On October 2, 1950, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz debuted Peanuts in seven newspapers, introducing the world in that first strip’s four panels to Charlie Brown and his friends Shermy and Patty. Peanuts and its memorable cast of characters went on to inspire television specials, motion pictures, stage musicals, and countless merchandise items as well as numerous albums. This summer, Craft Recordings will celebrate 70 years of Peanuts with two vinyl reissues. On July 24, the label will release a picture disc of 2015’s Peanuts Greatest Hits with Snoopy and Woodstock emblazoned on the vinyl. (A 2016 picture disc release had Charlie Brown and Lucy’s faces instead, and a standard black vinyl edition is still available, too.) The next month, on August 21, Craft will debut the 2010 collection Peanuts Portraits: The Classic Character Themes on vinyl. Both releases feature the timeless and indelible music of late composer-pianist Vince Guaraldi.
Limited to 2,500 individually numbered units, the Peanuts Greatest Hits picture disc culls its 12 tracks from Peanuts‘ perennial television specials including Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy,” “Great Pumpkin Waltz,” and “Christmas Time Is Here,” as well as relatively lesser-known compositions like the Woodstock ode “Little Birdie” featuring Guaraldi on sung vocals, as well. The compilation was originally issued on CD in 2015.
Over its eleven tracks, Peanuts Portraits portrays each character from the strip in music. Beginning with “Linus and Lucy,” it then presents such musical portraits as “Sally’s Blues,” “Peppermint Patty,” “Frieda (With Naturally Curly Hair),” “Schroeder” (in an alternate take),” and “Joe Cool,” an ode to Snoopy’s hip alter ego. In addition to the Guaraldi compositions – the above five plus four more – the set features two tracks recorded in the 1990s by pianist George Winston: his take on “Linus and Lucy” plus another portrait of a Snoopy persona, “The Masked Marvel.” A total of eight tracks make their vinyl debuts here. Peanuts Portraits will be released to general retail in a black vinyl edition, while Vinyl Me Please will offer an exclusive version of the album pressed on 180-gram red vinyl.
The catchy, jazz-inflected songs on Peanuts Greatest Hits and Peanuts Portraits instantly conjure up Schulz’s cherished characters, whether from his original strip (which continues to run today in reprints; he drew the last original strip in 2000, the year of his death) or the beloved television specials from producer Lee Mendelson, director Bill Melendez, and their collaborators. Look for Peanuts Greatest Hits on July 24 and Peanuts Portraits on August 21, both from Craft Recordings.
- Linus And Lucy
- Charlie Brown Theme
- Baseball Theme
- Oh, Good Grief
- Happiness Is
- Little Birdie
- Great Pumpkin Waltz
- Thanksgiving Theme
- Christmas Is Coming
- Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
- Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
Vince Guaraldi and George Winston, Peanuts Portraits (Fantasy FAN 32033, 2010 – reissued Craft Recordings, 2020)
- Linus And Lucy
- Sally’s Blues
- Blue Charlie Brown (Version # 2)
- Peppermint Patty
- Charlie’s Blues (Variation)
- Joe Cool
- Frieda (With The Naturally Curly Hair) (Alternate)
- Schroeder (Alternate)
- Little Birdie
- Masked Marvel (George Winston)
- Linus And Lucy (George Winston)