The Ventures Christmas Album is considered by many to be a classic.
It was one of the earliest attempts by any rock band to combine a rock arrangement with a traditional Christmas song.
The Ventures were able to work in familiar guitar riffs with well known Christmas melodies.
Sleigh Ride typifies that concept. The recording now playing is newly recorded version of the original song, released on the Christmas Joy album in 2002.
The Ventures Christmas Album was initially released for the 1965 Holiday season. It reached #9 on the Billboard Christmas Chart that year, charted annually for three more years, and has been periodically reissued.
Dennis MacDonald wrote in the All Music Guide;
'Originally issued on Dolton, this instrumental classic was reissued briefly in 1990 on CD by EMI. The Ventures have a blast with unique covers of secular Christmas songs: each instrumental borrows riffs from popular mid-'60s hits, incorporating them into their twangy guitar yule melodies. Sleigh Ride uses The Ventures' own hit, Walk Don't Run, while other selections borrow from hits of other artists. It's a gas to hear Frosty The Snowman set to The Champs Tequila.'
Cuts from this album are seasonal favorites for music programs in restaurants, stores, and malls. They are also frequently included in other Christmas compilations (e.g., The Time/Life Treasury of Christmas, Dick Clark's Rock and Roll Christmas, Elton John's Christmas Party)
Christmas Joy, another Ventures Christmas album, with 18 cuts featuring the same concept, was released in 2002 and has received significant seasonal exposure.