The Christmas All Over Again feature will showcase artists issuing their second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. Holiday album in 2017. Each post in the series will feature two albums: an older one and the latest one from 2017. The series is named in tribute to Tom Petty's contribution to A Very Special Christmas 2.
Christmas Album was the eleventh album in seven years (1962-1968) from Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with arrangements by Shorty Rogers. It topped the Christmas LP's section of Billboard's Best Bets For Christmas chart for 2 weeks upon its release in 1968 and has returned to Billboard's Christmas Albums chart several times throughout the years. My Texas Grandparents had this among their dozen or so Tijuana Brass albums - the only albums they owned, apparently - behind a door on the front of their giant stereo console. It is the only Holiday album I remember ever hearing in the half dozen or so Christmas Holidays we celebrated at their house and it is deeply ingrained in my brain. When my wife and I were first getting to know one another, I was overjoyed to find out that she was a fan of the album, having grown up listening to it as well. On one of our first Christmases together in the late Eighties, she bought Christmas Album on CD for me. It has slightly altered cover art, as seen below:
In the late Nineties, I came across a couple of albums that were obviously inspired by the success of Christmas Album. In 2013, I came across Patrick A. Reed's article A Totally Tijuana Christmas on Depth Of Field which features the albums I found as well as half a dozen others and bookmarked it, hoping to use it someday. (And now I have. Read a great article on Alpert's Christmas Album HERE.) Forty-nine years after the release of his first Holiday album, Herb Alpert returned sans Tijuana Brass with his second Holiday album in 2017 which was released way, way back at the end of September.
My desire for more Tijuana "Ameriachi" music was quickly dashed from the first track of the already Grammy-nominated The Christmas Wish, a medley of the two Christmas classics "Joy To The World" and "Silver Bells". It's one of three medleys among the first four tracks that take full advantage of the 45 piece orchestra, 32 member choir and 10 piece rhythm section that backed him during the album's recording sessions at Hollywood's legendary Capitol Studios. My first impression of the fifteen track album is that even though I'm barely just over fifty-years-old, The Christmas Wish is intended for Christmas music fans older than myself. That being said, the album sounds amazing, was recorded and produced well and Herb's horn game is in top form but will not get much more if any more plays here at The Hideaway. I don't even think my dearly departed Texas Grandparents would have cared for it much.
What do you think about Herb Alpert's The Christmas Wish? Let me know in the Comments.