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manx
11-30-2006, 10:41 PM
So yesterday I found out that, unlike previous years, the very busy bookshop where I work will be playing Christmas music from now till 6pm, Christmas Eve. This is a Direct Order from our head office, and no matter how loudly I protest, cannot be changed (and believe you me, there were very loud protests)

I've thrown out the three Christmas CDs that the shop had (Destiny's Child Christmas, the Christmas Reggae Remix and one ho-hum other) and I need to replace them, with something that won't drive me crazy over this long hot month.

Specifically, I am looking for anything classic - simple arrangements, maybe a gospel choir (actually, a gospel choir would be lovely), and also something like 'Tom Waits & Joni Mitchell Sing The Loneliest Christmas Ever'. Anything maudlin is good.

John Lennon's Happy Christmas is banned, as is that Rudolph song with the kids. You know the one, starts off 'Rudolph! Rudolph!' in their happy little voices. Shudder.

Any suggestions?

Lissa
11-30-2006, 10:53 PM
I liked Charlotte Church's Cristmas CD from a couple of years ago. (All except for her rendition of "Carol of the Bells" which she updated into a quick-paced and cheerful-sounding song.) Her voice really is incredible.

Some old Latin choral music might pass the test as "Christmassy" enough. It's also classy and subtle-- good for a bookstore.

Oslo Ostragoth
11-30-2006, 11:32 PM
So yesterday I found out that, unlike previous years, the very busy bookshop where I work will be playing Christmas music from now till 6pm, Christmas Eve. This is a Direct Order from our head office, and no matter how loudly I protest, cannot be changed (and believe you me, there were very loud protests)May I ask why you protested so loudly? Some Christmas music is among the most beautiful ever created. There is so much out there, and performed by so many different people, that you could play it 24/7 until the big day without repeating yourself, and without having to hear dogs bark "Jingle Bells".

Although I don't own any, check out Mannheim Steamroller.

Let me scratch my head for a day or two - I know some Can't Miss discs.

Squink
11-30-2006, 11:37 PM
http://www.amazon.ca/Messiah-Comp-George-Frideric-Handel/dp/B000002S20

Lots of catchy tunes for people to sing along with.
I see the price has gone up substantially since I bought Otto Klemperer's version though.

manx
11-30-2006, 11:43 PM
May I ask why you protested so loudly? Some Christmas music is among the most beautiful ever created. There is so much out there, and performed by so many different people, that you could play it 24/7 until the big day without repeating yourself, and without having to hear dogs bark "Jingle Bells".



I like Christmas music fine, I just hate pop remixs and that one that goes 'it's the MOST wonderful tiiiiime of the YEAR!' Because after a twelve-hour shift, it just becomes cruely mocking. The cheap christmas compilations all feature twelve of a possible twenty songs - I know them all backwards and it's a little bit more stress in an already busy time.

straykat23
12-01-2006, 02:09 AM
Anything by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that's Christmas-y. Try "Christmas Eve and Other Stories."

Here's an amazon offering:

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo (http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Other-Stories-Trans-Siberian-Orchestra/dp/B000002JX6/sr=1-1/qid=1164959497/ref=sr_1_1/104-6086527-8883960?ie=UTF8&s=music)

Scroll down to 'Listen to Samples' and select Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24. Good stuff.

The following quote is from a reviewer:

You probably already know this from reading other reviews, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is the alter ego of Savatage, a mostly heavy metal/progressive rock band whose albums tend to lean toward the "concept" side of creativity, which is to say they're generally quite a few notches above most music these days...and often contain flashes of brilliance not found anywhere else on the planet.
Amazon reviewers are usually suspect, but I believe this one to be spot on.

Walloon
12-01-2006, 05:32 AM
While you're at it, ask the head office why they're stopping the Christmas music on the very night that Christmas begins.

manx
12-01-2006, 06:39 AM
While you're at it, ask the head office why they're stopping the Christmas music on the very night that Christmas begins.

....because the store will be dark and empty while we're at home with our loved ones?

Walloon
12-01-2006, 06:46 AM
What about the twelve days of Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_days_of_christmas) ending on the Epiphany (Jan. 5)? That's when Christmas music should be played. :)

gigi
12-01-2006, 09:59 AM
I put mine over here (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=397961). I also have a good Mahalia Jackson Christmas album (http://www.amazon.com/Mahalia-Sings-Songs-Christmas-Jackson/dp/B000002AAO/sr=8-2/qid=1164988555/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/103-0528668-7167012?ie=UTF8&s=music)

This one (http://www.amazon.com/Gabriels-Message-Thousand-Years-Carols/dp/B00002EPSM/sr=8-2/qid=1164988684/ref=sr_1_2/103-0528668-7167012?ie=UTF8&s=music) also looked good.

On amazon, you can search for "Christmas" and then "Narrow by Category" using the list on the left. It helped me weed out from among the huge selection in there!

Chefguy
12-01-2006, 10:01 AM
David Benoit's Christmastime. Good music that easily fades into the background.

JustAnotherGeek
12-01-2006, 10:36 AM
I nominate December (http://www.amazon.com/December-Moody-Blues/dp/B0000DJYOD/sr=1-1/qid=1164990702/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-1439371-6760828?ie=UTF8&s=music) by the Moody Blues. They've taken some classics and redone them, and also some new ones. Many of the songs are more "Christmas themed" than "Christmas songs". (I.e., they don't beat you over the head with jingle bells, frosty, and santa.)


They do a remake of Lennon's Happy Christmas, though...

Skywatcher
12-01-2006, 10:43 AM
Though it does include "Happy Xmas (War is Over)", The Moody Blues December (http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=2906229&title=December&artist=The+Moody+Blues) CD would be perfect. I think Jewel's Joy: A Holiday Collection (http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1617808&title=Joy%3a+A+Holiday+Collection+%5bECD%5d&artist=Jewel+(Pop)) also fits the bill.

Can't go wrong with Bing. Here he is with the Andrews Sisters (http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1929551&title=A+Merry+Christmas+With+Bing+Crosby+%26+The...&artist=Bing+Crosby%2fAndrews+Sisters).

Just about everyone loves the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas (http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1004858&dm=t&recfrom=A+Charlie+Brown+Christmas+(Sdtk)-1022600), right?

Skywatcher
12-01-2006, 10:45 AM
For Gospel, see if you can find Ray Charles Celebrates a Gospel Christmas.

DeVena
12-01-2006, 10:52 AM
Maudlin? Have you heard Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong (http://www.amazon.com/Wintersong-Sarah-McLachlan/dp/B000HBKCDC/sr=1-1/qid=1164991531/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-0185247-9449577?ie=UTF8&s=music)?

And from the Not As Bad As You Thought It'd Be category... Bette Midler's Cool Yule (http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Yule-Bette-Midler/dp/B000I0QKFG/ref=pd_sim_m_2/104-0185247-9449577)

Bridget Burke
12-01-2006, 11:58 AM
http://www.amazon.ca/Messiah-Comp-George-Frideric-Handel/dp/B000002S20

Lots of catchy tunes for people to sing along with.
I see the price has gone up substantially since I bought Otto Klemperer's version though.

Here's MY favorite Messiah. Less florid & overwrought than some versions. And considerably cheaper! www.amazon.ca/Messiah-Comp-George-Frideric-Handel/dp/B00000427H/sr=1-1/qid=1164994735/ref=pd_bowtega_1/702-6078470-1916010?ie=UTF8&s=music

"Light In the Stable" by Emmylou Harris is lovely. www.amazon.ca/Light-Stable-Expanded-Emmylou-Harris/dp/B000641Z3Q/sr=1-1/qid=1164995154/ref=sr_1_1/702-6078470-1916010?ie=UTF8&s=music

"Noel" by Joan Baez is another classic. www.amazon.ca/Noel-Joan-Baez/dp/B00005NF1E/sr=1-1/qid=1164995225/ref=sr_1_1/702-6078470-1916010?ie=UTF8&s=music

John Fahey's spare acoustic guitar versions of Christmas tunes are incredibly wonderful. www.amazon.ca/New-Possibility-Faheys-Guitar-Christmas/dp/B00004W579/sr=1-1/qid=1164995417/ref=sr_1_1/702-6078470-1916010?ie=UTF8&s=music

"It's Christmas Man" by Texas's own nuclear polka band, Brave Combo, is less subtle--but quite amazing. (Most of their stuff is amazing.) www.amazon.ca/Its-Christmas-Man-Brave-Combo/dp/B0000003KD/sr=1-1/qid=1164995333/ref=sr_1_1/702-6078470-1916010?ie=UTF8&s=music

(I went with Amazon.ca, but Amazon.com also has samples in Windows Media, if you aren't RealPlayer equipped.

Point & Click!

Ceejaytee
12-01-2006, 12:20 PM
We Three Kings (http://www.amazon.com/We-Three-Kings-Roches/dp/B000009V0M/sr=1-1/qid=1164997119/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-0288035-9448729?ie=UTF8&s=music) by The Roches. Fantastic 3 part harmony, beautiful arrangements. I highly recommend it.

Oslo Ostragoth
12-02-2006, 10:13 PM
I thought of one to add: Kings College Choir (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/104-5183138-1847135?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=kings+college&Go.x=11&Go.y=9).

Doctor Who
12-02-2006, 10:39 PM
Buy the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. (http://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Recording-Television/dp/B000000XDJ/sr=8-3/qid=1165120664/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/102-6172831-6961766?ie=UTF8&s=music)

Listen and Repeat.