LP A Christmas Together
Songs from A Christmas Together
Released 1979
Format LP
Label RCA Records
Cat no. AQL1-3451
Xmastogether-full lp over

Full outside cover art from the original LP release.

Xmastogether-inside gatefold

Interior art from the original LP release.

A Christmas Together is an album of Christmas music by John Denver and the Muppets released in October of 1979.[1][2]

Recording for the album began in Britain on June 29, 1979.[3] Some of the songs, with alterations, were used in the TV special of the same name which was taped five months later in November.[4]

The original album reached #26 on Billboard’s Top LPs and Tapes chart in early 1980, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. It also spawned a 45rpm single with a cover taken from the same photo shoot.

Track listing

Side One

  1. The Twelve Days of Christmas - Cast
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Rowlf the Dog and John
  3. The Peace Carol - John, Scooter and the Cast
  4. Christmas is Coming - Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Scooter and Robin the Frog
  5. A Baby Just Like You - John
  6. Deck the Halls - Cast
  7. When the River Meets the Sea - Robin and John with the Cast

Side Two

  1. Little Saint Nick - Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
  2. Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913 - John
  3. The Christmas Wish - Kermit the Frog
  4. Medley: Alfie the Christmas Tree / Carol for a Christmas Tree / It's in Every One of Us - Cast
  5. Silent Night, Holy Night - Cast
  6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Cast

Reviews

Writing for the New York Daily News, Bill Carlton predicted that A Christmas Together would become "the Christmas album, guaranteed to be played and displayed everywhere. It should make your Christmas a whole lot merrier, in the special way that Alvin and the Chipmunks did 20 years ago. Even a Scrooge would open his heart to this music." Carlton called the album a "lavish production" and made note to "congratulate Michael K. Frith for his splendid album art".[5]

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Daily Tar Heel, Brad Kutrow wrote his review under the guise of a self-professed "Muppet fan" and took care to point out vocal and instrumental performances of the Muppet characters with special attention to Rowlf's "growly voice", Janice's "strong lead guitar", and Animal's drums "providing a driving rhythm". Kutrow supposes that the album "will surely join Bing, Perry, Frank, and Elvis on holiday turntables everywhere" and called the combination of Denver and the Muppets "hard to beat" as a "good pre-Christmas present for any under-10 type or any Muppet fan" since "the two are often difficult to tell apart, particularly around Yuletide."[6]

Release History

Xmastogether-tradead

Promotional trade advertisement.

JD Note 1996 A Christmas Together

An added note from John Denver

Denver - actrec
  • 1979 - Released on LP, cassette and 8-track by RCA Records. Some early LP releases are numbered AFL1-3451 on the label and sleeve, with a sticker pasted on the spine with AQL1-3451. The sleeve includes a fold-out photograph of sheet music with art by Michael Frith atop a brown grand piano at which Rowlf was sitting, and a full group photo spanning across the front and back covers.
  • 1990 - Rereleased on CD and cassette by Windstar Records. None of the original album art is reproduced. The cover photo is replaced with a similar photo to that used on the front half of the LP version, mostly likely from the same photoshoot. The back cover and inside fold-out are not included, and so far have not reappeared on any subsequent releases.
  • 1996 - Rereleased on CD and cassette by Laserlight Digital. This version includes an added note from John Denver.
  • 2000 - A cutout bin edition appears, omitting tracks A2, A7, and B1.
  • December 20, 2005 - Windstar Records released all 13 tracks of the album for digital download via the iTunes Store.
  • July 25, 2006 - A new "limited collectors edition" CD was released by Laserlight featuring remastered tracks of all 13 songs.
  • In 2011, Urban Outfitters offered an exclusive reissue of the LP in "Kermit-green vinyl". The original gatefold is included as well as a code to redeem the album as a digital download. [1] This album was also available on John Denver's official website, as well as other vinyl retailers.
  • In 2012, the album was reissued on LP again as a Record Store Day exclusive, once again on green vinyl, but with a slightly different back cover. A new corresponding issue on CD was also released to retailers.
  • In 2013, the album was reissued on vinyl yet again, as another Record Store Day exclusive, for the first time as a picture disc, in a clear plastic sleeve. The pictures on the disc are the front and back covers of the album.
  • In 2017, Newbury Comics carried an exclusive red and white colored vinyl print.

The Muppet Performers

Credits

  • Producer: Milton Okun
  • Concept by: Jim Henson and John Denver
  • John Denver (vocals, 12 string-guitar), Hal Blaine (drums, percussion), James Burton (electric & acoustic guitars, dobro), Emory Gordy, Jr. (bass), Glen D. Hardin (keyboards), Jim Horn (reeds), Herb Pedersen (banjo, electric & acoustic guitars), Denny Brooks (acoustic guitar), Danny Wheetman (mandolin, harmonica)
  • Tracks arranged by: Hal Blaine, James Burton, Emory Gordy, Jr., Glen D. Hardin, Jim Horn, Herb Pedersen, Denny Brooks, Danny Wheetman, and John Denver
  • Orchestral arrangements: Lee Holdridge
  • Vocal arrangements & conductor: Ray Charles
  • Art direction and illustrations: Michael K. Frith
  • Photography: Nancy Moran, Donal Holway
  • Special thanks to: Calista Hendrickson, Kathryn Mullen, Martin Baker, Anne Gayler, and Barney Wyckoff (for tea & glee)
  • Recording engineer: Ed Barton
  • Assistant engineers: Ralph Osborn, Thad Blake, Andrew Clarke, Andy Todd, Randy Pipes
  • A&R coordination: Lynne Morse
  • Additional art coordination: Suzanna Kotnik

Other releases

International releases

Sources

  1. The Honolulu Advertiser October 12, 1979
  2. The San Francisco Examiner October 13, 1979
  3. Jim Henson's Red Book 6/29/1979 – ‘Begin recording Christmas Album with John Denver.’
  4. Jim Henson's Red Book 12/5/1979 – ‘San Diego Museum of Art – Muppet Exhibit. Air John Denver Christmas Special.’
  5. New York Daily News "Dever & Muppets a Yule team" by Bill Carlton, November 12, 1979
  6. Daily Tar Heel "John Denver teams up with the Muppets gang" by Brad Kutrow, December 6, 1979

See also