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Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas Deluxe Anniversary Edition vinyl review

The classic Christmas album gets a vinyl re-issue in time for the festive season.

Mariah Carey
Credit: Sony CMG

When it comes to Christmas albums, Mariah Carey’s 1994 classic Merry Christmas always pops up as a contender for one of the best. Since it’s initial release 21 years ago, Merry Christmas has sold an incredible 15 million copies worldwide and remains a big seller every Christmas. The album is of course responsible for the holiday classic All I Want For Christmas Is You, an original penned by Carey with Walter Afanasieff, that’s not only one of the biggest Christmas songs ever recorded but also a signature track for Carey. The song enters the charts every single year thanks to the introduction of downloads in the early noughties. 10 years after the DualDisc release of the album, Merry Christmas is being reissued again but this time on vinyl.

Merry Christmas Deluxe Anniversary Edition vinyl has been printed on eye-catching red opaque vinyl and it features all of the original tracks from the 1994 release. Split over two sides, Merry Christmas sounds better than it ever has with this vinyl release. There’s a warmth and depth to the songs that is lost on the compressed CD and digital formats, and for those audiophiles out there this release has plenty of intricacies in the production to pick up on.

The album opens with Carey’s version of the Christmas standard Silent Night. It sets the tone for the record, which sees Carey putting gospel and pop twists on the 11 songs featured. 3 of the songs on the record are originals – All I Want For Christmas Is You, Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) and Jesus Born on This Day – and they fit seamlessly into the tracklisting. Whilst All I Want For Christmas Is You is undoubtedly the best moment on the record, the often overlooked Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) remains one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful Christmas songs ever recorded.

Other highlights on the record include Carey’s now classic rendition of O Holy Night, her soulful uptempo rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), and the perfectly upbeat Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town. For those vocal enthusiasts there is plenty to admire as Carey gives some of her best vocal performances on record on this album. Alongside the incredible O Holy Night, Carey wows with stellar vocals on Joy to the World and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / Gloria (In Excelsis Deo).

This vinyl release also includes the original international bonus track God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen where Carey uses a choral arrangement to fantastic effect.

Merry Christmas shouldn’t be a contender for best Christmas album because simply put it is the best Christmas album ever recorded. The perfect mixture of classics and originals works well, and Carey sounds the best she’s ever sounded. Even if you have the original or the DualDisc release, we’d recommend you get hold of this new vinyl edition. The sound quality is far superior to the older versions and the red opaque vinyl makes it a real collector’s item for any Carey fan. We’re going to be wearing this album out come December!

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