The busy members of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are decking the halls with boughs of holly for their latest, all-star release. Christmas with The Stars and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, due as a digital-only title in the U.S. on Friday, November 29, brings the acclaimed orchestra together with some of the biggest names in the classic Columbia and RCA Victor constellations for newly-arranged symphonic versions of Christmas favorites. Featured artists include Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Eartha Kitt, Harry Belafonte, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, and Andy Williams.
Christmas with the Stars has been conducted by Steve Sidwell, produced by Don Reedman and Nick Patrick, and recorded at Abbey Road's Studio 2. The release follows previous RPO successes on Legacy including Elvis Presley's If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2015), The Wonder Of You: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2016), and Christmas with Elvis and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2017) as well as a pair of releases from Roy Orbison: A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2017) and Unchained Melodies: Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2018).
The 13-song compilation will feature classic vocals melded to new, lavish orchestral arrangements of all-time Christmas standards such as Andy Williams' 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (the only possible opening track), Presley's "Blue Christmas" and "Silent Night," Orbison's "Pretty Paper," Como's "It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas," Kitt's "Santa Baby," Day's "I'll Be Home for Christmas," Bennett's "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Mathis' chart-topping "When a Child Is Born," and more.
The press release quotes producer Nick Patrick: "Christmas music conjures up such warm emotions surrounded by family, friends and children. The music is so evocative of the time of year when you have artists such as Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, the wonderful Doris Day and of course the incomparable Eartha Kitt purring her way through the definitive version of 'Santa Baby'! Christmas music just doesn't get much better. It's been such fun working on these amazing songs which are so full of joy and Christmas spirit." Don Reedman adds, "[We] are thrilled to be able to celebrate this very special occasion with our latest collaboration of the all-time greatest stars performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."
Christmas with the Stars and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra arrives on November 29 from Legacy. It's currently a digital-only release for the U.S. market. (A CD appears to be available for pre-order in the U.K. at the link below.) You'll find the track listing and Amazon links below!
- It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
- It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Doris Day
- When a Child is Born - Johnny Mathis
- Mary's Boy Child - Harry Belafonte
- The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Tony Bennett
- Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
- Pretty Paper - Roy Orbison
- Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
- White Christmas - Dean Martin
- I'll Be Home for Christmas - Doris Day
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Tony Bennett
- Silent Night - Elvis Presley