The Legendary “Rock Band With Horns” Gets Into The Spirit Of The Holiday Season With An Album That Mixes Original Christmas Songs And Yuletide Favorites.
Produced by founding member Lee Loughnane, CHICAGO CHRISTMAS is the 37th album of the band’s career and its fourth holiday collection. Whereas its previous releases focused more on traditional Christmas songs, the new record spotlights holiday music the band wrote especially for the album, including “All Over The World,” “(Because) It’s Christmastime,” and “I’m Your Santa Claus.” The album also features R&B and ballad versions of “Merry Christmas, I Love You,” a song that Loughnane wrote with John Durrill of The Ventures, the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
Along with the new songs, the album also features the band’s interpretations of two holiday standards: “Here We Come A Caroling” and “Sleigh Ride.” It’s the second time Chicago has recorded “Sleigh Ride.” A different version appears on Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Thee (2011). The album’s other non-original track is a soulful Chicago interpretation of the Hal David and Burt Bacharach classic, “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” which founding member Robert Lamm thought had a timely message for the holidays.
Chicago Christmas features original compositions by many of the band members, along with unmistakable horn arrangements by founding member James Pankow. The album was recorded and mixed by Tim Jessup.