Personnel: John Denver (vocals, 6-string guitar, 12-string guitar); Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson (vocals); James Burton (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro); Herb Pedersen (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo); Denny Brooks (acoustic guitar); Danny Allen Wheetman (mandolin, harmonica); Jim Horn (reeds); Glen D. Hardin (keyboards); Hal Blaine (drums, percussion).
Illustrator: Michael K. Frith.
Photographers: Donal Holway; Nancy Moran.
The Crown Prince of Christmas Specials, John Denver, probably did his best Yuletide work with the Muppets. There is some great fun here, particularly for kids, although the TV special has aged a little faster than most of the Muppet material. The songs use electric piano far too much, and have a kind of dated sentimentality about them, but they are entertaining nonetheless. The Muppets' loud rendition of "Little St. Nick" and Miss Piggy's folky "Christmas is Coming" are lively fun. Two or three of the quieter songs achieve a sort of poignant fireside prettiness (especially "It's In Every One of Us"). Denver is typically over-earnest, even when surrounded by talking animals, but younger listeners won't mind. ~ Darryl Cater