The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection

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The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection
A young female with blond hair and blue eyes facing forward while holding the neck of guitar with her right hand.
Re-release cover art. Original artwork includes the former title Sounds of the Season.
EP by
ReleasedOctober 14, 2007 (2007-10-14)
Recorded2007
Studio
Genre
Length19:15
LabelBig Machine
ProducerNathan Chapman
Taylor Swift chronology
Taylor Swift
(2006)
The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection
(2007)
Beautiful Eyes
(2008)

The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, originally released under the title Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, is a Christmas-special extended play (EP) by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The EP was first released as a Target exclusive on October 14, 2007, by Big Machine Records. It was released to other retailers on December 2, 2008 and was re-released to Target in October 2009.

The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection consists of six tracks—four are cover versions of Christmas classics ("Last Christmas", "Santa Baby", "Silent Night", and "White Christmas") and two are original tracks written by Swift ("Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Christmas Must Be Something More"). Produced by Nathan Chapman, the EP has a country pop sound using instruments such as fiddles and pedal steels. Songs from the EP received airplay on US country radio, with "Last Christmas" becoming the best-charting track, reaching number 28 on Hot Country Songs.

Music critics thought the EP was fine but praise was reserved. Some critics praised Swift's self-written material and wished the EP had been longer, but others disliked the country-pop makeover of the Christmas classics. The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection peaked at number 20 on the US Billboard 200 and at number one on Top Holiday Albums. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold over one million copies in the United States.

Background and release[edit]

The EP was originally titled Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection. For the release, Swift and Big Machine Records partnered with Target, who exclusively distributed the EP in the United States.[1] It was commercially released via Target on October 14, 2007.[2] The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection's cover art is taken from Swift's music video for "Teardrops on My Guitar" (2007).[1]

The EP was released to other retailers, including the iTunes Store and Amazon.com, on December 2, 2008.[3][4] On October 6, 2009, the EP was re-released by Target[1] and made available as a digital download on the iTunes Store and Amazon.com, both making minor adjustments to its cover art and removing Sounds of the Season: from the title, leaving it as simply The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.[3][4]

Composition[edit]

The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection is holiday music with a country pop inclination.[5] The EP is mainly composed of cover versions of holiday hits and Christmas carols. The EP's opening track is a cover version of "Last Christmas" (1986) by the English pop duo Wham![6] The original song "Christmases When You Were Mine" was written by Swift, Liz Rose, and Nathan Chapman. Lyrically, the track fixates on prior Christmases, in which the song's protagonist was happier. The lyrics also express that the current Christmas is much harder to cheer for than previous ones.[7] It is the only song to date that Swift has ever recorded in which Chapman is credited as a co-writer. In all of their other collaborations, Chapman is only credited as a producer, while Swift and sometimes other songwriters are credited.

Swift covered "Santa Baby", a 1953 song originally performed by Eartha Kitt. "Silent Night" is a Christmas carol cover that is musically performed differently, replacing the instrumentation from piano to acoustic guitar; Swift's vocals are also faster than traditionally recorded for the song.[7] "Christmas Must Be Something More" is the second original song from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, self-penned by Swift. The lyrics attempt for audiences to recognize the reason for the celebration of Christmas, the commemoration of Jesus Christ's birth.[7] The closing track is a rendition of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", which was popularized by Bing Crosby on his 1942 album of the same name.[6]

Promotion[edit]

On November 27, 2007, Swift promoted The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection through an autograph-signing event held at NBC's Experience Store in New York.[8] The following day, she performed "Silent Night" on a rhinestoned acoustic guitar for Today at the Rockefeller Center; she dressed in a long black dress and a white winter coat.[9] She then performed "Christmases When You Were Mine" on November 29, 2007, in St. Charles, Missouri, at the Family Arena, as part of her set for WIL's Jinglefest 2007, and "Santa Baby" in Bloomington, Minnesota, at the Mall of America on December 8, 2007.[10] Swift appeared on Today again on Christmas Day of 2007, performing "Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Silent Night".[11]

Songs from the EP received airplay on US country radio staring from the week of December 10, 2007, with "Last Christmas" being the week's most-added Christmas song.[12] Two songs, "Santa Baby" and "Christmases When You Were Mine", were among the top 100 most-played country-music holiday songs of 2007 in the United States.[13] For the holiday season of 2008, all EP songs again aired on US country radio stations beginning from the week of November 24, 2008,[14] with "Last Christmas" being among the 10 most-played holiday songs on country radio of the season.[15]

All EP tracks except "Christmas Must Be Something More" charted on Billboard's airplay chart Hot Country Songs: "Last Christmas" peaked at number 28, Christmases When You Were Mine" at number 48, "Santa Baby" at number 43, "Silent Night" at number 54, and "White Christmas" at number 59.[16] "Last Christmas" and "Santa Baby" also charted on Holiday 100, peaking at numbers 18 and 89, respectively.[17] On the all-time Holiday 100 chart published by Billboard in 2016, Swift's "Last Christmas" ranked at number 56.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[19]
CMTFavorable[20]
Country Standard TimeFavorable[7]
Deseret NewsFavorable[21]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said the songs on The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection were "all crisp, cheerful arrangements that are suitably seasonal but also faithful to her bright country-pop."[19] Craig Shelburne of CMT said, "Thanks to this teen star, a new generation of sensitive girls may discover the melancholy but oh-so-melodic 'Last Christmas'. She also includes two original holiday songs."[20] Dan Maclntosh of Country Standard Time concluded, "Swift is a fine singer, who finds ways to inject sincere emotion into every line she sings. They say the best things come in small packages. And that saying holds true for Swift's new one."[7] In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Kellie B. Gormly commented that the EP was "sweet" and highlighted the "deeply spiritual" track "Christmas Must Be Something More" as a standout.[22]

David Yonke in The Blade said that he wished the EP had been longer, and selected two tracks as highlights: "Christmases When You Were Mine" ("a mature, wistful ballad") and "Santa Baby" ("a sassy wink-and-a-nod").[23] A review in the Deseret News by Scott Iwasaki complimented Swift's self-penned songs and said the EP overall was fine, with the exception of "Silent Night", which he found heavy on the arrangement.[24] Jonathan Takiff from the Philadelphia Daily News disapproved of the "fiddle and pedal steel-flavoring" makeover of the Christmas classics, but praised Swift's original tracks with "the high gloss".[25] The Florida Times-Union's Roger Bull was less complimentary, saying that the EP is not bad but questioning whether anyone other than teenage girls would buy it.[26] Billboard ranked the album as the 18th-best Christmas album of the twenty-first century.[27]

Commercial performance[edit]

On the week ending December 8, 2007, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection debuted at number 88 on the Billboard 200.[28] It debuted at number 18 on the Top Country Albums chart, selling 15,000 copies first-week.[29] The following week, the EP rose to a new peak at number 46 on the Billboard 200.[30] Following its 2009 re-release, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection re-entered the Billboard 200 at number 20, its peak, and extended its run on the chart to 24 weeks.[28] For the 2007 holiday season, the EP peaked at number 18 on Top Country Albums and at number 22 on Top Holiday Albums, and for the 2009 holiday season, it peaked at number 14 on both Top Country Albums and Top Holiday Albums.[28] For the 2010 holiday season, The Taylor Holiday Collection re-entered the Top Holiday Albums Chart at number one.[28] As of July 2019, the EP had sold 1.08 million copies in the United States.[31]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are produced by Nathan Chapman.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Last Christmas"George Michael3:28
2."Christmases When You Were Mine"3:06
3."Santa Baby"
2:41
4."Silent Night"3:32
5."Christmas Must Be Something More"Swift3:52
6."White Christmas"Irving Berlin2:34
Total length:19:15

Personnel[edit]

As listed in liner notes.[6]

Production staff
  • Sue Peterson – executive producer
  • Shelli Hill – executive producer
  • Melinda Norris Photography – photographer
  • Shelli Hill – executive producer
  • Kyle Ford – assistant engineer
  • Sandi Spika Borchetta – dress design, hair
  • Chad Carlson – recording
  • Mathieu Bitton – art direction, design
  • Phil Schullo – additional engineering
  • Whitney Sutton – production copy
  • Lorri Turk – make-up
  • Stacey Ward – project manager
  • Hank Williams – mastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[39] Platinum 1,080,000[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Holiday Collection - Only at Target : Target". Target.com. Target Corporation. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  2. ^ Mansfield, Brian (October 5, 2007). "Taylor Swift jumps back in with three new songs". USA Today. p. E.1. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - EP by Taylor Swift". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection: Taylor Swift: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com (US). Amazon Inc. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  5. ^ "allmusic - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection (EP booklet). Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records. 2007. 70012.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e Maclntosh, Dan. "Taylor Swift - The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Country Standard Time. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  8. ^ "Artist News" (PDF). Country Aircheck. No. 66. November 26, 2007. p. 3. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  9. ^ "Christmas in Rockefeller Center, Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8-9 pm ET". NBC. NBC Universal. November 21, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  10. ^ "WIL's Jinglefest 2007". Familyarena.com. Family Arena. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift Live - Today Show (2007) - Interview & Christmases When You Were Mine". AOL. Time Warner, Inc. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  12. ^ "Santa Baby's Winter Wonderland" (PDF). Country Aircheck. No. 68. Nashville. December 10, 2007. p. 1. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Christmas Songs of 2007" (PDF). Country Aircheck. No. 117. Nashville. November 24, 2008. p. 6. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  14. ^ "Christmas Singles" (PDF). Country Aircheck. No. 117. Nashville. November 24, 2008. p. 1. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  15. ^ "It's Beginning to Sound A Lot Like..." (PDF). Country Aircheck. No. 169. Nashville. November 30, 2009. p. 1. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  16. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  17. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  18. ^ "Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs". Billboard. November 18, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection - Taylor Swift". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Shelburne, Craig (November 28, 2007). "Taylor Swift, Toby Keith Offer New Holiday Music". CMT News. Viacom. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  21. ^ "New CDs spark holiday spirit". Deseret News. Jim M. Wall. December 14, 2007. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  22. ^ "CD reviews: Christmas discs heavy on tradition, but with a twist". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. November 25, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  23. ^ Yonke, David (December 9, 2017). "New seasonal discs are plentiful, diverse". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. p. I1. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  24. ^ "New CDs spark holiday spirit". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. December 14, 2007. p. W01. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  25. ^ Takiff, Jonathan (November 27, 2007). "Sounds of the season: Here's your guide to recently released holiday CDs". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 31. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  26. ^ Bull, Roger (December 18, 2007). "Get into spirit of season with a holiday CD". The Florida Times-Union. p. C1. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  27. ^ "21 Best Christmas Albums of the 21st Century". Billboard. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  28. ^ a b c d "Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  29. ^ Jessen, Wade (December 8, 2007). "Urban, McGraw 'The Greatest'". Billboard. Vol. 119, no. 49. p. 88. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  30. ^ "US Albums Top 100 - December 15th, 2007". aCharts.us. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  31. ^ a b Trust, Gary (July 14, 2019). "Ask Billboard: Taylor Swift's Career Sales & Streaming Totals, From 'Tim McGraw' to 'You Need to Calm Down'". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  32. ^ "The Holiday Collection" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  33. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  34. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  35. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Holiday Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  36. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on April 18, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  37. ^ "Best of 2011 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  38. ^ "Greatest of All Time Top Holiday Albums". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Taylor Swift – The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 25, 2014.