And as if I haven’t worked out enough already, I now have to shovel the driveway after lasts night dumping.
Elvis’ 1957 original Christmas album is one of his most inspired early outings and the first time he tackled anything resembling a thematic concept. Split evenly between rockers and bluesy numbers like ‘Santa Claus Is Back in Town‘, and ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me‘, perennials like ‘White Christmas‘, ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas‘, and ‘Silent Night‘, and straight-ahead gospel favorites like ‘I Believe‘, ‘Peace in the Valley‘ and ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord‘, the disc revealed a different side of the rocker for the first time on a public instead conditioned to expect something outrageous. One of the King’s shining moments, this is quite simply still one of the best holiday albums available.
However, not everybody thought so.
Want to know how revolutionary Elvis was in 50’s America? Irving Berlin, the author of ‘White Christmas‘, was so scandalized by Elvis’s 1957 version of the song that he tried to get it banned from radio. Sorry, Irv. Instead, ‘Elvis’ Christmas Album’ topped the Billboard charts for a month and went on to sell nearly 20 million copies in various editions. It’s a wonderful mix of lighthearted rock & roll, reverent versions of traditional favorites, and nods to his country and gospel roots. The classic, of course, is ‘Blue Christmas‘. But on every song, Elvis ingeniously adds a suggestive thrust to a lilywhite genre while slightly purifying his own bad-boy image by showing he could warm your hearth as well as roast your chestnuts.