are far worse than anything I attempted. Any means of appeal, if they exist, are well hidden, so I've tried again.
.
 

I've had this happen to me on Amazon as well.

I posted a review of the Chris Crosby documentary, giving it one star, and pointed out all of the errors and inconsistency of the documentary, and my review was deleted.
 

 

11/12/2019 9:06 pm  #4


Re: New CD "The Christmas Album"

It would seem that if one has a negative opinion about a product, a negative review is allowed. But as soon as substaniated reasons for the negative opinion are given, the review gets rejected.

Reading the above, you will not be suprised to learn that I have written only two reviews in my life; one for a new camera which allowed me an extra five year garantee period, and the other one for Bing at Christmas, because Malcolm asked us. ;-)

 

12/12/2019 3:39 am  #5


Re: New CD "The Christmas Album"

Thank you Richard for that very informative report of the "new" Bing Christmas CD.  I had seen this on Amazon too when I searched for the truly new CD with the Orch. backing.  I think this phony new CD is very mis-leading and done purposely so.  I think it's meant to fool the average purchaser who knows not to make him believe he's getting the new Orchestrated  CD when he's actually getting just  another greatest Christmas Bing hits collection.   To anyone who's never bought a Bing Christmas CD before this phony CD would be nice to anyone else it's a deliberate rip-off of the real new orch. CD.   This phony CD's purpose seems to be to fool those looking to buy the real new orchestrated Christmas CD.   Even the CD covers are very very similar.  

But I was interested in it as I was left wondering just what was meant by all their claims.   I didn't think though that they even got the song listing wrong.  Now that's pretty bad and slip-shod.  

Oh, and I have posted many reviews on Amazon in the past and they were never censored BUT I have not posted anything recently.  They could have changed their policy and are now censoring people.  Considering the owner of Amazon I am not in the least bit surprised.  Libs are the biggest censors of the truth on the planet.

Last edited by Archiefit (12/12/2019 3:43 am)

 

12/12/2019 2:46 pm  #6


Re: New CD "The Christmas Album"

Try, try, and try again. Amazon now posted my third go, not all that different in substance from the other two.
But I'll hold on to "Yippees" until I know it has not vanished.

I don't know I'd characterise the CD as "Phony" though, Archiefit,  The underlying selection of songs is good and they do say they are the original recordings. That might be intended as a spoiler for "Bing at Christmas" but if so the publishers were very quick off the mark. They have just fed the recordings through some cleaning and enhancement process, which I personally don't think does anything positive.

My major criticism is of the silly errors and the over - inflated claims about "Collector's Edition". Quite what would justify such a  claim for a CD I refrain from being too dogmatic about, but comprehensive, informed and accurate notes would be one of my primary demands.

Archiefit, you referred somewhere to the ownership of YouTube. I believe they are part of the Google empire.  

 

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