Christmas Eve and Other Stories

( 34 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex S. Garcia
What would happen if members of Savatage decided to write some Christmas songs? Easy: Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This "supergroup" is the brainchild of Jon Oliva and Paul O'Neill respectively the leader-keyboardist and the producer of Savatage. They hired Al Pitrelli Asia, Savatage to play guitars, Robert Kinkel to help with keyboards, John Middleton also a member of Savatage on bass, and Jeff Plate on drums. Lead vocals are shared by six vocalists, while some of the backing vocals are handled by Savatage lead singer Zachary Stevens. Christmas Eve and Other Stories is a concept album: all the songs are built as chapters of a book, each telling part of a larger story. The ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex S. Garcia
What would happen if members of Savatage decided to write some Christmas songs? Easy: Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This "supergroup" is the brainchild of Jon Oliva and Paul O'Neill respectively the leader-keyboardist and the producer of Savatage. They hired Al Pitrelli Asia, Savatage to play guitars, Robert Kinkel to help with keyboards, John Middleton also a member of Savatage on bass, and Jeff Plate on drums. Lead vocals are shared by six vocalists, while some of the backing vocals are handled by Savatage lead singer Zachary Stevens. Christmas Eve and Other Stories is a concept album: all the songs are built as chapters of a book, each telling part of a larger story. The plot here is of a young angel sent down to Earth to find and bring back to the Lord "the one thing that best represents everything good that has been done in the name of this day." The angel's quest takes him all over the world, through Russia and Sarajevo, until he finally hears the prayer of a father. This last piece is the strongest moment on the album and makes for a miniature story within the larger story. It is basically told in a trilogy of songs: in the first, "Ornament," we hear the father's prayer, explaining how he hasn't seen his daughter in many years. In "Old City Bar," the angel finds the daughter, standing alone outside a bar, and talks to the bartender who, out of a random act of kindness, takes all the cash from his register drawer and gives it to the girl so she can go home. The third song, "This Christmas Day," has the father praising God, thanking him for bringing his daughter back to him on this night of all nights. It is a very touching story, pondering the thought that "If you want to arrange it/This world you can change it/If we could somehow make this/Christmas thing last/By helping a neighbor/Or even a stranger." Musically, the band has taken some traditional Christmas songs "O Come All Ye Faithful," "O Holy Night," "The First Noel" and mixed in some modern rock music. The result is stunning and very impressive. It is filled with energy that simply blows you away. The already classic "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" is a gripping instrumental based on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" although you might have to listen carefully to hear it. Fans of progressive music should like this one. And if you're into the more recent works of Savatage like Handful of Rain or Dead Winter Dead you'll really love this.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/15/1996
  • Label: Lava
  • UPC: 075679273628
  • Catalog Number: 92736
  • Sales rank: 16,977

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Primary Artist
John Clark French Horn
Babi Floyd Vocals
Nancy Jackson Background Vocals
John Margolis Vocals
John Middleton Bass
Paul O'Neill Rhythm Guitar
Jon Oliva Piano, Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Al Pitrelli Guitar, Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Mary Wooten Cello
Peter Valentine Background Vocals
John Seymour Overdubs
Dominick Barbera Overdubs
Robert Kinkel Piano, Keyboards, Overdubs
Michael Fawcette Vocals
Anthony Piccolo Choir Master
Jeff Plate Drums
Steve Sola Overdubs
Jeffrey Stackhouse Background Vocals
Zachary Stevens Background Vocals
Latasha Spencer Background Vocals
Nigel Tangredi Choir, Chorus
Warren Wilson Choir, Chorus
Peggy Harley Background Vocals
Adrian Ross Choir, Chorus
Ken Williams Vocals
Caroline Ross Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Adolphe Adam Composer
Paul O'Neill Producer
Jon Oliva Composer
Dave Whittman Engineer
John Seymour Engineer
Kevin Hodge Mastering
Robert Kinkel Composer, Producer, Engineer
Frederick Oakeley Composer
John Francis Wade Composer
William Sandys Composer
John Sullivan Dwight Composer
Edgar Jerins Illustrations, Cover Design
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    best song ever

    i love this song i'd listen to it forever!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Christmas Eve and Other Stories

    I suppose grandious, operatic arrangements can work well in pop music. And Christmas itself can be a rather grandiose holiday. So this combination, then, of eighties guitar riffs, Queen-esque vocal harmonies and splashings of other instruments chronicling an inspiring Christmas story should be kind of amusing. The thing is, all the songs are delivered without any irony, despite their ridiculous nature. Instead, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra just comes across as goofy, bizarre and abrasive. Do people really listen to this around the fire on Christmas Eve without laughing?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Christmas Eve and Other Stories

    oh wow, this is so awful I almost like it. Or I can at least appreciate how blatantly bloated and frightening and ridiculous it is. Maybe not. ugh.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful

    If you are a music lover you can not go wrong buying this CD. I don't generally buy Christmas music because, let's face it, the music is boring (well meaning, but boring) and it's something I've heard a million times. I heard Christmas Eve/Sarajevo and could not resist buying this CD. I was not disappointed. The instrumentals are amazing. I can't wait to see them on tour.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Breathtaking....!

    This is truly one of my favorite orchestras ever! Their CD`s are amazing and really get you in the Christmas spirit! My favorite song is Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24. It is one of my favorites to listen to on the radio! I truly recommend this CD for a holiday gift or just a CD to listen to while putting up the tree or wrapping presents because you will not not be disappointed!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow.

    I learned about this group through a good friend. I ended up just getting this CD recently, and wow! You see, I'm not much of a "Christmas music person", but this is awesome! It's upbeat, rock-styled Christmas music with good, touching, powerful lyrics. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a way of makin' Christmas music into something even better! I like how they have different vocals, including "the never boring" instrumentals. So, well, if you like Trans-Siberian Orchestra already, enjoy X-Mas music, or heck! Have an open-mind to music in general, then I recommend you get this album. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!! (I sure wasn't.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Christmas CD

    I watched GMA and heard Charlie Gibson describe the group as "Pink Floyd singing in a church with angels". I was intrigued. I stayed tuned and listened to them and was hooked. I immediately went out to B&N and bought the CD and recommended it to my friends. I later went out and bought "The Christmas Attic". Hopefully next Christmas they will be in concert in my area!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truly Awesome!

    This cd is 'Awesome'. I highly recommend this groups cd to anyone who likes upbeat Christmas music. I've seen these guys in concert and they are truly, truly outstanding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome music

    I highly recommend this CD. It not only has outstanding musical performances, but it tells a wonderfully touching story as well. A "must have" for Christmas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Christmas story

    This is a fantastic rendtion of a Christmas story with the most moving classical rock music I have ever heard. I'm excited to play this for our christmas party at work and at home.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Savatage by another name

    Anyone who really likes this probably knows where it all began ("Sarajevo 12/24" is the link between the two bands) but if you're not familiar with what came before and you want to hear a good band with a PHENOMENAL guitarist, hunt for the Savatage albums Streets and Edge of Thorns. When Criss Oliva passed away, the band needed two guitar players to match his ability and style with the excellent albums Dead Winter Dead, The Wake of Magellan and Poets & Madmen. All very difficult to find nowadays, but top-notch rock/theater fusion. The concept albums even include extensive poetry and background prose to flesh out the story in the liner notes. As for the music of the TSO - and I'm not even a Christian - I say it gives energy to a genre long devoid of real feeling. The TSO has made classical music accessible to millions and that's a great thing. Their concerts take the idea of a show completely over the top with laser lights, explosions, fire and fireworks, dancing girls (they're also the singers) and even forays into the crowd to play amongst the fans. It's been about 15 years now since Savatage fell by the wayside, and while that's sad, the fact that the side-project became a ridiculously in-demand sensation is testament to a lot of talent and effort to put a new spin on a very old story...

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I have enjoyed this CD for several years.

    I have had to replace the CD of this performance several times because I would wear one out from frequent playing just about every year for five years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very dramatic.

    Beautiful and emotional story.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

    Great CD, still listening to it even after the Holidays! Love the music, arrangements, vocals. Highly Recommend this CD!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Christmas CD.

    A great holiday cd. It has to become a classic. A very touching story. Love this cd everytime I hear it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful up beat sound to some Christmas music

    I heard this music on the radio and then happened to tune into the special on T.V. I've told everyone about it and can't wait to share the tunes with my family at our Christmas party!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews