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I wanted to try something a little different today and ask a question to everyone who reads this: where does your love of Christmas music come from?
I came up with this idea earlier today when I was kneading bread dough and listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories for what is probably about the hundredth time. I got that album in 1997, and it was the first Christmas album I ever owned. I think I got another one or two albums that year, but that was really the one that started it all for me. The combination of traditional Christmas music with progressive rock and heavy metal was unlike anything I had ever heard before, and it fit perfectly with my taste at the time. The following year I really began collecting Christmas music in earnest, and at this point in my life it's something bordering on an obsession - I'm always on the lookout for new songs and new versions of old songs, hence all the music that I find and share with you here.
So does anyone else have a special album or song to which they can trace back their love of Christmas music? If so, please share it in the comments. I'd love to know where everyone who reads this blog is coming from musically.
Here are a couple of singles from some popular country artists that you might enjoy:
- Tim McGraw's "Christmas All Over the World", a nice, upbeat, original Christmas song.
- Lonestar's "O Come All Ye Faithful", which seems to be from a fairly obscure 2007 release called My Christmas List.
- "Little Saint Nick". My initial reaction to this song was that it sounds like the Beach Boys; a quick check on Google for some of the lyrics revealed that it IS actually a Beach Boys song, so I think it must be quite well done. The vocal harmonies are great.
- "Christmas Time is Here". I never know if these guys are going to throw a disco metal breakdown or something into the middle of a song, so my first listen is always on the cautious side. This one turns out to be a straight cover of the beloved song from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and it's very well done.
- "White Christmas". A little bit of genre hopping in this one, going from a country sound for about the first two thirds of the song (including a very nice steel guitar section), and concluding with a headbanging rock outro.
What about this song in general - are there any versions you think that people should hear? Besides Lennon's original, my two favourite versions are an instrumental version by Japanese guitarist Hotei on the first Merry Axemas album, and Sarah McLachlan's version from her Wintersong album. I can't share those versions for free, although I'm sure there are plenty of places you can stream them online if you really want to.
Happy Xmas, and happy listening!
I have an amazingly catchy Christmas song that I'd love to post about, but there's one little problem: it's riddled with profanity and is in no way safe for work, kids, or a host of other environments. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this would really be uncharted territory for this blog. I haven't intentionally set out to make this a family friendly blog, but that's pretty much how it's worked out so far.
So, quick question: would you be okay with seeing this kind of song posted here? Sound off in the comments, and I'll wait at least a day before coming to a final decision on it.
Posted by Jeff Taylor at 20:50
I haven't had a lot of time for blogging this year (in fact, I think I only managed to make one post on my other blog all year, and that was back in January), but I'm hoping to be able to make some time for Christmas music posts over the next few weeks. I think one reason I've been so hesitant to post anything is the fact that I like to be very thorough about things, which ends up being very time consuming - it takes multiple listens to an album before I feel ready to write about it, and it also takes a long time to write the actual post. I'm going to try relaxing a bit this year - posts probably won't be as long and detailed as in past years, and I won't be overly concerned with having to say something about every single song on an album. In a way, this could end up being even more challenging for me than trying to write a new post every day! But for the love of free Christmas music (which hasn't diminished a bit - I still find myself scouring multiple sources whenever I have the time, looking for new songs and interesting takes on old songs), it should be a lot of fun.
While I finish figuring out just how I'm going to approach this, I welcome any comments that anyone may have. Is there anything you'd like to see posted here - maybe a song, an artist, or a style that hasn't been covered before? Got a link to some good Christmas music? Please post it! After all, this blog would not exist without you, my readers, so if there's any way I can make it a better experience for you, please let me know.
Also, just for fun, I've decided to create a Google+ page about the blog. There's nothing there yet, and to be honest I'm still not certain what kind of content will be there, but if you're on Google+ and would like to circle the page, please do!