Digitally Remastered Double CD Collection featuring 1978's 'christmas Portrait' Backed with 1984's 'An Old-Fashioned Christmas'. CHRISTMAS COLLECTION was released first worldwide in 1996 but took longer to get a release in the US. It combined both Christmas albums, in their entirety, and furthermore featured a near-total-remix of the CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT. “Merry Christmas Darling” was featured in its original album mix from 1978.
An Old-Fashioned Christmas is a Christmas album from The Carpenters, released in 1984 after the death of singer/drummer Karen Carpenter. The album project had its genesis in several unused tracks from the Carpenters' previous Christmas album, 1978's Christmas Portrait. Richard Carpenter took these tracks and recorded new material around them, and this album was the end result. The album (in its original LP and cassette form) includes the slow version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (a faster version appeared on the Christmas Portrait album).(wikipedia)
The Carpenters were an American vocal and instrumental duo consisting of siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter. Producing a distinctively soft musical style, they became among the best-selling music artists of all time. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 11 albums, 31 singles, five television specials, and a short-lived television series. Their career ended in 1983 by Karen's death from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia. Extensive news coverage surrounding the circumstances of her death increased public awareness of eating disorders.
The Essential Collection: 1965–1997 is a box-set compilation album from The Carpenters that, with the exception of a few track changes, is essentially the same as the 1991 From the Top set. Coming in at four discs and 73 songs, this album is one of the biggest of all Carpenters compilation sets. The songs from this box set are everything from the Richard Carpenter Trio recordings from 1965 to their biggest hits in the early 1970s to the last song ever recorded by the Carpenters, “Now”.
Volume two of Collectables' Ultimate Christmas Album gathers more classic pop and rock holiday tunes, including the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick," Gene Autry's "Here Comes Santa Claus," and Diana Ross & the Supremes' "White Christmas." Most of this volume's best-known tracks are by traditional pop crooners, such as Dean Martin's "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," Bing Crosby's "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," and Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas." However, less-familiar tracks like the Echelons' "A Christmas Long Ago (Jingle Jingle)," Augie Rios' "Donde Esta Santa Claus," and Barry Gordon's "Nuttin' for Christmas" prevent the collection from being too predictable. It's not exactly a straightforward holiday-hits compilation, but The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 2 balances enough standards and obscure tunes to make it a unique collection.
This was the first compilation of Carpenters material, occurring during the duo’s career and released during a period of intense concert-performing rather than producing a new studio album. In spite of that, this 1973 album presented fans with new ways to hear the old songs, starting with an uncredited overture before the first song, and including a re-recorded version of their first hit along with segues to link several more songs. The result was a very listenable album rather than just a collection of tracks.
2002’s ESSENTIAL COLLECTION is basically an updated, new and improved version of FROM THE TOP. After a decade in the marketplace, Universal felt it could better the Carpenters box set, so Richard was asked to re-compile it, this time making sure that all of the hits were included – one of the weaknesses of FROM THE TOP. Richard added a couple of rarities to it as well – the Karen/Ella Medley, which hadn’t yet been issued in the States, and a Japanese Morinaga High Crown Chocolate commercial that had been an extra on a DVD release. ESSENTIAL COLLECTION marks the first appearance of a minor change to the album mix of “Solitaire” as a few mouth/saliva sounds are removed to make Karen’s vocal track sound smoother.