Having covered most of the holiday standards and favorites on 1998's "The Christmas Album" (later re-released as "What's It Gonna Be Santa?" with additional material), Chicago selected some slightly lesser known tunes for this set. Christmas music maniacs are unlikely to think of "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" or "I Saw Three Ships" as the "B" list of the Christmas canon (I mean, we could point the band to some really lesser known Christmas songs, couldn't we?), but compared to "White Christmas", "Silent Night" and most of the rest of their previous holiday CD, well, you can understand what they're saying there.
Chicago brought Phil Ramone on board to produce this one, they stuck with mostly mid and uptempo material, gave each song a Chicago makeover, and brought in some big name guests to boot--Dolly Parton, America, Steve Cropper. And to judge from the samples...well, you can hear for yourself...the album sounds great. Me, I'm immediately in love with "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays". This is about as secular a Christmas album as you're likely to see and it sounds like "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" is pretty much the only song to get the full ballad treatment here. But there's holiday sentiment to spare, fresh as pine tree arrangements, and that great horn driven sound Chicago does better than anyone on the planet.
You can pre-order "O Christmas Three", now and for a limited time, direct from the band for $9.99, for which price you'll get both the physical CD and a digital copy. Or sign up at Amazon to be notified when the album becomes available for pre-order there.
2. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
3. I Saw Three Ships (featuring America)
4. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
5. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
6. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
7. I'll Be Home For Christmas
8. On The Last Night Of The Year
9. Merry Christmas Darling (featuring BeBe Winans)
10. Rockin' And Rollin' On Christmas Day (featuring Steve Cropper)
11. My Favorite Things
12. O Christmas Tree
13. Jingle Bells
14. Here Comes Santa Claus/Joy To The World