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Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for all the Family

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 29, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

2013 holiday release from the veteran British singer/songwriter. When Nick Lowe was approached by his record label about making a Christmas album, his reaction wasn't exactly one of comfort and joy. And the joys of Christmas infuse the dozen songs on Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family. The album features originals and covers of seldom heard seasonal songs plus a few you may be slightly familiar with. Anyone who likes their Christmas soundtracks with plenty of heart and humor, and a sprinkle of understated charm, will enjoy Quality Street for the newly minted classic that it is. You might say it's the kind of record that gives vulgar, tawdry commercialism a good name.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 29, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B00DRGR142
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,638 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is not the usual holiday album, in that I wouldn't play it at a party, unless the party was really low-key. Quality Street wouldn't work as background music in a noisy room. It's an album appropriate for a drive through the snow, or sitting in front of a fire. I don't mean to say it's "mellow" in the "beautiful music" sense, not by a long shot. It's just a recording that takes a little bit of concentration to be fully enjoyed.

One look at the list of composers told me I was going to love this: Boudleaux Bryant, Roger Miller, Ry Cooder, Ron Sexsmith, Roy Wood, and of course Trad Arr., as well as Nick Lowe. I'll be listening to this thing every December for...well, forever.
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By B. Ambrose on October 31, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
What a great collection of holiday songs. Forget the usual, overdone Christmas album tropes - you won't find them here. The Lowe originals are particularly great (I Was Born in Bethlehem, Christmas at the Airport). Also of note, the rollicking Children Go Where I Send Thee and The North Pole Express. A surprising ska take on I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday rounds out this excellent album.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A few days ago I heard Nick Lowe interviewed on Adam Carolla's podcast. He just released a quirky Christmas album and performed one of the tracks live and it was rock solid--one of the best live studio performances I've ever heard.

According to the interview, Nick Lowe is a Brit who specializes in what they used to call Pub Rock, which is where Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, and he sharpened their chops back in the 80s. Lowe is an older gent now, but he can still belt it out. The first track is a hard hitting Memphis blues version of the old standard Children Go Where I Send Thee. It's good enough to make some hairs stand up.

He has some great original tracks, like Christmas At The Airport, which was especially poignant for me when I bought this album from Amazon downloads at LAX the same day I heard the interview.

I'd give this album a strong 7 out of 10, not my favorite Christmas album, but still fun. It's in the category of stuff that I'll gladly listen to, but that my wife will hate. I'll listen to it at work or driving around, but I probably won't put it on the playlist for our Christmas party. I'd love to hear these tracks mixed in on some of the XM Christmas stations though.

Nice work Mr. Lowe. And by the way, your interview with Carolla was one of the best interviews I've heard in ages.

EDIT: I've owned this album for less than a week and I've already heard two tracks playing in different stores, evidently over XM or whatever Muzak they subscribe to. Way to go Nick Lowe!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Given that this is a seasonal album without any sanctimonious nonsense, and given that it's Nick Lowe with his typical fantastic choices of covers and superior originals "in the spirit," I'd have to say this is a keeper for all times to come. It's not something to be shared to a bunch of eggnog slurry guests at the end of a long day of post-nutritional acquisition, but it definitely something to be enjoyed, again and again, but brighter minds. Really a fine record that puts the X back into Christmas, and I mean that in a very positive manner. I think in meter and melody, song craft and song selection, it is utterly unique and incredibly delightful without pushing the usual fluffy puppy buttons. It's as good a pop album as any he's crafted, and that is saying quite a lot, since he's made numerous gems.

I don't know the other reviewer's choice of Glen Campbell's record, and I'd guess it's fine, but I doubt it's this original in song choices or newer material. I would, though, also recommend, for the holiday shopper, Dale Watson's excellent honky tonk record, "Christmas in Texas," I believe it's called. No man stands taller in the Country saddle than Mr. Watson, and he has a singular mix of old and new on his recording.

That said, Nick Lowe rules. Period.
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Format: Audio CD
Nick Lowe quality. You can always count on Nick Lowe for music that is a cut above what another artist will produce. He still has his mojo and deserves greater recognition these days.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
12 great songs. Some are brand new and all are very catchy--some will open your heart--some will make you laugh. Great recording, great musicians! The Nick Lowe penned "Christmas at the Airport" will, I predict, take off from the tarmac and become one of his most cherished songs.
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I'm really surprised at the number of tepid reviews here for this album. This is easily one of my favorite Christmas albums in years, and the variety in it is wonderful.

"Christmas Can't Be Far Away", "Old Toy Trains", and "A Dollar Short of Happy" are relaxed, eggnog-by-the-fireplace sounding tunes -- and all wonderful. My favorite track is a Lowe original -- a retelling of the first Christmas from the Christ child's point of view, "I Was Born In Bethlehem." Also there are fun, uptempo covers of the carols "Children Go Where I Send Thee," "Rise Up Shepherds And Follow" (great!) and "Silent Night," three original tunes including "Christmas At The Airport," and covers of "Just To Be With You", "North Pole Express" and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day." In truth, I loved every song on the album . . . except "Hooves On The Roof" -- the jury is still out on that one!

Are you looking for something different this Christmas? Fans of Nick Lowe and anyone else who likes well written, quirky and heartfelt songs should find this to be a real Christmas treat. I certainly did.

Merry Christmas everyone!
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