August 17, 2022

Five-disc deluxe edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack coming October 14, 2022

It's going to be a good year for Vince Guaraldi and Peanuts music fans! Not only are we getting a proper music-only release of the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown soundtrack in August, now Craft Recordings has announced a 5-disc "super deluxe edition" of the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack coming on October 14, 2022.

While the beloved holiday album has been reissued and rereleased numerous times over the years, nearly all those reissues have had the same content - just the original 11 album tracks, gussied up in some new packaging or with a sheen of slight remastering.

But this fall's deluxe edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas offers something truly different and new: more than 50 tracks of previously unreleased alternate performances, outtakes, and additional bits of music, all sourced from the original tapes of five different 1965 album recording sessions. There are 16 alternate versions of "Christmas is Coming" alone!



The primary release is a 5-disc "super deluxe edition" with four CDs and one Blu-ray Audio disc. The contents are:
  • Disc 1: A new stereo mix of the original 11 album tracks, together with the original album mix of the same;
  • Discs 2 - 4: A total of 58 tracks of alternate takes, outtakes, etc. from the recording sessions;
  • Disc 5: Blu-ray Audio disc featuring a high resolution stereo version of the album, and a new Dolby Atmos surround-sound mix of the album.
(A Blu-ray Audio disc can be played in a regular Blu-ray video disc player.)

The discs come in a 56-page hardbound book with extensive new liner notes by Peanuts historian and Vince Guaraldi biographer Derrick Bang.

See Craft's press release for a complete, detailed track list.

Interestingly, the recording session tracks will not be edited to remove the discussions between Guaraldi and his fellow musicians, so along with hearing how the pieces evolved between takes, you'll also be able to hear their thoughts - and occasional frustrations when a performance doesn't go as planned - as if you were in the studio with them.

For those who don't need every single alternate take, on the same day Craft is also releasing a separate, single CD "highlights" deluxe edition that contains just the new 2022 stereo mix of the original album tracks, plus a selection of the best 13 additional alternate takes/outtakes and a condensed version of Derrick Bang's liner notes.

There will also be a 2-LP deluxe edition with the same content as the single CD release, and an 80-track digital release matching the 4 CDs from the "super deluxe edition."

All editions are available to pre-order now.

Note that this new deluxe edition is based on recording sessions for the A Charlie Brown Christmas album, not the recording sessions for the television show, which were done separately. So despite the extensive content, not all the music from the television show is included.  And for the most part the exact performances from the special's audio track will not be found here - although the differences are subtle enough that most people won't notice. Unfortunately, the recording sessions for the television soundtrack performances have yet to be found, despite the determined efforts that led to this release and the upcoming Great Pumpkin release. For more details, see Derrick Bang's blog post.

But don't let that take away from the fact that there's an amazing amount of new material for even the most devoted fan to delve into!



In regards to the "new 2022 stereo mix"... if you're wondering, what's the deal with the "new stereo mix" vs "the original album mix?"  How is a "new mix" different from a "new remaster?" Let me try to explain.

Typically, when music is recorded for an album, each instrument - or group of instruments - is initially recorded to a separate tape. Then a mixing engineer combines those separated recordings onto a single tape, balancing the volume level and adjusting the stereo placement of each instrument to create a pleasing listening experience. That final mixed tape is the "album master."

When an album is remastered, an engineer starts with the original album master tape - with all the instruments already combined - and tweaks or cleans up the sound based on the original mixing, trying to improve the sound while retaining the original balancing and placement of the instruments.

By contrast, when an album is remixed, the engineer instead goes back to the original separated tapes for each instrument, and creates a new combination of them, possibly with different volume choices for each instrument, or different stereo placement. New technology and techniques developed since the time of the original mixing means that a remix can sound cleaner, fuller, and "better" than the original, revealing subtleties hidden by the original mix. But a new mix can also be controversial, because the result will sound different from the original mix that fans have been listening to for decades. And many people - not unreasonably - want to enjoy the album as they remember it sounding.

With this new 5-disc A Charlie Brown Christmas deluxe edition, Craft has decided to try their hand at creating a new mix of the original album tracks. While some listeners may end up preferring the new mix, Craft is wisely also including the original album mix for those who prefer the original.

August 10, 2022

Lucy's School and new episodes of The Snoopy Show premiere August 12, 2022 on Apple TV+

Lucy's School, the latest Peanuts special from Apple TV+, will arrive on the subscription streaming service on Friday, August 12, 2022.


Apple has released a trailer for the special, which you can view now on YouTube, and here's a short description of the show:
The Peanuts gang are anxious about starting at a new school in the fall, inspiring Lucy to start her own school instead, but teaching isn’t as easy as it sounds. “Lucy’s School” is a love letter to teachers, and an appreciation of the impact a teacher can have on a child. It explores the fear of change, and shows how Lucy, supported by her friends, faces and overcomes her own fears.
Also coming Friday, August 12, 2022 - a week later than originally announced - are new episodes of The Snoopy Show season 2.

For more information about Apple TV+, including how to watch and subscribe, visit tv.apple.com and this Apple support page.