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Christmas Eve And Other Stories [Special Edition, Extra tracks]

Trans-Siberian OrchestraAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (420 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 17 Songs, 1996 $12.49  
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Biography

To know how Paul O’Neill came up with the idea for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, you have to go back to when he was a teenager. "I was in awe when I first saw The Who do ‘Tommy’ and I said I want to do this, except way, way bigger," O’Neill recalled, a mischievous bit of glee in his voice. Ironically, O’Neill’s grand vision for Trans-Siberian Orchestra ... Read more in Amazon's Trans-Siberian Orchestra Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Special Edition, Extra tracks
  • Label: Lava Records
  • ASIN: B0007854W4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (420 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
142 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant From Start to Finish August 31, 2001
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
From the enchanting cover art right through to the last notes of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," the last track, Christmas Eve and Other Stories is a rare delight.
In fact, although this is supposed to be a Christmas album, I find I can listen to it year 'round (as I am right now and it's August 31st).
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.
There's a feeling I get every year around Christmastime, and TSO "director" Paul O'Neill (who produces Savatage's albums) captured it exactly on this CD. As a matter of fact, on TSO's web site, O'Neill writes, "I love writing stories and I've always been staggeringly fascinated with Christmas. It's such a magical time of the year. If you're walking down a New York City street around Christmastime and it starts to snow, the potential for magic can be felt in the air. That's what I tried to capture on this record, while bringing a fresh musical treatment to the holiday."
To capture that "magical" feeling on Christmas Eve and Other Stories, O'Neill took mostly traditional Christmas songs and infused them with electric guitar power and energy to create a majestic, emotional, captivating sound that tends to overwhelm me with emotion or awe (such as on the incredible "A Star To Follow" track or in the dynamic "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" track, which also appeared on Savatage's Dead Winter Dead CD).
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101 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC December 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a classic cd that you will not tire of! I actually removed it from my Christmas storage this year in October (couldn't wait for Thanksgiving). There are several qualities to this cd. First, the arrangements are incredible. They are agressive and powerful and often combine themes from several songs into 1 (Carol of the Bells and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen form Christmas Eve/Sarajevo). To pull this off, T.S.O. incorporates phenomenal musicianship to back these arrangements.
There is more to this cd than just great music. There is a Christmas tale which weaves the songs together into one work. The section of this story that always gets to me is from 'The Ornament' to 'This Christmas Day'.
Finally, what brings it all together is the choice of vocalists throughout the story - all fantastic. The emotion that is heard in these songs relating to the part of the story they are telling is as if they are living the story and we are observing it. Just listen to the vocalist of 'This Christmas Day' and I believe you will understand. I literally get chills at the end of this song.
All in all, this will be a favorite for years to come. Enjoy!
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90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas album with year-round appeal August 5, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Well, usually around December sometime this album and its worthy successor become my two favorites to listen to - not to say you won't find me listening to it throughout the rest of the year, either. The album's 17 tracks, every single one of them excellent, are divided nearly equally between instrumental and non-instrumental tracks. The songs tell the story of an angel's quest and a runaway returned home for the holidays in an implied rock opera style. In doing so, Paul O'Neill and company are able to somehow capture the magic and spirit of the season with incredible accuracy. The style of the music varies greatly, from light to heavy and everything in between. Here you'll find piano / vocal driven Broadway moments, string filled symphonic moments, solo-guitar laden heavy metal moments, not to mention the tasteful inclusion of a children's choir and a song each to touch on folk and blues. Many of the album's melodies are borrowed from Christmas favorites, meaning plenty of the tunes will be very familiar to even the first time listener, and the original material on the album is just as spectacular as the reworkings of the classics. With at least six different lead singers, the album is both a musical and vocal treat. A definite essential.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of their Christmas Albums! March 13, 2002
By Mel
Format:Audio CD
I originally bought this just for the Christmas Eve/Sarajevo piece, but I fell in love with the rest of it as well. The music varies from quiet guitar pieces to stuff that would belong in the wildest rock concert. This is no ordinary Christmas CD, that's for sure!
One of the neatest things about it is that the music tells the story of an angel sent on a mission, looking for something that best represents all the good people do one another for Christmas. The listener travels with the angel and listens in as he does on the lives of various characters until at last he comes across a father's prayer for a daughter that had run away from home. He follows the prayer to where the daughter is, and in helping her return home, finds what he is looking for and returns to heaven.
I have also listened to "The Christmas Attic", and that album is also nice, but the music just isn't as catchy as "Christmas Eve and Other Stories".
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