Bob Dylan’s ‘Christmas in the Heart’ tops the ‘interesting’ list

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Many of you have been in Triple Play Records looking for some “different” Christmas music.

For some reason, you think we should have it.

Well, I like traditional Christmas songs as much as the next guy, but we don’t carry a lot of it. What we do carry are some of the CDs you have asked us for over the years, along with some of our favorites.

Every year there seems to be a few new releases of Christmas music that are interesting. This year it is Bob Dylan’s “Christmas In the Heart,” although Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas” also intrigues me.

Bob Dylan’s “Christmas In the Heart” is “His Bobness” singing 15 classic Christmas songs, such as “Little Drummer Boy,” “Winter Wonderland” and “The First Noel,” as well as some songs not as well-known, such as “The Christmas Blues,” “Must Be Santa” and “Christmas Island.”

I know you are thinking, “how can this be any good?”

Well, it’s not that you don’t know what you might be getting with Dylan. However, in my opinion, the best reason to purchase the disc is the fact that all of the U. S. royalties from its sale will be donated to the organization Feeding America. It’s further proof of the foresight and generosity from one of the world’s great singer/songwriters.

There also is a limited edition deluxe package that includes five holiday cards made from the different designs that were submitted for the cover art.

Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas” features the Italian tenor covering various classic holiday songs, mixing classical, opera and pop.

Included are the classics “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “O Tannenbaum,” “Silent Night,” “Blue Christmas” and “The Christmas Song,” featuring a duet with Natalie Cole.

He covers the opera and classical with “Adeste Fidelis,” “Cantique del Noel” and “Caro Gesu Bambino,” resulting in a warm and comfortable recording for the chilly holiday season.

Some of my other favorite and “different” Christmas albums are as follows.

The “Jethro Tull Christmas Album.” This great medieval-sounding English band treats us to a mixture of songs from two previous Christmas albums as well as standards and new originals. The band manages to capture the tradition, warmth and bittersweet feelings that are all related to the holiday season.

Phil Spector’s “A Christmas Gift to You” was reissued this year and features Spector’s incredible “Wall of Sound” in its prime and his collection of artists — the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans — recording some of their best work for one of the greatest Christmas recordings ever.

Michael Martin Murphey’s “Cowboy Christmas,” in his unique Western style, conveys the warmth of the holidays with a mix of classic tunes such as “Jolly Old St. Nick” and “Sleigh Ride,” along with great originals, such as “Corn, Water and Wood” and “Christmas on the Line.”

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ “The Christmas Album” is from one of the most popular groups of the late ‘60s. Because of its outstanding sound and its homey charm, it is still one of the most popular and upbeat Christmas recordings ever made.

Jimmy Buffett’s “Christmas Island” is mostly original material and is not just for parrot-heads. Buffet is relaxed and entertaining, with “A Sailor’s Christmas” and “Merry Christmas Alabama” being two great tunes, and his rearrangements of classic carols are true to his laid-back style.

My favorite Christmas recording is still “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with the Vince Guaraldi Trio expertly capturing the holidays through the eyes of the Peanuts characters and all of their sweet innocence within the true spirit of the Christmas season.


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