Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, or simply The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, is the first extended play (EP) released by American country recording artist Taylor Swift. The EP was first released on October 14, 2007 by Big Machine Records exclusively to Target stores in the United States and online. The release was originally a limited release for the 2007 holiday season, but was re-released to iTunes and Amazon.com on December 2, 2008 and again in October 2009 to Target stores. The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection features cover versions of Christmas songs and two original tracks written by Swift, "Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Christmas Must Be Something More", all of which have a country pop sound.
Music critics received the album with favorable responses, where some would have preferred a full album. The EP was a commercial success, peaking at number twenty on the Billboard 200 and at number one on Top Holiday Albums. Songs from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection have been performed at several venues.
Swift first performed a song from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, "Silent Night", on November 28, 2007 in New York City, at the Rockefeller Center, which was broadcast by The Today Show; Swift dressed in a long black dress and a white winter coat and performed while playing a rhinestoned acoustic guitar. She then performed "Christmases When You Were Mine" on November 29, 2007 in St. Charles, Missouri, at the Family Arena, as part of her set for WIL's Jinglefest 2007, and "Santa Baby" in Bloomington, Minnesota, at the Mall of America on December 8, 2007. Swift appeared on The Today Show again on Christmas Day of 2007, performing "Christmases When You Were Mine" and "Silent Night".
All of the tracks except "Christmas Must Be Something More" received airplay on several country radio stations and therefore each charted on Billboard's Hot Country Songs: "Last Christmas" peaked at number twenty-eight, "Christmases When You Were Mine" peaked at number forty-eight, "Santa Baby" peaked at number forty-three, "Silent Night" peaked at number fifty-four, and "White Christmas" peaked at number fifty-nine.
On the week ending December 8, 2007, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection debuted at number eighty-eight on the Billboard 200. The following week, the EP rose to a new peak at number forty-six on the Billboard 200. Following its 2009 re-release, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection re-entered the Billboard 200 at number twenty, its peak, and extended its run on the chart to twenty-four weeks. For the 2007 holiday season, the EP peaked at number eighteen on Top Country Albums and at number twenty-two on Top Holiday Albums, and for the 2009 holiday season, it peaked at number fourteen on both Top Country Albums and Top Holiday Albums. For the 2010 holiday season, The Taylor Holiday Collection re-entered the Top Holiday Albums Chart at number one.
The EP received generally positive critical reception. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said the songs on The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection were "all crisp, cheerful arrangements that are suitably seasonal but also faithful to her bright country-pop." Craig Shelburne of CMT said, "Thanks to this teen star, a new generation of sensitive girls may discover the melancholy but oh-so-melodic 'Last Christmas'. She also includes two original holiday songs." An uncredited review in Deseret News felt that the release was too short, with only 6 songs, yet fulfilled its task. Dan Maclntosh of Country Standard Time concluded, "Swift is a fine singer, who finds ways to inject sincere emotion into every line she sings. They say the best things come in small packages. And that saying holds true for Swift's new one."
|1. Last Christmas (Wham! cover)||3:28|
|2. Christmases When You Were Mine||3:06|
|3. Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt cover)||2:41|
|4. Silent Night||3:32|
|5. Christmas Must Be Something More||3:52|
|6. White Christmas||2:34|