Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas catalog now in iTunes!

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

Six of Mannheim Steamroller's famous Christmas albums are now available for download in the iTunes Music Store. Mannheim Steamroller has been an essential part of Christmas for me ever since I heard their rendition of Deck the Halls on the radio. I now own four of their Christmas albums on CD: Christmas, A Fresh Aire Christmas, Christmas in the Aire, and Christmas Extraordinaire.

While I really wanted to buy their new "Celebration" song when it was released, I couldn't justify the cost of buying a whole album for just one song, as I already had almost all of the tracks contained on the CD. iTunes can really save the day in situations like this, and today I can finally hear more than 30 seconds of that track.

If you're new to Mannheim Steamroller, or have heard them but can't remember what the "cool songs" are, get started with the ones I've listed below. They're the most upbeat and non-traditional of the bunch. If you're into the more mellow and 18th century-sounding stuff, just click on anything I don't link to. You can also get this list as an iMix.

Deck the Halls (transitions into We Three Kings, but unless you buy the CD, you'll hear a jump anyway.)
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Rock Version—Sounds best if played immediately following the track before it, but not necessary. It's probably my favorite Mannheim Steamroller song. I once drove a 1.5 hour round trip with this on repeat.)
Good King Wenceslas (Listen to it once before driving with it at high volume—you don't want to get startled.)
Joy To The World
Angels We Have Heard On High
Carol of the Bells (My favorite Christmas song, but not my favorite of Mannheim.)
Winter Wonderland
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (best if played immediately following the contrasting Hark! The Herald Trumpets Sing, but if you want to save a buck, don't worry about it.)

This is only a sampling of their songs, and they actually sound better when mixed with some quieter tracks from Mannheim or other artists. Now I have to see how their tour fits into my schedule...

Other rockin' holiday tracks:
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I'll have to make a separate mix for these guys someday.
• Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town by Bruce. Can be found on Disc 2 of this CD.

Posted: Thursday - November 03, 2005 at 08:06 AM