Blakemore was tapped by Craft Recordings to do a complete remix, audio restoration, and remaster of the iconic Vince Guaraldi Trio album, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is the musical soundtrack for the beloved animated television show. The original soundtrack album was first released in 1965 and since then has sold over 5 million copies. It was certified 5X Platinum by the RIAA early in 2022. The newly remixed, deluxe album set will be available Fall of 2022 in a 4-CD box set, a double-LP vinyl version, and a single CD version. The 4-CD box set includes both the original stereo album mix (from a 2021, 192-24 bit transfer of the original analog tape masters) along with the new stereo mixes. Craft chose to have Blakemore remix the album from the original 3-track, 1/2 inch analog-tape, session recordings because the original stereo mix masters have suffered deterioration due to their age and repeated use. The 1/2 inch, 3-track tapes are all in very good condition because they have only been played a few times back when the original album was recorded and mixed in 1964-1965. Most of the alternate or developmental takes had never been mixed to stereo.
Digital transfers of the 3-track, 1/2 inch analog-tape, session recordings were done by John Strother in L.A., to 192-24 bit digital and then sent to Blakemore for the remixing, restoration, and mastering work at his studio in Nashville. Both digital and analog audio gear was utilized in the process. The original stereo mixes from 1965 were adhered to as a model for the new mixes because they are so well known and loved by fans. Many technical problems found in the original stereo mixes (for example tape saturation distortion, stereo image instability, solo to accompaniment balance issues, lack of presence/audibility on parts of the drum kit, noises due to a faulty bass mic in the original sessions, harshness in the upper register of the piano, etc.) are fixed or improved upon in this new version. The new mixes will sound very familiar to longtime fans, but they are more clear, rich, and detailed than the originals. Details of the musical conversation between the musicians in Guaraldi's excellent jazz trio are more evident. In addition to the new mixes and original album mixes, the 4-CD box set includes all the original session recordings, presented in chronological order. Curious listeners can witness the experiments and musical development of the eventual final takes used for the television soundtrack. Pertinent studio conversations between the musicians and producers in the recording control room are also included. Some of these reveal that the musicians at the time really had no idea that their work would become an American musical treasure that has stood the test of decades.
The double LP vinyl version includes the new mixes of the original album songs in their original sequence, plus selected, developmental or alternate takes. The single-CD version includes the same music as the double LP version.
Blakemore also prepared new 3-track stems that included all his restoration work for a Dolby Atmos version, which is being mixed at Capitol studios in L.A.