Elvis Presley released numerous classic Christmas songs. During an interview, Priscilla Presley said one of his posthumous albums featured his Christmas songs with a new sound that Elvis would have preferred. Interestingly, the album featured instrumentation by a famous musical group.
Several posthumous Elvis Presley albums feature songs with instrumentation by this famous musical group
Elvis’ estate released numerous compilation albums since his death in 1977. Some of these albums changed the original recordings in some way. For example, the 2015 album If I Can Dream includes several of his classic songs with new backing by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The album became a major success in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports it reached No. 1 there, staying on the chart for 47 weeks.
The Elvis estate released another album with instrumentation from Royal Philharmonic called The Wonder of You in 2016. Like If I Can Dream, the songs on this album had no particular theme. The third Elvis/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra album was a Christmas album called Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Fans could now hear songs like “Blue Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)” in a way they never had before.
What Priscilla Presley thought of the new versions of the Christmas songs
Notably, Priscilla had an executive producer credit on Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. During an interview with Elvis’ YouTube channel, she said Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra reflected the way the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll wanted his Christmas songs to sound. “I think this album has taken on a new life with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” she opined.
Priscilla approved of the changes to Elvis’ Christmas songs. “It seems even more personal,” she said. “It again has that richness to it. I think that when you hear it, it draws you in.”
In addition, Priscilla said the aforementioned Royal Philharmonic albums made Elvis’ songs sound the way he would have wanted them to sound. “Having the accompaniment of the orchestra, like the other albums we’ve done, is what Elvis wanted to hear in his songs,” she said. “It translates really into what he envisioned of what he would like to do. Christmas music was very important to him. This is really fulfilling something that he would have done.”
The way the world reacted to ‘Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’
Like If I Can Dream, Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was popular in the U.K. According to The Official Charts Company, the album hit No. 6, staying on the chart for 13 weeks. Meanwhile, the album was popular in the United States as well. It hit No. 73 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for five weeks. Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sounded different from Elvis’ original songs and Priscilla said that’s what he would have wanted.
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