It’s the Christmas week so I decided to have a majority of the season’s music incorporated on my playlist.
This is what I’ve chosen for you-
I’ve probably said this before but I’ll say it again. I think Jason Mraz is a very talented musician and his music has the most unique effect on me. I enjoy the exceptional guitar work, his voice, the playfulness, his ability to convey emotion so evidently through his music. His version of this popular Christmas Carol is simply beautiful. It’s really short a song at roughly 2 minutes long, so you kinda feel a little disappointed when it ends. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably play it all over again.
I’ve played it 4 times in a row now while writing this post.
The Verve Pipe are an alternative rock- post grunge band, formed in East Lansing, Michigan in 1992. Their first major label release was 1996’s ‘Villains’, which was a minor hit and launched two respectably-selling singles, first ‘Photograph’ then the #1 hit ‘The Freshmen’. The song was first featured, in acoustic style, on their 1992 album ‘I’ve Suffered A Head Injury’.
According to the FAQ on “Verve Pipings”, guitarist and lead singer Brian Vander Ark wrote the song in 1991 about the guilt he felt from his ex-girlfriend committing suicide. The song is extremely expressive and beautifully written in my opinion. Brian Vander Ark’s voice conveys more emotion than you could imagine, and the general structure of this track is very impressive.
I’ve always thought Jars Of Clay are a very impressive and fine band with plenty of talent. I chose to share their version of the carol O Little Town Of Bethlehem because of how perfectly different it is from the traditional carol. You’ll know when you listen to it, and I’m hoping you’ll love it.
The carol is track #4 on their album ‘Christmas Songs’ which is the band’s first full-length Christmas album.
This next track I’m sharing always makes me want to kick off my shoes, loosen my hair and dance around like crazy. I’m talking about the 80s hit 867-5309/Jenny by American power pop band Tommy Tutone.
“867-5309/Jenny” is a song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone that was released on the album ‘Tommy Tutone 2’, on the Columbia Records label. It peaked at #4 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart and #16 on the ‘Billboard Top Tracks’ chart in 1982. The song also caused a fad of people calling 867-5309 and asking for “Jenny”.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has released several studio albums and experienced significant commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician. The track ‘Rudolph- The Red-nosed Reindeer’ is track #1 on the 97′ album ‘Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas’. If you haven’t heard of, or heard the album, you should. Particularly if you love guitars and would love to hear those talented guitarists around the world.
You’ve most definitely heard John Lennon’s ‘Imagine‘. The song that within a short period became synonymous with the man’s name. I would like to give you a cover of that famous track. A cover by the late 90s American supergroup, A Perfect Circle. The track is from the band’s third album ‘eMOTIVe’ which contains 10 cover songs and 2 original songs.
I don’t mean any offense to John Lennon or his ardent fans, but I need to be honest about how much I love this cover better. It probably appeals to me for several reasons. One, it’s exactly within the scope of what I would describe as “my music”. Two, it’s about 5 minutes of sheer musical brilliance. I’ll stop with the reasons there.
Everybody I’ve suggested this track to have been in awe at how well executed it is. A Perfect Circle’s version of Imagine is a song by itself. You can’t really compare Lennon’s original with it, you wouldn’t be doing justice to either.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is an American progressive rock band founded in 1996 by producer, composer, and lyricist Paul O’Neill, who brought together Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli (both members of Savatage) and keyboardist and co-producer Robert Kinkel to form the core of the creative team.
I’ve heard several of the band’s tracks, and even tried to cover a few with my brother and other musician friends. Trans-Siberian Orchestra really is something, and if you haven’t heard them yet, go do it now!
“The Christmas Canon” is a Christmas song set to the tune of Johann Pachelbel‘s Canon in D Major with new lyrics added. The style is a departure from TSO’s usual rock arrangements, instead being performed in the style of a children’s choir with light accompaniment from piano and strings. The group’s rock version is entitled “Christmas Canon Rock”, which debuted on their 2004 album ‘The Lost Christmas Eve’.
As of December 2010, the song served as the third best-selling holiday song in digital history with 701,000 downloads.
I hope you enjoy playlist #27 as much as you’ve enjoyed the others; or more. I’ll be talking to you again in about a week’s time.
Happy Holidays & Happy Listening!