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Burl Ives

Best of Burl Ives: 20th Century Masters/The Christmas Collection [Remastered]

Format: CD   Release Date: 09/23/2003
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This edition in Universal's discount-priced compilation series 20th Century Masters/The Christmas Collection is actually a re-titled reissue of the 1999 collection The Very Best of Burl Ives Christmas. That album, in turn, was drawn from several previous Ives albums, the 1952 set Christmas Day in the Morning, Christmas Eve (1956), Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (1965), and the TV soundtrack Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1966). Ives came to be closely associated with Christmas when he served as narrator for the animated TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964 and scored a hit with the then-newly written "A Holly Jolly Christmas." But his earlier seasonal recordings had been of a more folk-ish and traditional cast, particularly on the Christmas Eve LP. Appropriately, his Have a Holly Jolly Christmas LP contained cheerier, more pop-oriented fare, and by combining four tracks from the former and seven from the latter with a few other selections, compiler Laura Graven achieves a good blend of different kinds of material. Ives' appealing tenor is what holds it together, however, as he performs the songs with warmth and enthusiasm. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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