Craft Recordings Gives Vinyl Collectors Two Classic Charlie Brown Soundtracks (ALBUM REVIEW)

For people of a certain age, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without viewing a of a Peanuts animated holiday classic. Released in 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas immediately captured the hearts of the viewing pubic and became an instant classic. A year later It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was released and gave everyone a Halloween treat to enjoy. Of course these specials wouldn’t be complete without the iconic music created by Vince Guaraldi. His scores to these animated specials have become so intertwined with the Peanuts gang that it is nigh impossible to think of Peanuts with out imagining songs like “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time Is Here”. Just in time for the holidays Craft Recordings has released limited reissues of the soundtracks for both It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

The reissue of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown comes as a collectable, orange, pumpkin-shaped vinyl. The soundtrack was the first to employ composer, arranger, and conductor John Scott Trotter, who had worked with Bing Crosby for thirty years. Trotter helped the Vince Guaraldi Trio to make use of musical cues to match what was happing on screen and made use of many short “reprises” of the songs throughout. Before It’s the Great Pumpkin the song “Linus and Lucy” was just another track from A Charlie Brown Christmas but through the use of it in the Halloween special with a series of reprises it became cemented as “the Peanuts theme”. Among the 17 tracks included on the soundtrack are the iconic “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” and “Graveyard Theme”. Many of the tracks include sound effects that served to bring the animation to life as well.

The most iconic Peanuts soundtrack is A Charlie Brown Christmas and it has been reissued many times over the years. For this year’s reissue Craft Recordings is pressing multiple limited editions, including; a snowball edition that looks like a splattered snowball, a glitter infused clear vinyl and black with a silver foil cover. Among the the twelve tracks on the soundtrack are some of the most recognizable Guaraldi compositions he has ever done. “Christmas Time Is Here” comes in both the instrumental and vocal versions and immediately brings to mind a downtrodden Charlie Brown walking down the street with his head held low. “Linus and Lucy” invokes the images of the entire Peanuts gang dancing on stage while Schroeder plays his piano. Other Christmas classics get the Guaraldi jazz treatment throughout. “O Tannenbaum,” “What Child Is This,” and “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” are all classic holiday tunes that are made a little better with the help of Guaraldi and the Peanuts gang.

Both releases are the perfect soundtrack for the holidays and essential buys for both vinyl collectors and Peanuts fanatics.

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