Album Reviews

Vince Guaraldi Trio

Peanuts Greatest Hits

Artist:     Vince Guaraldi Trio

Album:     Peanuts Greatest Hits

Label:     Fantasy Records

Release Date:     07/31/2015


As with most characters and shows from our childhood, movie studio executives are endlessly hard at work, cooking up ways to revamp and reimagine stories to sell to a whole new audience. The Peanuts gang is a group of comic strip characters so beloved, a reboot is a risky business– with millions of people who grew up reading and watching them ready to judge. This jazzy, twelve-song compilation of Peanuts recordings, though, will please any fan of Charlie, Snoopy and all their friends.

Vince Guaraldi was a jazz musician and pianist who began working with the Peanuts’ crew in the ’60’s, after a producer by the name of Lee Mendelson heard Guaraldi’s Grammy award winning instrumental piece “Cast Your Fate To The Wind.” Guaraldi spent the next decade (he died unexpectedly at the age of 47 in 1976) composing and performing scores for many Peanuts specials, as well as A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

Of course, the well-known “Linus and Lucy” is featured on this brand new compilation. Seasonal songs from Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are also in the mix, and immediately bring any Peanuts fan back to mornings of reading Schulz’s comics or viewing Charlie Brown’s holiday specials with the family. There’s even a rare vocal recording by Guaraldi himself, a version of “Christmas Time is Here” by Guaraldi’s trio and another version by the St. Paul’s Church Choir in San Rafael, California.

For anyone who may be a bit anxious about how the new Peanuts movie will play out, this album will put you at a nostalgic ease. While it includes many tunes we’ve all heard before, it’s still the perfect album for any fan of Snoopy, jazz or simply sweet little tunes that will certainly bring a smile to your face.

– Brenda Hillegas

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