Chicago will celebrate the holiday season this year with a brand-new Christmas album, aptly titled Chicago Christmas, which will be released on CD and digitally on October 4, while vinyl versions will hit stores on November 22.
The 11-track collection, which is actually the horn-driven band’s fourth yuletide album, features seven original songs, a pair of holiday favorites and one non-Christmas-themed cover that still evokes the spirit of the season — the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
The album was produced by founding Chicago trumpet player Lee Loughnane, while founding trombone player James Pankow created the horn arrangements. The band recorded Chicago Christmas while on the road in hotel rooms and on their tour bus using a state-of-the-art mobile setup.
The album includes two different recordings of one of the new songs, “Merry Christmas, I Love You” — a ballad version and an R&B version. Loughnane co-wrote the tune with John Durrill, a one-time member of the famous surf-instrumental group The Ventures.
The two vintage Christmas songs on the album are “Here We Come a Caroling” and “Sleigh Ride,” the latter of which Chicago also recorded for its 2011 holiday record, Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three.
The vinyl versions of Chicago Christmas include a standard black-vinyl LP and limited-edition red- and white-vinyl version that are available exclusively at Rhino.com.
Meanwhile, Chicago has 19 U.S. concerts on its 2019 schedule, spanning from a September 1 performance at the Texas International Pop Festival in Lewisville, Texas, through an October 19 show in Clearwater, Florida. Check out the group’s full itinerary at ChicagotheBand.com.
Here’s the full Chicago Christmas track list:
“(Because) It’s Christmastime”
“All Over the World”
“Bring My Baby Back”
“Merry Christmas, I Love You” — R&B Version
“What the World Needs Now Is Love”
“All Is Right”
“Sleigh Ride 2019”
“I’d Do It All Again (Christmas Moon)”
“I’m Your Santa Claus”
“Here We Come a Caroling”
“Merry Christmas (I Love You)” — Ballad Version
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