‘Tis the Season to Listen to an Unreleased Take of Charlie Brown’s ‘The Christmas Song’

Though we’re still getting ready for Halloween, for some people this time of year only means one thing: Christmas is around the corner. If you’re excited for the most wonderful time of the year then we’ve got a delightful treat for you. We’re celebrating the release of the definitive, bonus-filled edition of the A Charlie Brown Christmas album! And we’re doing so by gifting you with a previously unreleased take of Vince Guaraldi’s beloved “The Christmas Song.” 

Craft Recordings told us “The Christmas Song (Take 8)” (featured in the Deluxe Edition LP & CD and the Super Deluxe Edition boxset) was recorded on October 28, 1965. Notably, it’s the only solo piano take of the holiday classic and features an understated but beautiful performance by Guaraldi.

You can find out more about the release below.

For the first time ever, the perennial Christmas album by Vince Guaraldi (also the best-selling jazz album of all time) is being released by Craft Recordings as a Super Deluxe Edition (available as a 5-disc box set featuring 4-CDs + Blu-ray audio disc or as an 80-track digital collection – due out December 2 and October 14 respectively) and as a Deluxe Edition (available in 2-LP/digital formats on October 14 and on CD this November 4).

The Super Deluxe Edition offers fans an unparalleled deep dive into all aspects of A Charlie Brown Christmas, with 50 never-before-heard outtakes from five recording sessions ‒ placing listeners in the studio as Guaraldi and his bandmates work through their arrangements, crafting cues such as “Christmas Is Coming” and “Skating.” Super Deluxe also includes a new 2022 stereo mix of the original 1965 11-track album (remastered from the original 3-track and 2-track sources by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Blakemore) in standard, hi-resolution, and Atmos® audio formats.

The set comes housed in a 59-page hardcover book, which includes: new extensive liner notes by PEANUTS® historian Derrick Bang (author of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano), a special message from the family of Lee Mendelson (the late Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning producer and co-creator of the PEANUTS® animated specials), classic PEANUTS® animation from Charles Schulz, rare photos, and session notes.

For collectors of the perennial 1965 version of the album, the Gold Foil Edition(released September 16) is a one-time only vinyl pressing (available in a variety of colored variants at select retailers) featuring the traditionally white jacket wrapped in a gold foil, while the PEANUTS® characters and tree are embossed for a striking look.

An image from the release of Vince Guaraldi's Christmas Album shows multiple discs, LPs, and their covers for the classic album
Craft Recordings

“The wealth of music captured in these half-dozen sessions is—in a word—amazing,” marvels PEANUTS® historian Derrick Bang in his liner notes. “It’s also fascinating to observe how a given tune evolves, over the course of the six weeks these sessions took place, from September 17 through October 28, 1965…. Along the way, you’ll hear all manner of false starts, initially terrific takes that collapse when Guaraldi fluffs a few notes, and outré experiments that sound almost nothing like what we know today.” He continues, “Consider this a ringside seat—a place of honor, watching and listening from the recording engineer’s booth—as the individual songs for this historic album were fine-tuned and ultimately laid down.”

It’s an incredibly exciting release will delight Peanuts fans of all ages. And will also charm Christmas music aficionados. We cannot wait!

You’ll be able to purchase both versions digitally on October 14, along with the physical copy of the two disc LP. Deluxe Edition. Physical releases for the 5-disc box set version of Super Deluxe Edition and the CD version of Deluxe Edition will follow on December and November 4 respectively.

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