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Elvis’ Worldwide Christmas Vinyl (1950′s-60′s)

 

By Bob Pakes
 
 

top-afbeeldingSanta Claus is back in town! This article focuses on the different styles of artwork for the worldwide releases of the Christmas recordings in the 50′s and 60′s. All releases with picture covers are mentioned, and there were some real beauties among them, many of which are extremely rare and very collectible nowadays.
 

Happy hunting, and a MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

50s pin

Now, first let’s get these US and German pressings out of the way before we can move on to the more interesting stuff!

 

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USA

USA LOC-1035 A (1957) USA LOC-1035 B (1957)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LOC-1035

This deluxe release from 1957 was a true work of art! The beautiful fold-out cover opened up into a booklet that was loaded with cool color photos.
 
Elvis’ Christmas Album was an instant classic, and it would return to the charts for many years to come.

 

USA EPA-4108 B (1957) USA EPA-4108 A (1957)

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

EPA-4108

Also released in 1957, this EP contained half of the Christmas songs that could be found on the album.
 
Two cover-variations of this title exist. The later pressing did not mention the songtitles on the frontcover.

 

USA EPA-4340 B USA EPA-4340 A (1959)

Christmas With Elvis

EPA-4340

The 2nd Christmas EP, from 1959, consisted of the other half of the album songs.

 

USA LPM-1951 B (1959) USA LPM-1951 A (1959)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LPM-1951

When the album was re-released in 1959, the artwork had changed dramatically. But once again a lot of effort seemed to have gone into the presentation of this album.
 
No new Elvis Christmas records would be released for the next 5 years.

 

USA 447-0720 B (1964) USA 447-0720 A (1964)

Blue Christmas

447-0720

In 1964 a single was released which coupled two old songs “By Popular Request”.
The cover-artwork of this single was very original and beautiful.

 

USA LSP-1951(e) B (1964) USA LSP-1951(e) A (1964)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LSP-1951 (e)

In the same year (1964), the album was re-released in Reprocessed Stereo. The army pictures on the backcover were now gone while Elvis’ other Christmas and Gospel records were being advertised.
 
This mono version of this album (LPM-1951) was also re-released with the new backcover. The big blue bar on top of the frontcover was placed at the bottom of the mono pressing.

 

USA 447-0647 B (1965) USA 447-0647 A (1965)

Santa Claus Is Back In Town

447-0647

In 1965 we saw a ‘new’ Christmas single that didn’t make much sense, once again “By Request” …
The frontcover was a straight copy of the ’64 single, and one of the songs (Blue Christmas) had also already been used that previous year.
 
The sole function of this single seemed to be the promotion of yet another re-re-release of the famous album advertised on it’s backcover.

 

USA 47-8950 promo (1966) USA 47-8950 (1966)

If Every Day Was Like Christmas

47-8950

The last new Christmas-release in this decade was the first truly new Christmas song since 1957, from 1966, written by Red West. It was coupled with a children’s song that was recorded 4 years earlier. RCA Victor certainly moved in mysterious ways.
 
Since the backcover is exactly the same as the frontcover, I chose to present the promo version of this single next to the frontcover.

 

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GERMANY

Germany LOC-1035-C B (1957) Germany LOC-1035-C A (1957)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LOC-1035-C

Unlike the USA pressing, the German album from 1957 did not contain the beautiful foldout-cover “plus an album of new full colour photos”. RCA Germany did however incorporate the same frontcover for their release (using a page from the US booklet for their backcover), and they placed big ugly gold/yellow bars to cover up this message. As if that totally out of place pink logo in the upperright corner did not do enough damage to one of the beautiful designs of an RCA cover ever …

 

Germany EPB-1035-2 A (no stripes) Germany EPB-1035-1 A (no stripes)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

EPB-1035-1 and EPB-1035-2

These two EP’s were released in 1958.
Each contained half of the 8 Christmas songs that were on the original LP.
 
Once again the cover of the US album was used. But for the first pressing of these EP’s, RCA Germany forgot to cover up the obsolete words “plus an album of new full colour photos”.

Germany EPB-1035-2 A (1958) Germany EPB-1035-1 A (1958)And here we have the ‘corrected’ cover of these EP’s (also from 1958), with loud yellow bars now covering up the words.
 
It makes you wonder why the German art-department did not use the colour red to cover up the words. I guess Photoshop was still far far away. But at least the RCA logo is now blue, which fitted in much better than that nasty pink German album logo.

Germany EPB-1035-2 A Germany EPB-1035-1 AThe two EP’s were re-released in 1964 and a new photo of Elvis now graced the cover.
 
The backcover of all pressings of these two titles were nearly identical and resembled the backcover of the German album (LOC-1035-C).

 

Germany EPA-4108 A (rare) Germany EPA-4108 A (1960s) upgrade2

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

EPA-4108

This EP was released by RCA Germany in 1959, and the cover was the same as the US pressing (except for the logo of course).

 

When this title was re-released in the 60′s, the picture of Elvis on the cover was replaced by the same new photo that had been chosen for the re-release of the first EP’s (EPB-1035-1 and 1035-2).

 

Germany 47-9674 A (1965) upgrade Germany 47-9143 A

Blue Christmas

47-9674

Santa Bring My Baby Back

47-9143

In 1965 and in 1966, two more Christmas singles were released in Germany. Both had the same B-side (for whatever reason), and both came in the so-called ‘Devil-cover’. These two are pretty rare.

 

Germany LOC-1035-C A Germany 47-8950 A (1966)

If Every Day Was Like Christmas

47-8950

This ‘regular’ single, from 1966, was the last new Christmas release by RCA Germany in the 60′s.
 
 

The album was re-released in the early 60′s and it too featured the new cover-photo. The yellow bars were now gone. In it’s place were now some of the songtitles on a white background, which appeared a little more effective.

 

Germany LSP-1951 (e) B (1966) Germany LSP-1951 (e) A (1966)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LSP-1951 (e)

For the 1966 re-release of the album, RCA Germany used the same beautiful front- and backcover that was first seen in the USA in the late 50′s.

 

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AUSTRALIA

Australia L10341 A Australia L10341 B

Elvis’ Christmas Album

L10341

The same nice front-cover for the Aussies in the 1950′s, and they found the perfect solution for the absolete words referring to the booklet (that was not there).
The back-cover was very different (including a nice story about the young Elvis Presley).

 

Australia 20126 B (1958) Australia 20126 A (1958)

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

20126

Released in 1958, this EP came with a different back-cover compared to the US pressing.

 

Australia 20218 B (1959) Australia 20218 A (1959)

Christmas With Elvis

20218

Also the 2nd Christmas EP was released in Australia, in 1959, and again with a different back-cover.

 

Australia L10341 B (1964) Australia L10341 A (1964)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

L10341

For the Australian re-release of the Christmas Album in 1964, the same beautiful front- and back-artwork was used as in ’59 in the USA. Though it must have been a bit odd to see pictures of Elvis that were 5 years old and from an era that was long gone by the mid 60′s.

 

Australia 47-8950 A (1966)

If Every Day Was Like Christmas

47-8950

Different colors on the front, and a totally different back-cover for this 1966 single.

Australia 47-8950 B (1966)

 

Australia EPA-4340 A (1967)

Christmas With Elvis

EPA-4340

When re-released in 1967, this EP was asigned the orginal US catalog number, plus a complete new front-cover was chosen (the image of the How Great Thou Art album).
Australia EPA-4340 B (1967)

 

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BRAZIL

Brazil LOC-1035 A (1960) Brazil LOC-1035 B (1960)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LOC-1035

Here we have a pretty rare pressing from South-America. Released with a cool gate-fold sleeve.
 
The image on the front-cover was first seen in the booklet of the ’57 USA Christmas album.
 
Going by the calender on the back-cover (inspired by A Date With Elvis from 1959, which had a 1960 calender), this pressing appears to be from 1960.

 

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CANADA

Canada LPM-1951 B (1958) Canada LPM-1951 A (1958)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LPM-1951

Released in Canada in 1958. No fold-out cover for the Canadian fans either, and the text referring to the booklet was replaced by a “Best Wishes!” message. Notice that the new catalog number (LPM-1951) was placed over the original number (LOC-1035) in a rather amateuristic way. The biggest difference however was the boring back-cover (compared to most other worldwide releases).
All other Canadian releases are not mentioned here because they are identical to the US pressings.

 

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CHILE

Chile LOC-1035 A (2nd pressing)

Felices Navidades

LOC-1035

From 1957, a true rarity. Pictured here is the 2nd pressing (from the same year).

Chile LOC-1035 B (2nd pressing)

 

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DENMARK

Denmark EPB-1035-2 A (1958) Denmark EPB-1035-1 A (1958)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

EPB-1035-1 and EPB-1035-2

These two German EP’s were also released in Denmark in 1958, and unlike the Germans, the Danes too (like RCA Canada) had found a more effective way to cover up the message on the front: “Merry Christmas And Happy New Year”.

 

Denmark 47-9279 A (1964)

Silent Night

47-9279

From 1964, and older German single, that was originally released without a picture-cover. The Danes added a nice front-insert.
Since it came without a back-cover, I’ve added the single for good measure.

Denmark 47-9279 C (1964)

 

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FRANCE

France 85.249 A (1958)

Noël Avec Elvis

85.249

Released in 1958: Christmas With Elvis.

 
France 85.249 B

 

France 430-334 B (later) France 430-334 A (later)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

430-334

The album was released on numerous occasions in France. Here we have an early 60′s pressing with a different back-cover.

 

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ITALY

Italy LOC-1035 A (1958) Italy LOC-1035 B (1958)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LOC-1035

The album was released in Italy a year later, in 1958, with the US artwork. But unlike the Germans, the Italians got rid of the words “plus an album of new full colour photos” in a most professional way, while their backcover was a lot more colorful than the German pressing.

 

Italy 45N-0939 B (1959) Italy 45N-0939 A (1959)

Blue Christmas

45N 0939

RCA Italy is known for its unique artwork, and here we have an awesome single from 1959. The backcover shows us the Christmas albums of RCA’s three biggest sellers.

 

Italy EPA-4108 B (1960) Italy EPA-4108 A (1960)

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

EPA 4108

Released in 1960, notice how the titles on the front and the back don’t match. White Christmas is not on this EP, Santa Bring My Baby Back is.
The backcover also lists Christmas With Elvis as EPA 4344, but the correct number actually is EPA 4340.

 

Italy A72V 0068 (re-release dec 1956) Italy EPA-4340 A (1959)

Rock And Roll Rhapsody

A72V 0068

In December of 1956, RCA Italy re-released the EP Rock And Roll Rhapsody (that contained 1 track from Elvis) which had already been released earier that year, but this time in a special Christmas ball that could be hung as an ornament in your tree. This rare item is actually the world’s first commercial Elvis-related Christmas release.
 

Christmas With Elvis (’59) was also released in Italy.

 

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JAPAN

Japan LS-5038 A (1957)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LS-5038

Released in 1957, this very unique album!

Japan LS-5038 B (1957)

 

Japan SS-1045 B (1957)Japan S-321 C (1957)

White Christmas

SS-1045

Released in both the 78 rpm (SS-321) and 45 rpm (SS-1045) format, this single from 1957.

 

Japan EP-1334 B (1958) Japan EP-1334 A (1958)

Elvis’ Christmas Songs

EP-1334

(RCA) Victor in Japan released this Christmas EP in 1958, not with the regular 4 songs (as was done around the world) but with 6 songs.

 

Japan SS-1174 B (1959) Japan SS-1174 A (1959)

Blue Christmas

SS-1174

For the 3rd year in a row, from 1959, a Christmas release in Japan.

 

Japan RA-5135 A (1962) Japan CP-1032 A (1962)

 

Japan SS-1593 A (1965) Japan SCP-1205 A (1965)

 

Japan SHP-5495 A (1965)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

SHP-5495

The album was also re-released in 1965, with a new front- and back-cover.

Japan SHP-5495 B (1965)

 

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NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand LOC-1035 A (1957)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

LOC-1035

From 1957: one of the most beautiful and rare album covers in the world!

New Zealand LOC-1035 B

 

New Zealand RPX-1110 B New Zealand RPX-1110 A (1959)

Christmas With Elvis

RPX 1110

Both US Christmas EP’s were also released in New Zealand, and unlike the LP, the covers resembled their US counterparts.

 

New Zealand RPX-1111 B New Zealand RPX-1111 A

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

RPX 1111

Going by the presence of the Touch Of Gold EP’s on the backcover, these EP’s appear to be from 1959.

 

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SOUTH-AFRICA

South-Africa 31.118 (2a) South-Africa 31.118 (1)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

31.118

This is a mega-rare African pressing with a totally unique front-sleeve.
Later re-released with the same catalognumber, but with the original US front-cover.

 

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SPAIN

Spain 3-21024 A (1967)

Noche De Paz

3-21024

A unique EP, released only in Spain, in 1967.

Spain 3-21024 B

 

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UK

UK RD 27052  A (1st pressing)

Elvis’ Christmas Album

RD-27052

The Brits also had a totally different cover for their X-mas album in 1957.

UK RD 27052 B (1st pressing)

 

UK RCX-121 B (tri-centre) UK RCX-121 A (tri-centre) (1958)

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs

RCX-121

A photo from King Creole was chosen as the cover for the Elvis Sings Christmas Songs EP, in 1958 instead of the standard red cover that was used in the rest of the world.
 
The message A Merry Christmas was added to the frontcover, giving the impression that this might be the title of this EP.

UK RCX-121 gatefold sleeve B UK RCX-121 gatefold sleeve CThis EP was also released with a special fold-out-cover that gave the opportunity to present it a gift (with “To …” and “From …”) reminiscent of the sticker on the front of the US album.
 
UK RCX-121 gatefold sleeve A (1958)

 

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URUGUAY

Uruguay AVE-113 A (1958)

Merry Christmas

AVE-113

Another rare beauty, this EP from 1958. Also released in Brazil in the exact same style.

Uruguay AVE-113 B

 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY !!

 
 

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Colt #

    That was excellent Bob. Thank you very much for adding these great vintage vinyl records to look at. I have many of these in my Elvis collection.

    December 10, 2013
  2. colonel snow #

    Nice collection with great pictures.

    December 11, 2013
  3. Jans #

    Excellent work Bob.
    Thanks for all these variations.

    December 11, 2013
  4. Gerrit De Jong #

    Fantastic … Would love to find these under my Christmas tree!

    December 26, 2013
  5. Alan White #

    Some great Christmas rarities!

    December 28, 2013
  6. colonel snow #

    I have in my collection the German LP LOC 1035 with the EP 9644 photo and a bright gold bar covering the letters. I think it’s a re-release from around 1961-62 when I bought this LP. The LP has a great sound in spite the age of more then 50 years.

    colonel snow

    December 29, 2013
  7. lackelee #

    Holly shit, I would love to have the album from South-Africa, it’s so Beautiful. I got the LP from New Zealand but it’s not the original, I just bought it for the cover and I got in a frame and it’s up every Christmas just for that cover. Wish I could own the original.

    January 2, 2014

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