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Review: 'Jackie Wilson'
'Merry Christmas From Jackie Wilson'   

-  Label: 'Org Music'
-  Genre: 'Sixties' -  Release Date: '20.11.20.'

Our Rating:
It's stocking filler time once more and as a present for your older friends and relatives, you could make anyone who collects Christmas albums very happy, by buying the Vinyl reissue of Merry Christmas From Jackie Wilson available for the first time in decades, and originally released in 1963, this time it's on Red Vinyl from Barnes and Noble or Black vinyl everywhere else.

From the opening Silent Night we are gathered at a very plush Carol service for Christmas drinks and mince pies as this beautiful arrangement of this classic unfolds with a heavenly choir and Jackie's near perfect diction and that wondrous voice making everyone want to have some Eggnog or Gluhwein.

This version of White Christmas is almost as much a monument as Bing Crosby's version, Jackie croons it beautifully with the band playing with wonderful restraint as the strings whirl up the gentlest of snow-storms to cuddle up together from.
O Holy Night almost sounds like he is standing in a cathedral singing it as the soloist with accompaniment of Harp and choir this is heavenly if you like the most traditional of Christmas Carols.

The First Noel carries on in the style you'd expect from this is the sort of album, you'll be tempted to sing along too until you realize you can't come close to how great Jackie's vocals are and have to sit and marvel at it all. This also has a spoken word passages telling the story of Jesus in Bethlehem before Jackie's voice starts to soar again on the chorus.

Deck The Halls is the first really jaunty song on the album where Jackie seems to be leading the choir in a good old sing song and expects us to all sing with him as the sleigh bell backing drives it along in what is now a very old fashioned way and would also have seemed a bit cheesy even back in 1963.

Silver Bells is crooned as if he wants to be the Bing Crosby of soul, this is as conservative an arrangement as you can imagine and in many ways all the better for it as you know this was made for all the family.

The B-side opens with Joy To The World that keeps us at a very classy carol service in a great church or cathedral as Jackie's voice rises so the choir seem to go even higher trying to be touched by that Joy.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear has lush strings and piano for Jackie to make sure we know just how much he wants to hear the Angels sing as the choir do their angelic best behind him.

O Come All Ye Faithful sounds very much like Harry Secombe's version of this perennial as he sings it in the same gorgeous tenor range for most of the song.

I'll be Home For Christmas has none of the despair of the journey home modern TV shows normally have, no disasters for Jackie just a super smooth journey and delivery and he'll be home for all the celebrations.

O Little Town Of Bethlehem was a far more peaceful place in 1963 compared to recent years and this is just a serene and beautiful rendition with chiming bells and angelic choir backed with the gentlest of strings.

The album closes with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen that sounds like it's been played on a celeste or Virginal as Jackie makes sure we all share his tidings of comfort and Joy at how wonderful this album sounds perfect to be heard with your parents or grandparents.

Find out more and order it on Red vinyl here https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/merry-christmas-from-jackie-wilson-jackie-wilson/35239280?ean=0711574899685 and on Black Vinyl here https://orgmusic.merchnow.com/products/v2/319475/merry-christmas-from-jackie-wilson
  author: simonovitch

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