That Christmas Feeling

Glen Campbell

Capitol, 1968

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


What the hey; I’ve decided to review a few Christmas albums that were central to my childhood. I mentioned in my Nat King Cole review that there were three albums central to the Yuletide season in my house growing up; this is the second of the three, Glen Campbell’s That Christmas Feeling.

First off, those of you who saw Glen Campbell and thought country music—I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s little to no Nashville in this. While Campbell was fresh off Grammy wins in 1967 for the countryesque “Gentle On My Mind,” my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 That Christmas Feeling has all the features of a typical Capitol Records release from this time period; drenched in string arrangements, lots of Mitch Miller-type background vocals (probably provided by the Ron Hecklin Singers), and the barest shade of anything resembling percussion. About the only thing that stands out is a consistent double bass presence—while I don’t have access to the liner notes on this, I suspect the background musicians to be the famous Wrecking Crew, who Campbell worked with during this time.

The song choice on Feeling is idiosyncratic, to say the least. We have to get down to track five before we hit what I’d call a Christmas classic, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” In other places, Campbell covers Elvis (“Blue Christmas”) and Mel Torme (“The Christmas Song”). To be honest, you really have to get into that Capitol Records sound to enjoy this; apparently, they decided Campbell needed to be a sort of Arkansas Sinatra.

There is only one clunker on this album, thankfully; “Little Altar Boy” is not a Christmas song, but a maudlin, treacly song sung from the viewpoint of a sinner begging an altar boy to intercede with God for him. Um, sure. Doesn’t work at all; neither does the spoken word recitation of “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” The closing “Silent Night” does very little to redeem the album; Campbell’s normally strong voice drips with saccharine, even breaking once.

It’s funny; this was recorded only four years before the Nat King Cole classic, but it sounds dated in a way the Cole album does not. For fans and collectors only.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.