On the fifteenth day of highlighting lesser known Christmas songs (or versions of classics I gravitate to each year), my choice of song is “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by the Carpenters. Being a child of the 70s, there are few voices from that era (or any era for that matter) that can convey both the beauty and hope of Christmas, while also delivering the longing and sadness of being apart from those you love (2020 anyone?). This track is lifted from 1978’s “Christmas Portrait” which is as close to a classic Christmas album as you can get. It also features the annual staple “Merry Christmas, Darling”. The album is the 23rd most popular holiday release in the U.S.
Siblings Richard and Karen formed The Carpenters in 1965 and, shortly after signing with A&M Records, began an amazing streak of hits that include “(They Long to Be) Close to You”, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Yesterday Once More”, “Top of the World”, “Sing”, “Please Mr. Postman”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “Superstar”, “Goodbye to Love”, and “Hurting Each Other”.
Rolling Stone ranked The Carpenters at #10 on its list of the 20 greatest duos of all time. They are also 3-time Grammy award winners (including for Best New Artist in 1971). The combination of Richard’s genius in the studio and the versatility, melancholy and effortlessness of Karen’s gorgeous alto was (and still is) a force to be reckoned with. The duo sold over 90 million records during their career.
In February of 1983, Karen Carpenter died from heart failure due to her ongoing battle with anorexia. The Carpenters final studio album was “Made in America” in 1981, which featured the top-ten hit “Touch Me When We’re Dancing”.
If you’d like to listen to the playlist as it’s created this month, preview the tracks and then log into Spotify to listen!
Other Moteventurous Christmas Songs from this artist:
- MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING
- SLEIGH RIDE
- CHRISTMAS WALTZ
- HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
- I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
As always, if there is a holiday song you want me to hear and/or highlight here, add it in the comments below. Enjoy your day!