20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection

by: Brenda Lee

This edition in Universal's discount-priced compilation series Best of Brenda Lee: The 20th Masters Christmas Collection is actually a re-titled reissue of the 1999 collection Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree: The Decca Christmas Recordings. It contains all of the seasonal music Brenda Lee recorded for Decca Records between 1956 and 1965. Included is her initial Christmas single "Christy Christmas"/"I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus," along with the 1958 45 rpm "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"/"Papa Noel," the A-side of which finally became a gold-selling hit in 1960; the complete contents of Lee's 1964 LP Merry Christmas from Brenda Lee; and three songs, "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells," and "Silent Night," recorded in 1965 and included as bonus tracks on Japanese copies of the LP, but not released in the U.S. until 1999. The selections are a combination of familiar holiday fare done in Lee's inimitable style and a few attempts to join the pantheon of Christmas perennials. Only "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" succeeded, despite Lee having reached the charts with the ballads "This Time of the Year" and "Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day," but the surprisingly aggressive "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus" is amusing, especially coming from a singer who was only 11-years-old when she recorded it. ~ William Ruhlmann

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.