Harry Belafonte

To Wish You a Merry Christmas

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Considering Belafonte's previous talent for breathing life into well-worn folk standards, this album is a disappointment. As a rule, Christmas albums during this period were little more than assembly line productions of the same old holiday tunes with few, if any, original songs and this one is no exception (how many versions of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" can you listen to?). The album sold poorly, even at a time when every Belafonte album hit the top 10. It was repackaged in 1962 with a more attractive cover (the photogenic Belafonte wasn't even on the front of the 1958 album!) and that release did better.

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