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Classic Album Review

Retro Review: A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack

ALBUM: “A Charlie Brown Christmas TV Soundtrack” by Vince Guaraldi Trio

RELEASE YEAR: 1965

LABEL: Concord Music Group

RATING: 100000/10

BEST TRACKS: “Linus and Lucy,” “Christmas Time Is Here” and “Skating”

FCC: Clean

With the holiday season finally upon us, I thought I’d highlight the best wintertime song collection ever made. There exists no cozier Christmas album than Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Many of my own childhood Christmases were spent decorating the tree while “My Little Drum” played in the background. It makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a nice book, and a cup of hot tea.

Vince Guaraldi, a pianist from San Francisco, along with bassist Fred Marshall and drummer Jerry Granelli captured the hearts of audiences far and wide with their jazz ensemble for the beloved Peanuts movie. While many of the songs are remakes of Christmas classics, like “O Tannenbaum” and “Christmas Time is Here,” they included original tracks too; the lighthearted grooves of “Linus and Lucy” and “Skating” reveal the tender feelings that the holidays can bring. I love how he used a children’s choir in many of the songs to capture the childlike wonder of Christmastime.

What makes this album special is how accurately it reflects the mixed emotions that surround Christmastime. I thought this was fantastic considering how Charlie Brown, the unfortunate, old soul that he is, struggles with “the Christmas Spirit” throughout the whole movie. Each song holds both the joy of childhood holiday memories and the sadness that can accompany Christmas in adulthood. It reaches across age boundaries and is still enjoyed today, 55 years later.

Need a bit of holiday cheer and cozy comfort? Give it a listen!

– DJ Butter

By DJ Butter

A little Butter makes everything better. Part-time WKNC content manager and graphic designer, full-time sludgy surf rock funk master metalhead. Get in touch with ya suggestions n' such at content@wknc.org.