Elvis - If Every Day Was Like Christmas
'If Every Day Was Like Christmas' is a 1994 compilation of
holiday songs recorded by Elvis Presley between 1957 and 1971. The
collection came complete with 4 previously unreleased recordings
and while they may have just been alternate takes on well known
Elvis Christmas tunes it is still exciting to hear anything new
from the man. 'If Every Day Was Like Christmas' has plenty of
rhythm and blues, gospel and Elvis in lullaby making mode. He may
not display his gift for uptempo rock 'n' roll that often but the
album does not suffer from its absence. On much of the album the
songs segue into each other, so it feels like Elvis himself is
sitting at the fireside with you engaging in a cosy singalong. The
majority of the tracks are covers but 'Santa Bring My Baby Back (To
Me)', the heavily blues oriented 'Santa Claus Is Back in Town' and
the title track are originals.
The compilation opens with the aforementioned title track and
oddly sounds sadder than the more obviously melancholy, 'Blue
Christmas' which follows it. 'Merry Christmas, Baby' is also sung
from a lonely bar stool in a quiet town with very few women. '
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees' turns out to a real heartbreaker
too, you can almost picture Presley's lips-a-quivering as he expels
the words. The mood is set by the lovelorn idealist who longs for
Christmas, but only if he can enjoy it with the love of his
By now you might have gathered that Elvis gets to sing the blues
quite a bit on 'If Every Day Was Like Christmas' so the jaunty
numbers like 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)'
offer welcome variation. He may record heartbreak like nobody else
but when Elvis decides to kick out the jams he is something to
behold. So it is hardly a surprise when 'Santa Bring My Baby Back
(To Me)' offers him the chance to display that impressive
Slowing things down again 'The Wonderful World of Christmas'
includes the loveliest of bell tolls, so realistic you can almost
feel the petals of snow quietly melting on your outstretched
tongue. It may stop short of 2 minutes but it has so much to
savour, including some Beach Boys like harmonies towards the end.
Things don't get more traditional than on 'On a Snowy Christmas
Night', as Elvis plays it straight and lets the lyrics do their job
of colouring in the Christmas scene. 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'
is equally unfussy and all the better for it. His voice is to the
forefront, and so strong you may well hang on his every word. Lucky
lady, whoever she was.
Of the more traditional standards 'O Come All Ye Faithful' is
treated with all of the respect it warrants and doesn't stray too
far from what you'd hear every 25th of December in churches around
the globe. In fact were it not included on an Elvis album you could
likely miss that he is singing at all, such is the choir of voices.
Other carols, like 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' are less elaborate
but no less affecting. On 'The First Noel' Elvis sings alone save
for the chorus where he is joined by the mixed choir (including an
impressive female soprano). The inevitable Christmas spoken message
is short and sweet but is followed by a faultless version of
'Silent Night' which closes out the album on a perfect note.
These songs were recorded in simpler times but one of Elvis'
festive offerings did ruffle some feathers. His version of 'White
Christmas' was the center of some controversy on its release in
1957. Irving Berlin, the song's composer, hated Elvis' version and
went to extreme lengths to denounce it, including ringing radio
stations throughout the US imploring them not to play it. All told,
Elvis's version does pale in comparison to Bing's but it is hardly
without merit. Seems Elvis had the last laugh, however, because the
album that song was originally included on, 'Elvis' Christmas
Album', is now officially ranked as the best selling Christmas
album of all time in the US (21 million and counting).
With a bumper 24 tracks 'If Every Day Was Like Christmas' has
enough to keep you busy for the whole 12 days (that's 2 tracks a
day). Listening to it is like being transported back to another
time when Christmas was Christmas, unencumbered by rampant
commercialism. For the most part the songs are restrained and
quiet, but add something special to the collection of tunes we
cherish every December. This album won't have you rocking around
the Christmas tree but is perfect for the comedown after all the
presents have been opened, the turkey has been devoured and the
only bottles are of the blue variety.
Elvis - If Every Day Was Like Christmas Christmas Videos