Classic Christmas: Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas
Over the holidays, we're looking back at some classic Christmas albums taking some track by track and just digging on others.
Let me just get this out of the way right off the bat: I don't care for Mannheim Steamroller. I think their music is odd and a little creepy. But, that doesn't mean 1984's Christmas isn't a classic or that people love this damn thing. It is and they do.
As we draw to a close this Christmas season and the list of classic Christmas albums, I'd be remiss if I didn't drop in a nod to this very well liked new age holiday record. It has sold nearly 3.5 million copies according to SoundScan, but more than 6 million copies have shipped to stores since it was released and it's apparently great for timing your Christmas lights display (see video below).
The album contains many Christmas favorites including "Deck the Halls" and "We Three Kings." It also has a "suite" of songs that fit into one long new age holiday jam. This is a substantially different record from the sparse piano solos of George Winston's December. Instead, this is lush, '80s synth-driven ambiance mixed with stiffly programmed drum rhythms.
Not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but it is ubiquitous during the holidays and definitely a classic.
Check out previous classic Christmas album recaps:
Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
Elvis Presley - Elvis' Christmas Album
Perry Como - The Perry Como Christmas Album
Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby
Johnny Mathis - Merry Christmas
Andy Williams - The Andy Williams Christmas Album
Phil Spector - A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records
Frank Sinatra - A Jolly Christmas fro Frank Sinatra
The Carpenters - Christmas Portrait
Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas
George Winston - December
Various Artists - A Very Special Christmas
Mel Torme - Christmas Songs