Alvin & the Chipmunks

Chipmunks Christmas

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This mid-priced title draws upon the two volumes of Christmas with the Chipmunks, which were issued in the early '60s and quickly became seasonal traditions for kids of all ages, although in the wake of Beatlemania many thought that the Chipmunks were a clever rodent-related rip on the Fab Four. In reality, the name was actually suggested by the children of multimedia mastermind Ross Bagdasarian. In fact, the moniker dated back to his 1958 hit novelty platter, "Witch Doctor." Although fictitious, the names of the primary characters, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, were a nod to Liberty Records higher-ups Al Bennett (Alvin) and Si Waronker (Simon) as well as the label's sound engineer, Ted Keep (Theodore). These three typical adolescent vermin were cared for by the bachelor/father human personality named Dave Seville. The concept even spawned a weekly prime-time animated television program called The Alvin Show, which aired from October 14, 1961, through September 12, 1962, on CBS-TV. In terms of musicality, the vari-speed manipulated recording may seem a tad trite (or exceedingly nerve-grating) to modern listeners. However, what better way to introduce the joys of traditional holiday music than with an infectiously funny and at times simply silly trio of highly identifiable icons, who are also a child's emotional and psychological peers. A cursory glance at the track listing reveals a host of familiar favorites such as "Deck the Halls," "Up on the House-Top," "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)," and Bagdasarian's "Wonderful Day," as well as the one that started it all, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)."

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