Santa Claus Lane is Hilary Duff's debut studio album that was released on October 15, 2002 by Buena Vista Records.
- Santa Claus Lane 2:43
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 3:36
- I Heard Santa On The Radio (featuring Christina Milian) 4:02
- Jingle Bell Rock 2:48
- When The Snow Comes Down In Tinseltown 3:18
- Sleigh Ride 3:04
- Tell Me A Story (featuring Lil Romeo) 3:41
- Last Christmas 4:12
- Same Old Christmas (featuring Haylie Duff) 3:17
- Wonderful Christmastime 2:54
In 2001, Hilary Duff gained fame through her starring role in the Disney Channel series, "Lizzie McGuire." She became interested in pursuing a music career after attending a Radio Disney concert in 2001. Duff explained: "There were all these pop acts backstage at the concert. They were all getting ready backstage and warming up, and I was like, 'I want to do this so bad.'"
One day, Duff met Andre Recke, who would soon become her manager. She told him of her interest in becoming a singer and briefly performed for him; this prompted him to tell her, "I want to work with you." Recke said of his encounter with Duff, "When I met Hilary, I knew she had something special. Sometimes you just have that feeling, that, 'Wow, she's a star.'"
Duff's music career began with two soundtrack appearances. In 2002, she appeared on the soundtrack to "Lizzie McGuire", performing a cover of Brooke McClymont's song "I Can't Wait", and the Walt Disney Records compilation DisneyMania, performing a cover of "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room".
Recke noted of Duff's DisneyMania appearance, "That was the first test to see how her fans would react to her as a singer and not just an actress".
Duff stated that she felt Christmas came early for her when she recorded Santa Claus Lane. She continued, "I really loved singing these songs. It was a lot of hard work, but also big fun!"
"I Heard Santa on the Radio" and "Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)" are duets with Christina Milian and Lil' Romeo, respectively; "Same Old Christmas" features Duff's older sister Haylie.
The album features production from Matthew Gerrard, Chris Hamm, Alain Bertoni, Charlie Midnight and Chico Bennett. On the 2003 reissue, the bonus track "What Christmas Should Be" is produced by Charlton Pettus; this song was featured on the end credits of the 2003 movie "Cheaper by the Dozen."
"Santa Claus Lane" debuted at #154 on the Billboard 200, and also reached the second position of both the Top Heatseekers and Top Kid Albums charts.
On December 9, 2003, it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for 500,000 shipments to retailers. The album reached the 134th position of the Japanese Albums Chart in 2004.
As of July 27, 2014, "Santa Claus Lane" had sold 477,000 copies in the United States.
"Santa Claus Lane" received mixed reviews by music critics. An AllMusic editor gave the album three out of five stars.
Jaan Uhelszki, in an editorial review for Amazon.com, gave the album a negative review. She wrote the album, consisting mostly of Christmas covers, "add[s] little to the holiday music canon". She also felt that it only "perks up" on songs that feature guest musicians.
Kelefa Sanneh considered for The New York Times it to be a "concept album" and it was "loosely inspired by Saint Nicholas, the fourth-century bishop of Myra."
Christopher Thelen gave a more positive review to the album. While writing for the Daily Vault, Thelen gave a B- grade and wrote it "does show there is a voice behind the pretty young face, even if this is a strange place to start one's recording career."
"Santa Claus Lane" was released in the United States on October 15, 2002 by Walt Disney Records; it was reissued on October 14 of the following year with the bonus track "What Christmas Should Be", and released by Buena Vista Records.
The song "Santa Claus Lane" had a music video featuring Duff performing on the Disney Channel show, "Movie Surfers" to promote the film "The Santa Clause 2."
"Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)" (featuring Lil' Romeo) also had a music video and a radio release, and was promoted heavily on Disney Channel.
In a 2013 interview with the website Idolator, Duff expressed her dislike for "Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)" , saying that she "honestly hate[s] that record — [and she has] blocked it out of [her] memory". She also remarked that she "[didn't] even remember" the song.