It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas ...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Normally I have a strict Dec 1 policy for listening to Christmas music (and putting up lights/decorations), but a number of factors have trashed that plan this year so ... I'm going with the flow.

    Any new Christmas albums/tracks you'd like to recommend? Any old favourites? Any you'd like to nominate for the shredder?

    My favourite "new" Christmas albums from the past few years include:

    ~ Chris Isaak - Christmas
    ~ James Taylor - At Christmas
    ~ Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong
    ~ The Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked for the Holidays
    ~ Aimee Mann - One More Drifter in the Snow
    ~ Diana Krall - Christmas Songs
    ~ Bruce Cockburn - Christmas
    ~ Bette Midler - Cool Yule

    I'm in the library queue for the Glee holiday album and the new Putumayo "World Christmas" album.

    Older favourites include:
    ~ The Kingston Trio - Last Month of the Year
    ~ Irish Rovers - An Irish Christmas
    ~ The Chieftains - Bells of Dublin
    ~ Rob McConnel - Big Band Christmas
    ~ The Muppets & John Denver - A Christmas Together
    ~ Oscar Peterson Christmas
    ~ The Nylons
    ~ a whole bunch of cathedral choirs & gospel choirs
    ~ various jazz singers, rat packers, and crooners -- Frank, Deano, Satchmo, Ella, der Bingle, Rosemary, Nat, Tony Bennet, etc.

    And aside from all those, I also have my favourite individual songs, including:

    Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth
    Gayla Peevey - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
    Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
    Enya - Oíche Chiún (Silent Night)
    Holly Cole - Sleigh Ride
    Manhattan Transfer - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
    Natalie Merchant - Children Go Where I Send Thee
    Pete Seger - Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
    Sting - Gabriel's Message
    Jackson Browne - The Rebel Jesus
    Tom Jackson - O Holy Night
    Eagles - Please Come Home for Christmas
    Sean Colvin - Little Road to Bethlehem
    Jewell - Winter Wonderland
     
  2. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I was on You Tube yesterday trying to find something new. I have most of these, but I'll check out the Midler and the Mann's. I love Wintersong and Barenaked for the Holidays.
     
  3. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    John Denver and The Muppets ~ A Christmas Together was one of the best finds in a Bargain Bin I've ever had. Still can't believe I managed to find it in that thing that year. :D It's a must.

    Some recommendations from me, my Family's Christmas Music DJ... ;)

    Any of Amy Grant's three Christmas CD's. All of them are excellent.

    Josh Groban's Noel ~ Just fair warning on one of the songs. I'll Be Home For Christmas has messages to home from the Troops and also messages to them from their loved ones placed through it. I didn't know that the first time I listened to it and bawled the entire time. It is excellent and a must have for Christmas.

    The Carpenters Christmas 2 Disc CD ~ It's not Christmas until I hear Karen's much missed voice singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

    Vince Gill ~ Let There Be Peace On Earth

    Celine Dion's Christmas CD ~ Blanking on the name of it, sorry about that. It's lovely, but there's two songs in particular I adore. The Prayer, her and Andrea Bocelli and the original version of the song. Love it!! There's also a Traditional Quebec Christmas song that's sung not only by Celine, but her entire family. Considering her Father has passed away since she recorded this CD, that makes it even more special.

    John McDermott and Friends ~ Images of Christmas ~ This might only be found in Canada, since it's all Canadian artists, but if you can get your hands on it, do!! There's not just John, but Amy Sky, Alan Frew, Lawrence Gowan and many others. This has that old time Christmas album feel to it and also is the only CD I've been able to find the last ten years w/The Huron Carol on it. It's really a wonderful CD and I can't reccomend it enough.

    I'm in the process of making up the Annual Christmas Mix CD that we give out to our friends every year, so more than likely I'll be back in here w/more reccomendations. :)
     
  4. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's snowing in Paris ! :cold:
     
  5. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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    Céline's Christmas album is truly wonderful. It's called These Are Special Times.

    :)
     
  6. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I have two favorites during the season, although they're not so well-known"

    "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus" and "It's Beginning to Look a lot like Syphillis."

    (Can't post the words here... feel free to PM me if you'd like the complete lyrics!)
     
  7. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Thank you MikiAndoFan!! You know what the worst part of that was? As I was typing that part of my post up, I could see the Album/CD cover in my mind's eye, but do you think I could remember the title of the thing?

    I *hate* it when that happens!!

    Another one to add is the soundtrack to Beauty and The Beast ~ The Enchanted Christmas. Not only are the songs and music from the movie on it, but Paige O'Hara (who is the voice of Belle) also sings several Christmas classics backed by a full Symphony Orchestra.

    Celtic Woman's A Christmas Collection CD is also gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! I love the harmonies they do.

    I'll be back!! :D
     
  8. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Some of my favourites:

    ~A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio
    ~A Christmas Album by Michael Crawford (It has one of the best versions of "O Holy Night" and also one of my favourites John Rutter songs "The Candlelight Carol".)
    ~Speaking of John Rutter, I like his Christmas CDs with the Cambridge Singers. All are great if you like carol music.
    ~Let It Snow EP by Michael Bublé. I wish that he would release a full Christmas CD.
    ~It would not be Christmas without Nat King Cole's version of "The Christmas Song". It is the best IMHO.
    ~I love the song " The Christmas Waltz". Something that is not recorded too often which is too bad. Mel Torme version is so wonderful that you just want to dance.
    ~Lastly, for children's music, Raffi's Christmas Album is quite good and won't drive parents insane.
     
  9. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    This album from Ella puts anything modern to shame.

    Best. Voice. Ever. If she was still alive, I'd bow, kneel, and worship the ground she'd walk on. :swoon: I don't do that for anyone, besides the Kween. ;) :p
     
    pat c and (deleted member) like this.
  10. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    The Glee Christmas album is fantastic, I love it.

    I heard Annie Lennox has a new Christmas album, the snippets I listened to were really cool.
     
  11. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for all of these suggestions. I have so many Christmas albums/tapes/CD's that I am now thankful that you can go to somewhere like iTunes and just get what you want. I have a hard time buying a whole CD of music for one or two songs. I mean as far as I'm concerned, it will take a very, very, special version of "The Chrstmas Song" to replace the Johnny Mathis version for me (no disrespect to Mel or Nat).

    Here are a few possibly lesser known songs that I like:

    My Christmas Card to You - The Partridge Family
    It's Christmas Time All over the World - Sammy Davis Jr.
    The Star Carol - Anna Maria Alberghetti

    The first two are on iTunes, the last one is not. That particular version is one I've only seen on vinyl, on a Columbia Records Christmas music collection (Vol 5) that was issued annually for about 10 years - many years ago. There is a Simon & Garfunkle version on iTunes, but her voice on that song just soars.

    Also, I like all the Wyndham Hill "A Winter Solstice.." series. Not in the series proper but probably my favorite of all is George Winston's "December". The song Thanksgiving is the best, and I'm sure some of you remember that from the routine that Annenko and Sretenski had to that music. Linkage! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHBm_IcqEjc
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  12. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    ITA, Ella is the best. In addition to that album, there are some other Christmas tracks of hers you might want to look for, including
    ~ It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
    ~ Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
    ~ The Secret of Christmas
    ~ Baby, It's Cold Outside (duet with Louis)
     
  13. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I have Ella's Christmas CD as well, and look forward to it every year. We also have Doris Day, who has such a lovely voice that I fear is all but forgotten these days, and when you're into the cocktails, Dean Martin's album is fun, as is Rosemary Clooney's.

    For something different, Jethro Tull has a great Christmas album.

    If anyone has recommendations for country-style CDs, I'd be interested - I love Carrie, Kenny and Keith so anything with them would be great.

    I'm going to look for Celine's this year to add to my collection :)
     
  14. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

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    ~ Ave Maria by The East Village Opera Company. It's on their "La Donna" album. This is the version of that beautiful song Jeff Buttle chose to skate to. I think of Jeff's performance every time I hear Ave Maria. Such a gift.

    I would also nominate

    ~ Carol of the Bells by Mannheim Steamroller, after having seeing Ilia Kulik skate to it in Rapid City, SD for the Holiday Special that is to air on NBC on Sunday 11/28 4-6 Eastern time. The music is stunning, but I find myself :eek: and :respec: as I remember Ilia's performance to that song.

    Now I'm off to find that Glee Christmas CD. :)
     
  15. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Decided to check Amazon, and Kenny has Christmas CD, and I've added Celine's to my cart as well. :)
     
  16. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    Mariah Carey's 1st Christmas album is beautiful, but the second one hurt my ears. :eek:
     
  17. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    I just purchased Amy Grant's The Christmas Collection. The review on iTunes won me over. The album is very nice.
     
  18. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Snowed here yesterday, but no accumulation.

    Favorite Christmas Album - Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song (name of album as well as the song).
     
  19. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Hey, one of you might be able to help me with this: do you know who sings the children's choir version of the "Christmas Canon"? Not the Trans-Siberian Orchestra version, but the one that starts with a piano, then the choir singing "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, the Joy that he brings," then launches into the Pachelbel theme. I downloaded it on Limewire a couple of years ago but there was no artist info with the track.

    TIA
     
  20. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Mariah's second Christmas album is horrible. :scream:
     
  21. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    A Charlie Brown Christmas is far and away my favorite Christmas CD.

    I also like James Taylor's album a lot. Also Sarah McLachlan's.

    I didn't even know that Chris Isaak had a Christmas album.
     
  22. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    You rock for listing this one. :cool::cool::cool: They were so often accused of being "commercial" by the so-called "folk purists" yet this is hands down one of the least commercial Christmas/holiday albums ever released by a "name" group or performer. The only 2 songs on the album that "everybody" would know is "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "A Round About Christmas" - Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat, etc. etc..

    I remember being at my Puerto Rican friend Alex's house for his Christmas party one year. He had a lot of old LP's of Spanish music, and I was sitting at the bar when this song came on over the speakers and when I heard it I just snapped to when I realized I was hearing a Spanish-language version of "Follow Now, Oh Shepards".

    Another KT-related musical memory: my senior year in HS I took a class in music theory. Some of the people in that class were in the select group "Madrigals" that performed Renaissance-era music at school concerts. Some of them, who were in the next level theory class, were rehearsing one of the songs for the upcoming Christmas concert, and it was "Riu Riu" which the KT recorded as "Guardo El Lobo" from their Goin' Places album (came out the year after Last Month, and their last album before Dave Guard left the group). So, I knew the song so I started mouthing the lyrics. The teacher, who also lead all of the choir groups, saw me doing that. and she comes over to me afterwards, and she was amazed that I knew the song. This song is from the 15th century. How do you KNOW this?!?! I told her - I've been a KT fan since the age of 10, and I first heard their recording of the song when I was 14.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  23. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    What is all on it? I can't seem to access the iTunes Store and haven't been able to for the last month. I keep getting "Temporarily unavailable" messages and considering I have Gift Cards from my Birthday....Grrrr!!!

    I have all three of her Christmas Albums, but the first one is on tape and I've never been able to find it on CD. Which really drives me nuts, as I adore A Tender Tennessee Christmas.
     
  24. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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  25. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    All-time faves:

    B.E. Taylor's "Christmas" (1994) & "Christmas 2" (2000) (he puts his own spin on classics, rocks up some, and makes others eery; even some Raggae. Been my fave all these years. His "O Holy Night" is my favorite ever version as is his "O Come, O Come Emmanuel")
    "Noel" - Various alternative Christian artists produced by the wonderful Deri Daugherty & Steve Hindalong which includes my favorite version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Kevin Max Smith (of DC Talk)
    Amy Grant's "Home for Christmas" (1992) (from the deeply moving "Breath of Heaven" to the fun and lighthearted "Most Wonderful Time of the Year")
    Over the Rhine's "Trumpet Child" (every song is so meaningful)
    Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" (looooove her "In the Bleak Midwinter")
    Wynonna's album from a couple years ago
    Hayley Westenra's "My Gift to You" (I adore her!)
    "Smoky Mountain Christmas"
    anything labled "Celtic Christmas"
    "Music Box Christmas" (Mom always played this while we opened presents, on the old turntable)
    "Frosty the Snowman" by the "International Children's Choir" (misleading title, it's all Christmas classics)
    "Scottish Christmas" by Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone, and Al Petteway
    Michael Crawford's ("Scarlet Ribbons" is precious!)
    Nat King Cole's (I just love his voice and phrasing)
    And finally, not a CD, but a concert aired on PBS in the late '90s, "Soul of Christmas: Celtic Music Celebration" with Iris DeMent singing "The Cherry Tree Carole" which is my all-time favorite Christmas carole.

    -Bridget :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  26. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    There's been some really good suggestions in this thread

    So I won't ruin it by saying I still really like the Nsync Christmas album :shuffle:
     
  27. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    I love her version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I think that she changed the song from a minor to a major key. I am not completely sure, but she did up the tempo, so it not as melancholy as other versions.
     
  28. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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  29. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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  30. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

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