Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby Sings Christmas Songs

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The folks at MCA essentially fused together one half of White Christmas and one half of That Christmas Feeling to create Bing Crosby Sings Christmas Songs. Not a bad recipe for success, except that here they elected to "restore" the songs to the original mono masters from Decca. At times, especially on the White Christmas selections, "remanded" seems like the better word. While tape hiss and saturated sound levels have a certain charm on vinyl, the original defects come through too clearly on compact disc. Of course, dismissing this disc for occasionally testing the rarefied ears of the digital age would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yuletide classics "White Christmas," "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "The Christmas Song" do their parts to smooth over an otherwise bumpy ride. Generally, the selections from That Christmas Feeling have aged better, both for their improved sonic presence and more contemporary arrangements. By comparison, the recordings of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Faith of Our Fathers" feel like poorly preserved artifacts. Listeners are less apt to be critical of this disc's shortcomings when they're in the holiday spirit, but the fact remains that there are better Bing Crosby Christmas records to choose from. The disc ends, oddly enough, with a 1940 recording of Bing, Connee Boswell, Decca founder Jack Kapp, and others wishing Decca employees a "happy" Christmas.

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