Title - The Classic Christmas Album Collections
Artist - Sarah McLachlan, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc.
Legacy Recordings' Classic Christmas Album series rings in this year's holiday season with new collections by Sarah McLachlan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Celtic Thunder and even an 80's Christmas compilation of various well-known artists. The so-far released four (4) new titles will all be available to buy in the stores, or online, from October 2nd, 2015 onward through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
Sure, Sarah McLachlan has previously released a Christmas album ie: Wintersong, but this new one, The Classic Christmas Album contains five (5) more tracks than that one! So, if you're looking for a feast this holiday season, that's not just for your stomach but for your ears as well, Sarah McLachlan is certain to steal your heart and satisfy your appetite with her new Classic Christmas Album. From the opening track onward, 'Wintersong' itself, funnily enough, on through to the John Lennon/Yoko Ono peace anthem 'Happy Xmas/War Is Over,' which is complete with The Sarah McLachlan Outreach Children's Choir and Youth Choir, and inclusive of traditional songs such as 'What Child Is This? (Greensleeves),' 'Silent Night' and 'In The Bleak Mid-Winter,' this new collection has obviously been created with immense clarity for the artist and the season therein.
Oh, and if ever there were any reservations that Sarah McLachlan was a Joni Mitchell fan, those doubts are erased with her splendid interpretation of the 1971 evergreen 'River,' which sprouted from the famous Blue album. This song is sung so exquisitely, Mitchell herself has to be beaming that one of her treasures is touched upon with such reverence. Of course, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' is a song that will always be identified with the late, great Judy Garland and Sarah presents us with a special serving that makes it her own without straying away from the original sentiment. It's clear that Sarah has an affinity for her fellow Canuck's, as she sang so beautifully on the aforementioned Joni Mitchell sonata and she does on Gordon Lightfoot's 70's classic 'Songs For A Winter's Night,' which is sung with such delicate perfection it's almost as if she was auditioning for the veteran songwriter himself.
Much like Sarah McLachlan had previously released a Christmas album before her new collection, Earth, Wind & Fire have done much the same thing also! Late last year they released Holiday, and as much as this new one, The Classic Christmas Album contains five (5) more tracks than that one, it is also 100% EXACTLY the same album save for those additional tracks!
Ergo, both the aforementioned Holiday (2014) and this Classic Christmas Album are BOTH vintage Earth, Wind and Fire, chock full of infectious joy, energetic, uplifting, soaring and melodic musical stances. The mid-tempo tunes in particular are a beautiful blend of jazz, R&B and superb vocals by the iconic Philip Bailey. 'What Child Is This' has echoes of 'Fantasy'. 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' weaves in 'Dominique' and beautiful piano work by Myron McKinley. Fire classics like 'Be Ever Wonderful', 'Singasong', 'Happy Feelin', 'September' and 'Got To Get You Into My Life' all find a seamless place under clever and creative production by Bailey and McKinley.
Additional five (5) tracks on The Classic Christmas Album include 'Gather Round' (from 2005), 'Get Your Hump On This Christmas' (featuring Cleveland Brown, from Twentieth Century Fox Television’s “A Cleveland Brown Christmas”), 'I Asked For A Miracle (God Gave Me You)' (Philip Bailey with Full Force, 1991), 'Open Your Heard to Love' and 'One World' (both 1990). So, if you are a true fan of EWAF, and you already have Holiday, which I'm sure you do, you might wish to think twice about this "extended version." Then again, those additional tracks, for the most part, are classic EWAF so why not, you know what I mean :-)
Again, much like both Sarah McLachlan and Earth, Wind & Fire had previously released a Christmas album before their new collections, Celtic Thunder have actually released a few! Holiday Symphony, Celtic Under Christmas, and so forth have already been on the market for years, so Celtic Thunder's new The Classic Christmas Album may not exactly contain anything new, per say, but it is a fantastic grouping together of their Christmas hits, that's for sure.
Recorded in Ireland, The Classic Christmas Album by Celtic Thunder is a quite brilliant collection of seasonal music from Celtic Thunder creator Sharon Browne and Musical Director David Munro. For those not in the know, Celtic Thunder are the highly renowned Irish theatrical singing ensemble who first appeared on Public Television in 2008. Hailed three times as BILLBOARD’s Top World Music Artist and Top World Imprint (2008, 2009 and 2011), Celtic Thunder has achieved sales of over 2 million copies to date.
This new collection is a wonderful showcase for the guys, their individual and collective talents therein. They all their own unique abilities (if you watch them on DVD or on PBS you'll see what I mean in more clarity), and this Christmas album should actually even appeal to those not attune to the lads - let alone their wider, beloved audience. Indeed, the entire production on these Christmas songs is inventive and well produced. Yes, these guys are Irish, and they bring that flavor to all of their music, but they go far beyond that on tracks such as 'Carol of The Bells,' 'Gabriel's Message,' 'Away In A Manger,' and both 'Oh Holy Night' and even the new-school classic, 'Fairytale of New York,' trust me.
Lastly, so far, is The Classic Christmas ’80s Album, one of this year’s new additions to Legacy Recordings’ Classic Christmas Album series. Personally, I've always loved these such compilations, and this 15 track, all-star anthology of timeless seasonal songs from the worlds of pop, rock, rap and soul just strengthen my love for them even more!
Proving that the spirit of Christmas moves through a variety of musical genres, seminal 80’s artists on The Classic Christmas ’80s Album include: The Waitresses ('Christmas Wrapping'), Wham! ('Last Christmas'), The Bangles ('Hazy Shade of Winter'), Run-D.M.C. ('Christmas in Hollis'), Daryl Hall & John Oates ('Jingle Bell Rock'), Whitney Houston ('Do You Hear What I Hear?'), Billy Squier ('Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You'' [Single Version]), Dave Edmunds ('Run Rudolph Run'), Buster Poindexter and His Banshees Of Blue ('Zat You Santa Claus'), The Pointer Sisters ('Santa Claus Is Coming to Town'), Ray Parker Jr. ('Christmas Time Is Here'), Bob & Doug McKenzie ('Twelve Days Of Christmas' [Single Version]), New Kids On The Block ('This One’s for the Children'), Fishbone ('Slick Nick, You Devil You'), and finally, The Hooters ('Silent Night').