Entertainment Weekly - 12/18/92, p.60
"...Here's a collection to benefit Special Olympics with honest Christmas sentiment and pure fun..." - Rating: B+
Producers: Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne; Richard Perry; Quincy Jones; Phil Kaffel; Nathan Morris and Shawn Patrick Stockman; Jimmy Iovine (tracks 6, 13); Don Was; Marty Paich, David Paich; Jimmy Iovine and Danny Kortchmar; David Foster, Michael Bolton, Dave Reitzas; Larry Smith; Nuno Bettencourt; Jimmy Iovine and Jerry Hey; Jimmy Iovine, Jai Winding, Omar Hakim; Gerry E. Brown and Vanessa Williams; Scott Olson, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson; Carnie Wilson and Glen Ballard; Sinead O'Connor and Phil Ramone.
Engineers: Phil Kaffel, Thom Panunzio, Richard Dodd; Paul Brown; Ed Cherney (tracks 4, 13); J.E. Van Horne, Jr.; Phil Kaffel, Thom Panunzio, Obie O'Brien; Steve Jackson; Al Schmitt; Thom Panunzio; Dave Reitzas; Troy Hightower and Norman Bullock; Bob St. John; Mark Mancini, Paul Brown; Phil Kaffel; Gary Tole and Gerry E. Brown; Ed Brooks and Tod Lemkhul; Francis Buckley; Gary Chester.
Composer: Nathan Morris.
Personnel: Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Nancy Wilson (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Jeff Lynne (vocals, timbales, bells, background vocals); Darlene Love, Ann Wilson (vocals, background vocals); Chynna Phillips, Cyndi Lauper, Frank Sinatra, Gary Cherone, Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Ronnie Spector, Scott Olson, Shawn Stockman, Wendy Wilson, Carnie Wilson (vocals); Robbie Blunt (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Dennis Budimir, Jimmy Ripp (guitar, acoustic guitar); Tim Pierce (guitar, electric guitar); Charles Mangold (guitar, slide guitar); Nuno Bettencourt (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Danny Kortchmar, Danny Caron, Doc Powell, Don Felder, Dennis Rudimer, Randall Jacobs, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Landau, Mike Campbell , Nick Moroch, Todd Sharp, Charlton Pettus (guitar); Kevin Dukes (acoustic guitar); Terry Lauber, JayDee Mannes (steel guitar); Jo Ann Turovsky, Gayle LaVant, Gayle Levant (harp); Phil Kenzie (saxophone, horns); Clifford Solomon, David McMurray, Mike Tune, Gerald Albright, Mike Turre, Kenzie, Joel Peskin, Marty Krystall (saxophone); Rayse Biggs (trumpet); Alex Lodico (trombone); Christiaan Mostert, Beverly Dahlke-Smith, Greg Smith (horns); Benmont Tench (piano, keyboards); David Paich, Fred McFarlane, James Cox, Jim Cox, Michael Lang , Nicky Moore, Richard Tee, Charles Brown (piano); Mitchell Froom (harpsichord, organ); Steven Lindsay, Steve Lindsey (organ); Glen Ballard, Randy Kurber, Jai Winding, John Gilutin, Randy Waldman, Anthony Patler (keyboards); Scott Humphrey (synthesizer, programming); Dave Lebolt, Bryce Cranston, Steve Porcaro, Greg Mathieson (synthesizer); Efrain Toro (marimba); Scott Thurston (6-string bass); Stan Lynch (drums, timpani, bells); Paul Geary (drums, background vocals); Chris "Zippy" Leighton, Chris Parker , Sol Gubin, John "J.R." Robinson , Steven Schaeffer, Jam Master Jay, Gregg Bissonette, Duane Broadnax, Jim Keltner, Jody Cortez, Omar Hakim, Russ Kunkel, Tal Bergman, Gaylord Birch, Buster Maybury (drums); Lenny Castro, Phil Jones, Gary Coleman, Emil Richards, Brad Dutz (percussion); Paul DeCarli (programming); Melodye Perry, Donna Davidson, Edna Wright, Susan Stevens, Davis Joyce, Pat Badger, Richard Dodd, Sir Harry Bowens, Susie Tallman, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Randy Crenshaw, David Joyce, Donald Ray Mitchell (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Richard Dodd.
Recording information: A & M Studios; A&M Studios, Hollywood, CA; Capitol Records, l Ain Bou Kellal; Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Westlake Audio, L.A., CA.
Unknown Contributor Role: Bob St. John .
Arrangers: Fred McFarlane; Gerry Brown ; Doug Katsaros; Jerry Hey; Johnny Mandel; Marty Paich; Randy Waldman; Aretha Franklin.
This CD was recorded for a worthwhile cause (Special Olympics) and contains some great songs, most notably Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Christmas All Over Again" -- this is jingle-jangle pop at its best. Boyz II Men wrap their a cappella voices around "The Birth of Christ," and the two Wall of Sound standouts, Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector, bring their powerful voices together for the first time on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Bonnie Raitt duets with Charles Brown on his sexy "Merry Christmas, Baby," while Aretha Franklin shows why she's called the Queen of Soul on "O Christmas Tree." ~ Dennis MacDonald