Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Christmas Eve and Other Stories

by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
4.5 34


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Christmas Eve and Other Stories

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/15/1996
Label: Lava
UPC: 0075679273628
catalogNumber: 92736
Rank: 27009

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
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
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

Customer Reviews

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Christmas Eve and Other Stories 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this song i'd listen to it forever!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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?
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RobbieBobby44 More than 1 year ago
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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and emotional story.
Mimi-Captiva More than 1 year ago
Great CD, still listening to it even after the Holidays! Love the music, arrangements, vocals. Highly Recommend this CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
TT16 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great holiday cd. It has to become a classic. A very touching story. Love this cd everytime I hear it.
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