Well at long last, we the aficionados of Progressive Rock, have our own Christmas CD in the form of a lavish package of seasonal songs featuring Members of YES, Renaissance, Utopia, Focus, Curved Air, Hawkwind, Steve Morse and others. No more do we have to suffer the endless churning out of the same old familiar artists in our homes as this album brings a fresh new vocally and instrumentally superior arrangement to all of the favourite festive songs. Of course the chances of anyone playing this splendid album as you stroll around your local food store is too much to wish for, but you never know there might be a fellow progressive rock fan and store manager out there somewhere.
It would be both a lengthy and probably unnecessary exercise to fully explore each of the thirteen tracks in order to facilitate a considered review of each individual track and give an evaluation of the music. All of the tracks are tried and tested seasonal songs performed by top artists and musicians and so I leave that task to the listener leaving you to know that :-This album constitutes a fine reworking of these past and present Christmas classics all beautifully assembled and produced by Bill Sherwood. He has captured within the thirteen tracks a wonderful progressive rock spirit that not only fully captures the season of goodwill but has also injected a nice helping of fun to the proceedings that will leave you with a nice seasonal sized smile on your face.
It is indeed a bold move for such an extensive reworking of these all too familiar Christmas songs to be released especially out of the blue and without any known charitable purpose behind the project (I stand to be corrected if I have missed any reference to such a charity). But besides the familiarity of the various tunes and well known lyrics these re-workings are saturated with wonderfully projected vocals from the masters of their craft and exquisite musicianship from the giants of progressive rock.
One things for sure, it is not a CD that will be hidden away after its initial airings, it will certainly become a regular seasonal visitor to many progressive rock households. Hopefully to a contender for the music streaming systems in the high street shops.
Summary: A must have present for your progressive rock inclined mum or dad.
Packing –Bright and seasonal
Artists:- Jon Davison, Kasim Sulton, Steve Morse, Annie Haslam, Billy Sherwood & Patrick Moraz, Martin Turner, Leslie Hunt & Robin McAuley, Sonja Kristina, Thijs Van Leer, Malcolm McDowell, Geoff Downes, Nik Turner & Simon House, John Wetton
Track List: 1. Run With The Fox – Jon Davison
2. Christmas Lights – Kasim Sulton
3. Carol Of The Bells – Steve Morse
4. The Twelve Days Of Christmas – Annie Haslam
5. Wonderful Christmastime – Billy Sherwood & Patrick Moraz
6. I Believe In Father Christmas – Martin Turner
7. Fairytale Of New York – Leslie Hunt & Robin McAuley
8. O Come All Ye Faithful – Sonja Kristina
9. A Christmas Song – Thijs Van Leer
10. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Malcolm McDowell
11. Linus & Lucy (Charlie Brown Christmas Theme) – Geoff Downes [CD ONLY]
12. Silent Night – Nik Turner & Simon House
13. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Wetton