As we inch “Oh So Close” to December, we’re going to give you a Christmas Album. This is one that caught me a little by surprise when it showed up. Let’s get a little more specific and call it a pleasant surprise.
Inspired by friends like James Taylor that have released Christmas albums, Carole decided to give it a try as well. She looked no further than her daughter Louise Goffin for production help. According to Carole: “Then I don’t have to worry about it, or think about, Louise can take the reins and just do it.” Make sure you give those reins back to Santa Louise. He’ll need them soon.
Louise looked though tons of songs on iTunes to find the right tunes. One song she chose was “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. She said that she knew that it really wasn’t exactly a Christmas song, but it has what could be looked at as a storyline that could easily fit into a Christmas theme. It worked.
Carole did not write anything for this album. That’s the first time you can say that about one of her releases. She’s in the process of writing a book, so as we mentioned, she you left everything up to her daughter, but with a maybe a little help from Mom.
Carole named a few that she wanted to include. They’re amongst the best as well, “Sleigh Ride” will make you feel 12 all over again. “Carol of the Bells” will amaze you by the harmonies and arrangement.
Then Louise went song hunting.
“Every day Will Be Like a Holiday” (a Booker T. Jones song) is one that Louise added. It has a wonderful old Stax feeling to it and while not traditional, fits well.
“This Christmas” (Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor) is another that includes another fantastic arrangement.
One of my favorites here is nothing like what I remember a Christmas song to sound like. I’m referring to “Christmas in Paradise.” This song filled Carole’s need to include something with a Latino feel to it. I sometimes forget that people also celebrate the holiday where it’s warm and sunny. You’ll like this one. It was written specifically for this album by Grammy winning songwriting team of George Noriega and Jodi Marr along with Louise.
If you’re looking for tradition fare, you get some of that as well. Besides “Sleigh Ride” there’s “Have Your Self a Merry Little Christmas” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.”
The thing that I really love about this album though is quite simple, it a Carole King album. Yes, she didn’t write anything as we mentioned, but it has that Carole King “feel” to it. That voice we know, those arrangements that we love. That may be simplifying it a bit but if you’re a fan you know what I mean.
If your looking for an album that’s 100% traditional then this isn’t what you’re looking for, but if you want something that’s much, much more than background music while you trim- a- tree or wrap packages, then this is for you. It’s a real Carole King album.
— Larry Carta
- “My Favorite Things” (Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers)
- “Carol of the Bells” (Mykola Leontovych)
- “Sleigh Ride” (Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Paris)
- “Christmas Paradise” (Louise Goffin, George Noriega and Jodi Marr)
- “Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday” (William Bell and Booker T. Jones)
- “Chanukah Prayer” (Traditional, Arrangement by Louise Goffin and Lee Curreri)
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin)
- “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” (Irving Berlin)
- “Christmas in the Air” (Louise Goffin and Jodi Marr)
- “Do You Hear What I Hear” (Gloria Shayne and Noel Regney)
- “This Christmas” (Donny Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor)
- “New Year’s Day” (Louise Goffin and Guy Chambers)
- Carole King – Piano, Vocals
- Joel Alpers – Drums
- Chuck Berghofer – Bass
- Luis Conte – Percussion
- Lee Curreri – Bass, Flugelhorn, Keyboards, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet
- Bob Glaub – Bass
- Louise Goffin – Percussion, Piano, Vocals
- Kevin Saunders Hayes -Bass
- Dillon Kondor – Guitar, Soloist
- Robbie Kondor – Keyboards, Piano
- Danny Kortchmar – Guitar
- Russell Kunkel – Drums
- Nick Lane – Trombone
- Lou Marini – Flute
- Dean Parks – Guitar, Soloist, Tres
- Ramón Stagnaro – Guitar
- Lee Thornburg – Trumpet
- Patrick Warren – Keyboards
- Official Carole King Website
- See our piece on the great Tapestry album.
- See more of our features on Christmas albums.
Listen to it in its entirety below.