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Best Christmas Music

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Yes, actually. I bought a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD each year of college. Their sound never progressed much beyond the '80s when the first album came out, but it's fun. I also like the few Trans-Siberian Christmas arrangements I've heard on the radio.

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That's the most depressing thing I've read in a long time. Surely you can look beyond your experiences in commercialism and find the true joys of the season, in spending time with family and friends, giving to those less fortunate than you, reflecting on any personal faith?

Charlie Brown, is that you? Okay, I still believe!

Anyways, I guess the whole commercialism thing really has gotten to me.

Has anyone heard Bette Midler's version of "Somewhere in My Memory"? It's hilarious, in a horrifying way. That song does not lend itself to a pop arrangement. :devil:

Amen, brother.

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What about Mannhiem Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Anybody listen to these Christmas CDs?

Oh yes. We listen to a lot of Mannheim around here. Chip Davis' original Traditions of Christmas is quite lovely.

These are some generic favorites, with no specific recording in mind:

Silent Night

O Holy Night

"What Child Is This?" / Greensleaves

Old Toy Trains / Little Toy Trains

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Has anyone heard Bette Midler's version of "Somewhere in My Memory"? It's hilarious, in a horrifying way. That song does not lend itself to a pop arrangement. :devil:

I listened to it on YouTube. It's not bad, per se, but it's so dull and unambitious! The same thing happened to Alan Menken's Disney songs in the early nineties, though those pop renditions were slightly more energetic.

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Just want to let everybody who owns A Charlie Brown Christmas, and was debating over whether the 4 alternate tracks were worth it, they are availible on iTunes.

What about Mannhiem Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Anybody listen to these Christmas CDs?

Yes, I love the Trans-Siberan Orchestra!

Has anyone heard Bette Midler's version of "Somewhere in My Memory"? It's hilarious, in a horrifying way. That song does not lend itself to a pop arrangement. ;)

I listened to it on YouTube. It's not bad, per se, but it's so dull and unambitious! The same thing happened to Alan Menken's Disney songs in the early nineties, though those pop renditions were slightly more energetic.

Here's the link for everyone:

Ukk...that's terrible!!!

Sorry about the horrendous Sims images, it was the first video I saw.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the greatest Christmas album of all time.

Indeed!

That's been expressed a few times, maybe I should look into it.

You should defenetly get it. It never fails to get me in a Christmas mood!

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What type of music is on that album?

Ray Barnsbury - trying to elicit more than the usual amount of verbal expression from Alan

Reinterpretations of Christmas carols and classical pieces, along with some originals, too. Broadly speaking, tends to be in a "New Age" vein, though the artists come from a variety of backgrounds, including jazz, folk, pop, and classical. Track 10 happens to be written by a certain Mark Isham. Several more albums in the series, if you're interested.

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Just want to let everybody who owns A Charlie Brown Christmas, and was debating over whether the 4 alternate tracks were worth it, they are availible on iTunes.
What about Mannhiem Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Anybody listen to these Christmas CDs?

Yes, I love the Trans-Siberan Orchestra!

Has anyone heard Bette Midler's version of "Somewhere in My Memory"? It's hilarious, in a horrifying way. That song does not lend itself to a pop arrangement. :)

I listened to it on YouTube. It's not bad, per se, but it's so dull and unambitious! The same thing happened to Alan Menken's Disney songs in the early nineties, though those pop renditions were slightly more energetic.

Here's the link for everyone:

Ukk...that's terrible!!!

Sorry about the horrendous Sims images, it was the first video I saw.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the greatest Christmas album of all time.

Indeed!

That's been expressed a few times, maybe I should look into it.

You should defenetly get it. It never fails to get me in a Christmas mood!

I own both the original and the new CD wth. alternate tracks, and here's something interesting. There are actually more alternate tracks on the disc than are listed. "Linus and Lucy" and "Christmas is Coming" are both ALTERNATE takes on the new release. The original album and CD contains the original recordings.

So the new CD contains at least 6 alternate takes. However it is missing two of the original tracks, found on the original album.

Hope this helps!

Dave

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I'll listen to Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Sweet! I don't have those scores yet, but every Christmas season I alternate between watching Die Hard and Die Harder. I think I'll have to watch Lethal Weapon also - it's been a while for that one.

Regarding Christmas music, I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't get into most of it. Maybe it has to do with the tramatic childhood exerience of my mom over-playing the Elvis Christmas record...in July. :( I want to clarify that I do love Christmas overall, just not Christmas music.

I've always thought that the Star Trek IV soundtrack has a Christmas feel to it, and I still like to whip out that CD this time of year. I used to be a huge Trek fan in my childhood, and I remember I saw it in the theater that December ('86). The movie's symbolism of Kirk to Christ didn't escape me even back then, and I think the Christmasy sound was intentional.

Yes, and I think the Star Trek IV soundtrack is even better than the first time it was released (under the title of Lord of the Rings).

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Do we realize what we call Christmas music or Christmas sound (lush embellished orchestral sound with thorough string writing) is actually for a great deal invented by Williams himself? He was a quite regular arranger for Christmas songs in the 50's (around when the style was developed).

That we think cues in Home Alone and Harry Potter (and in my opinion also Call of the Champions, Hook and Jurassic Park) sound 'Christmassy' or 'snowy' (as someone I know called it ;)) isn't therefore quite remarkable actually :wave:

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I created an iTunes playlist for all my Christmas music. I have the Bach and Rutter Magnificats, Handel's Messiah, Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and Hodie by Vaughan-Williams. Add to that The Polar Express and a little bit of Narnia, along with Christmas at Hogwarts. A Charlie Brown Christmas is on the list too. Christmas just doesn't feel right without that CD.

I also have a recording of that horrible guy butchering O Holy Night lol.

I need to get Home Alone 1 and 2. It's on my Christmas wishlist this year, which means I won't get to enjoy it until the 25th.

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Mychael Danna's The Nativity Story is one I had forgotten about and just listened to again. A very ethnic score filled with hints of familiar carols. Kind of a heavy score, but I quite like it.

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I created an iTunes playlist for all my Christmas music. I have the Bach and Rutter Magnificats, Handel's Messiah, Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and Hodie by Vaughan-Williams. Add to that The Polar Express and a little bit of Narnia, along with Christmas at Hogwarts. A Charlie Brown Christmas is on the list too. Christmas just doesn't feel right without that CD.

I also have a recording of that horrible guy butchering O Holy Night lol.

I need to get Home Alone 1 and 2. It's on my Christmas wishlist this year, which means I won't get to enjoy it until the 25th.

Yes, I have a Christmas playlist too, they're very handy.

I think you'll love HA, it is great, and not just for Christmas.

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Let's see, for the last few years I've been associating Debney's Passion of the Christ with Christmas. Ignoring the obvious inconsistency, our city has been putting on a Nativity play for the last three years that an old teacher and friend of mine directed. He designed a whole mini-town and costumes and it was put on nightly leading up to Christmas; at only 15 minutes long it would be reset and performed about 12 times a night. Had the whole hog - sand, donkeys, camels and a huge star to follow. He used a lot of Debney's score for transitions and mood music, as well as Yared's gorgeous score to City of Angels. I was fortunate enough to be an actor in the original, it was an excellent experience.

Unfortunately due to budgeting the second year was far smaller, and by last year it was located indoors - sans camels and sand - at the basketball stadium. Needless to say I haven't been back since the first year. A pity it turned into another commercial affair, against the very principles it was created by.

Also I always give the first two Potter scores a thorough listen around Christmas. Many, many good memories of receiving those over the two Christmases and enjoying the movies which had just been released.

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There's nothing like singing along with the lyrics of "Ave Satani" under the christmas tree, when you unwrap another pair of wooly socks from your nana.

Haha, sounds great :P I should try this, maybe this year ... :lol:

My fav carol seems to be O Holy Night, also Adeste fideles, also JW's carols of course, and some songs (Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Let It Snow, The Christmas Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas ...).

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I always make a point to listen through the following once every Christmas:

Handel's Messiah (Pinnock)

Vaughan Williams' Hodie

Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (complete ballet)

Plus I love to play certain magical Christmas pop songs. December Will be Magic Again by Kate Bush is especially good.

I also really love the sound of a brass band playing traditional Christmas Carols. The orchestral arrangements of the Christmas medley in the Home Alone 2 score are lovely.

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Here are the Christmas related scores I will be playing an awful lot this holiday season:

1) The Snowman (Blake)

2) Home Alone (Williams)

3) Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (Williams)

4) Edward Scissorhands (Elfman)

5) The Polar Express (Silvestri)

6) Miracle On 34th Street (Broughton)

7) It's A Wonderful Life (Tiomkin)

8) Santa Claus: The Movie (Mancini)

9) Blizzard (McKenzie)

10) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Horner)

:P

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Reading back on this thread, I was freaking Ray "Linus" Barnsbury last year. Guess the season'll do that to you!

My most recent Christmas addition was Jingle All The Way.

Is it very Christmasy?

I recently got Mychael Danna's The Nativity Story, which is quite nice and a good break from the bouncy Christmas pop songs I hear on the radio all day.

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My most recent Christmas addition was Jingle All The Way.

Is it very Christmasy?

Actually, not really. It's a great score, full of bombast and fun, but it doesn't have the Christmas feel. There are a couple of references to Christmas--bits of "Jingle Bells" sprinkled throughout a couple of cues, some bells are used a few times, and there's a cue that is a medley of music from The Nutcracker--but that's it. I still highly recommend it, but not for the Christmas aspect.

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I was looking back at my list from page one and I forgot some. Star Trek Generations, HP:SS & Hook are scores I like to play at Christmas.

Every year during the holiday season our public radio station plays nothing but Christmas music 24 hours a day up until Dec 26th. They usually start the second week of December. And it's all the older ones, none of the new songs butchered by current artists. But it's everything from instrumental to songs.

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;)
I recently got Mychael Danna's The Nativity Story, which is quite nice and a good break from the bouncy Christmas pop songs I hear on the radio all day.

It's neat how he weaves "modern" carols into the cues.

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:lol:
I recently got Mychael Danna's The Nativity Story, which is quite nice and a good break from the bouncy Christmas pop songs I hear on the radio all day.

It's neat how he weaves "modern" carols into the cues.

Yes - I know he makes use of "Veni, Veni Emmanuel" and "Silent Night" obviously, along with "Carol of the Bells." Are there any more you know of?

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Gotta play some Trans-Siberian Orchestra around the holidays. Even if it's just picking and choosing the best songs.

I've tried twice to get into them both times I've given the CD away.

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What's the worst, THE WORST, Christmas song/album any of you have ever heard?

8fdozmu.jpg

Track listing

1. "Christmas in the Stars" – 3:17

2. "Bells, Bells, Bells" – 3:15

3. "The Odds Against Christmas" – 3:04

4. "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)" – 3:24

5. "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas" – 3:16

6. "Sleigh Ride" – 3:36

7. "Merry, Merry Christmas" – 2:09

8. "A Christmas Sighting ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)" – 3:43

9. "The Meaning of Christmas" – 8:08

Not that I've actually heard it...

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Gotta play some Trans-Siberian Orchestra around the holidays. Even if it's just picking and choosing the best songs.

I've tried twice to get into them both times I've given the CD away.

I can understand. I've tried to listen to any of their albums straight through, and I can't do it. If anything, I skip the vocal tracks and just listen to the instrumental stuff. So I just tack the highlights onto a mix with other more traditional Christmas fare, which now includes both Home Alone scores. Highlights from the TSO albums would include Sarajevo 12/24, A Mad Russian's Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithfu/O Holy Night, Christmas Canon, and March of the Kings.

My brother's seen them twice and loves them, but I'm far more picky with my live shows: if I can't listen to their album, I don't want to see them live.

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Yes, I like how the trumpet at the end plays the part of the horse. If you like Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride", you can't leave out his "A Christmas Festival." That is one amazing piece of music. The community band I'm in plays both. Good thing I've got the Arthur Fielder Boston Pops performance handy, because each version at Youtube is lousy.

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Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Because they came out around Christmas in my early days of collecting, when I played new stuff back-to-back for a while.

I always end up playing the LotR CRs during Christmas if I can.

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