Your Holiday/Christmas Favorite Recordings

As I sit here enjoying a glass of cab, looking at the decorations that were put up today, watching the snow pile up outside(which must be removed tomorrow), and listening to my favorite Christmas CD - James Galaway's "Christmas Carol", I wonder what wonderful music you decide to dedicate to your tt or cd player this time of year? My top five are; 1. Galways "Christmas Carol" RCA RCD1-588, 2. Vince Guardaldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Fantasy FCD-8431-2, 3. David Grisman's "Acoustic Christmas" Rounder CD 0190, 4. Mannheim Steamroller "A Fesh Aire Christmas" Amercian Gramaphone Records AGCD 1988, and 5. Philadelphia Brass Ensemble "A Festival of Carols in Brass" CBS MK7033.

Oh yes, Happy Holidays to All! I've learned so much from so many here at Agon, and I am deeply appreciative.
I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
*A Swingerhead Christmas* is a great CD.
Ljgj - I felt the same about "I Believe in Father Christmas" and I still think it's a great song. But, once I really listened to the lyrics, I realized it's more an anti-Christmas song, certainly bashing commercialism, but perhaps even running deeper. Now, it always seems ironic to hear it played on the radio at Christmas time. I've included the lyrics below:

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the VIRGIN BIRTH
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas Tree smell
AND EYES full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
And they told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
'Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve
Here are my favorites:

Artist or Title Artist Title Label

Various Artists
Excelsis Box Set

Excelsis v.1 ~ a dark noel | 1995 CD
Excelsis v.2 ~ a winter's song | 1999 CD
Excelsis v. 3 ~ a prelude | 2001 Maxi-CD


1995's Excelsis v.1 ~ a dark noel has consistantly been one of Projekt's most popular releases. The follow-up, 1999's Excelsis v.2 ~ a winter's song, quickly brought joy to many more fans of darkwave music. In 2001, we added the the not-available-in-stores Excelsis 3 ~ a prelude Maxi-CD to create a trilogy of dark holiday releases. And to make it even more special, we have packaged the three of them in a beautiful tuck box (it is open on the right side, so the CDs easily slide in and out) with no barcode or ugly credits to ruin the design.

This package was a big hit for the 2001 holiday season, unfortunately we ran out before many of you had a chance to purchase it. PROJEKT packaged another 500 copies. The Excelsis Box makes a great holiday gift for your friends, or even for yourself. Happy Holidays.

A review from Prick Magazine
When Projekt released Excelsis~A Dark Noelin 1995, it became an instant holiday hit amongst fans of darkwave and gothic music looking for an alternative to candy-coated TRL Christmas tunes. Having since released two more volumes in the Excelsis series - 1999's A Winter's Song and 2001's A Prelude - the label is now offering the entire trilogy in this box set. From darker holiday interpretations such as Loveliescrushing's "Jingle Bells (Snowblower)" and Black Tape for a Blue Girl's "Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah" to surprisingly whimsical renditions like Faith & Disease's "Silver and Gold," this set show's that the holiday season's influence can be felt even in the darkwave underworld. Excelsis includes traditional carols as well as more contemporary tunes such as The Crüxshadows' cover of the John Lennon/Yoko Ono classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," which is not to be missed. - Jonathan Williams (Music Editor)


Excelsis v.1 ~ a dark noel tracks:

Arcanta: Carol of the Bells
Love Spirals Downwards: Welcome Christmas | MP3 streaming & download
FuchiKachis Ethu: Oh Come All Ye Faithful
This Ascension: Carol of the Bells | MP3 Download & Streaming Real Audio
Area: O Come Emmanuel
Thanatos: The First Noel
Lovesliescrushing: Jingle Bells (Snowblower)
Balderas & Osborne: What Child Is This?
black tape for a blue girl: Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah | MP3 streaming & download
Sorrow: The Little Drummer Boy
Lycia/The Unquiet Void: We Three Kings
Eva O: O Holy Night
Faith and the Muse: A Winter Wassail
Autopsia: Stille Nacht (g)RAVE remix
Attrition: Silent Night

Excelsis v.2 ~ a winter's song tracks:

El Duende: Gaudete, Gaudete
Rhea's Obsession with Athan Maroulis (of Spahn Ranch): We Three Kings
London After Midnight: The Christmas Song
The Crüxshadows: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Unto Ashes: Lord Of The Dance
The Machine in the Garden: Coventry Carol
Faith & Disease: Silver and Gold
Lynn Canfield (of The Moon Seven Times): The True Present
Sofia Run - Nerotai Hazarurim (Little Candles)
Siddal: In The Bleak Midwinter
Thanatos: Silent Night
Julia Kent (of Rasputina): What Child is This?
Rhea's Obsession: Huron Indian Carol
Lycia: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Human Drama: I Believe In Father Christmas

Excelsis v.3 ~ a prelude tracks:

Lovespirals: Aspen Glow
Lynn Canfield: Edelweiss
Audra: Let The Reindeer Live On My Roof | MP3 streaming & download
Lowsunday: Blue Christmas
Frolic: Angels We Have Heard On High
Faith & Disease: Silver And Gold (alternate version)
Mirabilis: Riu Riu Chiu
Unto Ashes: Krampusnacht (for Krampus, the Christmas Demon)
Lynn Canfield: Let Your Little Sister Pet The Kitty Too

Merchandise by This Artist

PRO2062L Excelsis Angel - L Long Sleeve Sweatshirt Shirt (Projekt, 1995)
PRO2062X Excelsis Angel - XL Long Sleeve Sweatshirt Shirt (Projekt, 1995)

Artist or Title Artist Title Label

Angels of Venice
Trine Records | AOV01004

1. Carol Of The Bells | MP3
2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen MP3
3. Little Drummer Boy
4. Polorum regina - Llibre Vermell (14th century)
5. What Child Is This
6. We Three Kings
7. O Holy Night
8. Silent Night
9. Edelweiss
10. Good King Wenceslas
11. Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
BONUS TRACK: 12. Carol Of The Bells (vocal version)
Total Time: 50:02

BRAND NEW Angels of Venice Christmas CD (official release date October 31, 2003)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is Angels Of Venice first release since 2000! This highly anticipated new CD consists of traditional Christmas songs arranged in ways your ears have never heard before! The song styles range from danceable world music with middle eastern influences to ethereal, medieval, renaissance, baroque and classical. There is a victorian/gothic-styled "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" that would easily fit in A Nightmare Before Christmas or The Adams Family as well as danceable world music versions of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Little Drummer Boy" (DJs take note!). Instruments include harp, flute, cello, percussion, violin, Gregorian vocals, oud, sitar, temple bells, church bells, chimes, lush string sounds and more. Band comparisons would be Dead Can Dance, Enigma and Loreena McKennitt. Sure to be a holiday classic!

Other Albums by This Artist

AOV01001 Music for Harp, Flute and Cello CD (Angels of Venice, 1994)
AOV01002 Awake Inside A Dream CD (Angels of Venice, 1996)
AOV01003 Carol Tatum's Music For Harp CD (Angels of Venice, 2000)

Merchandise by This Artist None at this time.

Taken from the PROJEKT web site.
Thanks SAM
The Roches Christmas CD. Quirky, but traditional songs beautifully done in this group's own distinctive style.
Tvad, you have some very interesting points about the song. I always felt
it was an anti-commercial take on Christmas but not necessarily an anti
- Christmas song. The last line really sums up what I feel to be his
intent. The Christmas you experience is usually the experience you want
it to be or wind up with depending on your behavior towards it and
mankind. I enjoyed your points.
I don't have the patience to write a tome, like some of the previous posters, but here is my short list.
1) Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas

2) Contemporary Christian Christmas. Margaret Becker's "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is fantastic. Very well recorded disc, with dozens of artists.

3) Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I listened to it Saturday, but can't remember the name?!?

4) Traditional German Christmas - Various artists
A Rennaisance Christmas (Boston Camerata)

On Yoolis Night (medieval cantatas, chants, etc.) (The Anonymous 4)
none !

none !
Esquivel-Merry Xmas From The Space-Age Bachelor Pad.
"Blue Yule"
Christmas done by blues artists
Larry Carlton - Christmas at my House.
Check the other threads under Christmas, some good ones to be found.....sorry no new ones this year from me, ive been home with the flu and havent checked the used bins.....Merry Christmas
Ok, i see the thread i was looking for is heres two unusaul finds....'An American Christmas' Norman and Nancy blake, Roy Huskey Jr, Vassar Clements, Ronnie McCoury, James Byran. A relaxing authentic traditional take on Christmas, no show boating, just, if you can find 'A Christmas Cocktail' by Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra, your in for a treat. From strait jazz to just plain weird, this CD is a hoot. Good sound too, i love it. Well if i feel better im off to the local Manifest to look for something new, see ya.
try and find Keur Moussa: Sacred Chants & African Rhythms from Senegal...outstanding recording with interesting music... a must have!
Ray Coniff Singers Christmas Album and Andy Williams Christmas Album. Both lps always brings childhood memories around the Christmas tree .
Christmas in Suburbia by Martin Newell
(from The Greatest Living Englishman)

Going home for Christmas in suburbia
Where the sodium lights are golden in the rain
On the plastic and the chrome of the people going home
They will jingle jangle by electric candlelight
Christmas time

I'll celebrate a shoestring saturnalia
With a cracker or two and some cheap old sherry wine
(sherry wine about a quid or two)
We'll have tofu (???)
You can let the turkey go
I'm not killing over Christmas in suburbia any time

Party round at my place after closing time
You can bring your own there's none at home
I drank it all
You might have known!

All the stars are shining in suburbia
As you wake up in a room that's not your own
There's an angel in your bed, and you wonder what you said
Then you realise its Christmas in suburbia
Christmas time

There's an angel in your bed, and you wonder what you said
Then you realise its Christmas
You realise its Christmas
You realise its Christmas in suburbia
Christmas time

Merry Christmas darling...

As a side note, you can see Martin Newell in action with Captain Sensible (of the Damned), performing their Punk Aid charitable single here. Windows media player clip..
Charles Brown-- Blue Christmas. Not to be confused with Charlie Brown.
"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".

For classical music fans, here are some LP selections I've been listening to this week that regularly return to the turntable even outside the Christmas season:

In Dulci Jubilo, Christmas Music of the 15-18th Centuries, Jurgens/MonteverdiChHamburg, Telefunken SAWT 9419

Christmas Music from Medieval & Ren Europe, The Sixteen, Hyperion A66263

Gregorian Chants-Hungary Vol.1-Christmas, Schola Hungarica, Dobszay/Szendrei, Hungaraton SLPX 11477

On Christmas Night, Christmas Carols sung by the Choir of King's College, Willcocks/ChoirKingsColl/LSO, Preston -org, Argo ZRG 5333

Responsoria of Matins at Christmas, Estrada/Schola de Montserrat, Archiv 2533 158

Handel, Messiah, Davis/LSO, Philips 802 721/3 (this year's choice for enjoyment)

Christmas Hymns and Carols, Vol 1, Robert Shaw Chorale, RCA LSC 2139 (well, this one pretty much only shows up in December...)

And on CD:
Aquitania - Christmas Music from Aquitanian Monestaries, Sequentia, Harmonia Mundi 77383

Thys Yool - A Medieval Christmas, Martin Best Ensemble, Nimbus 5137

On Yoolis Night - Medieval Carols & Motets, Anonymous 4, Harmonia Mundi 907099

Best wishes of the season to all,
Three Ships by Jon Anderson. Good luck finding it though.