With this collection, Capitol has come up with something that has long been missing, a collection of essentially every Christmas recording done by a band that was born to sing this type of music. The CD starts out with the complete 1964 sessions for the Beach Boys Christmas album, along with several outtakes and alternate mixes, one of the most interesting being the original 45 mix of the seasonal hit "Little St. Nick," which, with its added celeste, sleigh bells and glockenspiel, is alone worth the price of the CD. In addition to that, this set contains seven tracks from the previously unreleased 1977 Christmas album, that, while not as balanced as the 1964 record, indeed have their charm. One track, Brian Wilson's "Winter Symphony," was initially not intended for the Christmas album (it was originally recorded in 1975-6), but was completed by the group. It is particularly interesting because of the strange dichotomy between the sadness of the music and the pleasant lyric, and it provides another insight to Brian Wilson's creative muse during the 1970s. Several public service announcements and interviews close the disc out. It's a holiday slam-dunk.
AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald
feat: Dennis Wilson
feat: Brian Wilson