Christmas Album

by: The Drifters

No, A Christmas Album is not an original Drifters album, nor is it an album by the original Drifters. It, for all intents and purposes, is a 1996 solo album by Rick Sheppard, who joined the band in 1966, after the group's hit-making years were expired. Sheppard kept the group going in various incarnations into the '70s. During the '80s and '90s, he led one of many different variations of the Drifters. There's not even a real group on A Christmas Album -- it's Sheppard, with three other singers who are credited with "backup vocals." It's not really a bad record -- the ten tracks are all credible re-creations of the classic Drifters sound -- but it's not particularly interesting, either. Above all, it feels like a ripoff. Even if Sheppard went in with the best of intentions, the only place he has accurate credits is on the inner sleeve, which means consumers may be tricked into believing that this is a Drifters album like any of the classic '50s and '60s albums. If you want a re-creation of that sound, try A Christmas Album. Otherwise, you've been warned. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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