Thursday, November 22, 2007

6. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
This is the first Christmas Album from Mannheim Steamroller (the one with the black cover). This was a groundbreaking album in the Christmas music genre. It was so innovative that it spawned a whole new movement in the field - new age Christmas music. After this album, other artists realized that they could tweak traditional Christmas tunes and not be burned for heresy. The music actually spans quite a spectrum -- from contemporary rockin’ versions of songs like “Deck the Halls” and “God rest ye merry, gentlemen” to more traditional takes on songs like ‘Coventry Carol”. The CD is really known for the jazzier stuff, but the real gem is the final song -- “Stille Nacht” - it’s usually the song I close my Christmas music listening with each year. It captures, I think, all of things which make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.
Incidentally, Mannheim Steamroller has done several more Christmas CD’s since this one -- with varying degrees of success, but none have been as impactful as the this first album.

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