Trim the tree, pour the eggnog and wrap gifts with Elvis Presley as the holiday season approaches.
Presley’s fourth album, “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” was released in October of 1957. The album was successful from the start, remaining No. 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Charts for four weeks, making $9 million in sales. Over 50 years later, Presley still puts rock ‘n’ roll lovers in the spirit of Christmas.
Traditional Christmas favorites like the 1948 classic “Blue Christmas,” are included on the CD. The song includes Presley’s classic blues voice and a musical accompaniment of guitars and drums. A combination of blues and country, the song has told a story repeatedly by artists such as the Beach Boys and Billy Idol. “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you/ I’ll be so blue just thinking about you/ decorations of red on a green Christmas tree/ won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me.”
Many of the classic Christmas songs are slow and soft tunes such as “White Christmas,” which includes a piano introduction and back up vocals, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” another hit tune redone by artists like Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.
Religious picks like “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” give off a more somber, reflective tone. These tunes are both from the 1800s and are easily recognized. Both tunes have a vibe more appropriate for a church service.
One of the most enjoyable songs on the album is “Here Comes Santa Claus,” which has strong back up vocals and a heavy piano sound. Lyrics like, “Bells are ringin’, children singin’/ All is merry and bright/Hang your stockings and say your prayers/ ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight,” express the child-like imagination of this time of year.
The flamboyant 1950s star also includes two songs that he was commissioned to play, “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” and “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me.” Though he did not write either of these songs, Presley makes them his own.
In “Santa Claus Is Back In Town,” Presley’s bluesy vocals are displayed alongside an early rock ‘n’ roll sound. “Well, its Christmas time pretty baby/and the snow is falling on the ground,” he sings with a bluesy tone.
“Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me,” has a similar early rock sound with a steady rhythm, Presley on lead vocals and strong percussion and backing vocals, making it one of the most upbeat tracks on the album.
Presley popularized the trend of mainstream artists covering traditional Christmas songs with this album. This season, trade in your Amy Grant and Kenny G. for the King.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sara Juliet Fruman at Sara.firstname.lastname@example.org.