Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Elvis Presley - Elvis' Christmas Album (US 1957)

20 December 2014

Elvis Presley - Elvis' Christmas Album (US 1957)

"Elvis' Christmas Album" is the fourth studio album and first Christmas album by "Elvis Presley" on RCA Victor, "LOC 1035", a deluxe limited edition, released in October 1957, and recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. It has been reissued in numerous different formats since its first release. It spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and was the first of two Christmas-themed albums Presley would record, the other being "Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas", released in 1971. The publication Music Vendor listed Elvis' Christmas Album on their singles charts for two weeks in December 1957 – January 1958, with a peak position of #49.

The original 1957 LP consisted of eight Christmas songs, and four gospel songs which had been previously released on the EP Peace in the Valley, catalogue EPA 4054, issued March 1957, peaking at number three on the Pop albums chart and at number 39 on the singles chart.
The two album sides divided into a program of secular Christmas songs on side one, with two traditional Christmas carols and the gospel numbers on side two. Those included two spirituals by innovator "Thomas A. Dorsey", "Peace in the Valley" and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord". While most of the songs selected were traditional Christmas fare, such as "White Christmas" and "Silent Night", two new songs by regular suppliers of material for Presley were commissioned. One was "Santa Bring My Baby Back (to Me)" and the other (selected by Elvis to open the album), was a Blues-based Rock and roll number, "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", written by "Jerry Leiber" and "Mike Stoller". This writer/producer team was responsible for some of 1950s rhythm and blues and Rock and roll's most finely-honed satire in their work with "The Coasters", as well as penning "Hound Dog" for "Willie Mae Thornton" and providing Elvis with some of his biggest hits, including "Jailhouse Rock" and "Don't".