In 1957, Elvis Presley released his third studio album and first Christmas album, the aptly titled Elvis' Christmas Album, which would go on to become a classic and the best-selling Christmas album of all time in the United States. After its release, the set topped the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart for four weeks and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time and the best-selling Christmas album of all time.
Elvis' Christmas Album includes a number of holiday standards like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Silent Night," as well as two originals, the rock-infused "Santa Bring My Baby Back (to Me)" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town." The two originals were included on side one of the album, which was more contemporary, while side two housed two secular songs and four gospel songs that had been previously released on Presley's 1957 EP Peace in the Valley.
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Presley's version of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" caused some controversy upon its release, with the song's composer, Irving Berlin, calling to have the song and the album banned from the radio. Many U.S. stations ignored Berlin's request, though most Canadian stations did not play the album.
In 1971, Presley released the second of his holiday albums, Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas. He died later that decade in 1977. Rolling Stone ranked Elvis' Christmas Album at No. 2 on its list of the 25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time, declaring that Presley used every song as a chance to add "a suggestive thrust to a lilywhite genre while slightly purifying his own bad-boy image." After its original release, the project has since been reissued multiple times in different formats.
See the album's full track listing below and buy Elvis' Christmas Album on Amazon here.
1. "Santa Claus Is Back in Town"
2. "White Christmas"
3. "Here Comes Santa Claus"
4. "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
5. "Blue Christmas"
6. "Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)"
1. "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
2. "Silent Night"
3. "(There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)"
4. "I Believe"
5. "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"
6. "It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)"