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1. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
$13.49 $12.53 list($18.98)
2. December, Piano Solos: 20th Anniversary
$10.99 $9.33 list($11.98)
3. Music From the O.C. Mix 3: Have
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4. The Nightmare Before Christmas:
$39.98 $34.00 list($49.98)
5. Songs from the Street: 35 Years
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6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
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7. Merry Christmas With Love
$22.99 $19.64 list($24.98)
8. Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection:
$13.99 $13.85 list($18.98)
9. Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias
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10. December
$13.49 $11.49 list($15.98)
11. A Charlie Brown Christmas: The
12. Partridge Family Christmas
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13. The Polar Express
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14. The Lost Christmas Eve
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15. December
$10.99 $8.46 list($11.98)
16. Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs:
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17. Christmas with the Rat Pack
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18. Dr. Demento: The Very Best of
$10.99 $9.00 list($11.98)
19. Watching the Snow (Dig)
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20. State of Grace

1. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006785T
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2025
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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This is a real sleeper of an album, literally. Smooth-jazz musicians--including Peter White, Dave Koz, Norman Brown, David Benoit, and others--play music here to put babies to sleep. Fans of New Age music, specifically what came out of the Pacific Northwest in the '80s, may find many of these 14 tracks reminiscent of that period. Long-time listeners of smooth-jazz radio may be reminded of the kind of ethereal, spacey music that was played in the early days of the format. Many of the songs are as obvious as Brian Culbertson's somnambulating "Brahms' Lullaby" and Koz's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," but some are inspired choices with creative arrangements and strong performances. Koz and his brother Jeff shine on the Beatles' title tune and the other Lennon/McCartney chestnut, "Blackbird." Brown's take on James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" is also moving, while not straying from the stillness of the concept. Perhaps the standout track is the superb performance of vocalist John Stoddart on Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." --Mark Ruffin ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is probably the most beautiful lullaby collection I've ever heard. My 2 1/2 year old son absolutely adores it . . . especially the versions of Hush, Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The music is far from old fashioned, yet it is amazingly relaxing and calming --- even for a very excitable little boy. While it is great for a small child, I find it the perfect music for adults to listen to when taking a nice relaxing bubble bath or trying to unwind for the evening.

I'm a huge Dave Koz fan and always adore his selection of guest artists (Peter White, David Benoit) and this CD is no exception. They all made fabulous contributions to this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indescribably Beautiful
From the first lush, bell-like sounds of "Blackbird", it's obvious that this CD is all about the lullaby. And I've never heard a prettier collection of music in my life.

Maybe it's the sentimentality of being the father of a 15-month old, but more than a few tracks brought me near to tears, and that's on the first listen. Each expressive note evokes the sounds of a small stuffed animal, mobile, etc playing those tinky notes that sounds like the sweetest music ever played. Highlights are "Blackbird", Brahm's Lullaby, "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Golden Slumber", and....."Isn't She Lovely". The soft, amazing, understated vocal for this song creates an interpretation that floored me. Be warned - you will never forget it. It's a reworking of the song that rises well above Stevie Wonder's and really brings out the words in a whole new, beautiful way.

I'm sure this is not for everyone. It's very mellow. There's no great improvisations for the jazz purists. But it's a great sound and I think every new parent should receive a copy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get this one and for sure get ANGELS ALL AROUND too
I like this CD very much. I like it almost as much as my best lullaby CD, ANGELS ALL AROND ULLABIES, by GENIE.

I would get them both.

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift for new parents
This CD is amazing. My husband is a fan of David Koz and he bought this for our now 16 month old son. When I first rocked and held him to the sounds of Isn't she Lovely...I just cried at this miracle I held. The songs are very soothing, even to me and as soon as I put this CD on, my son knows it's time for sleep. Of all the many lullaby CDs I have, this is my favorite! I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very soothing music
My sister bought this for my husband and I at the birth of our baby girl. She was touched by the fact that one of the songs was titled after her neice (Charlotte's song). The CD is very soothing, relaxing and beautifully made. It's been one of our favorites all these months. If you are a "smooth jazz" fan, you'll love it! ... Read more

2. December, Piano Solos: 20th Anniversary Edition
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00005NNDO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 155
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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A quintessential example of George Winston's "folk piano" style, December speaks to the spirit of the season. Mixing traditional carols, a couple of classical works, and his own originals, Winston drops notes with icy clarity into a winter silence, rippling through "Carol of Bells" and coaxing dark, introspective moods from his own suite, "Night." The pianist's liner notes are also a trip as he cites the numerous sources for his music. Who would've thought that the gentle melodies of "Peace" were inspired by the soundtrack to TV's The Outer Limits? This 20th anniversary edition, which includes two bonus tracks, is a vast sonic improvement over previous releases.--John Diliberto ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars My special memory with "December".
My favorite music genre is New age. I really like to listen new age musics. They give me calm and peaceful feeling when I feel tired and blue. I have been much interested in new age from George Winston's music, so his music has special meaning to me. When I was middle school student, my mother bought his CD "December". It was really great. Especially, I listened "Kanon" again and again. I heard later that "Kanon" is made by Pachelbel. I think George Winston made it more popular. It have become one of my hobbies to listen to the new age music from that time. I bought and listened his other albums, but the album December is still best to me. I think most songs in December are good.

5-0 out of 5 stars DECEMBER - always beautiful, now even better!!
I'll admit I'm biased - I love all of George's CDs. But I have to say that for overall listening, December flows the best. The classics are all still here - Carol of the Bells, the Kanon, and my favorite, the Holly and the Ivy.

But the bonus tracks are interesting. A Christmas Song is simple and short. Sleep Baby Mine by Alfred Burt (who also composed Some Children See Him) is a very lovely song and fits in with the rest of the CD perfectly.

What I bought the CD for, however, was the sheet music. It's about time!! Just glancing over it, George's version of the Kanon looks complicated, but not impossible. Probably intermediate to advanced.

If you want to start listening to George Winston, start with this CD! Then try Plains.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed George Winston and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I also downloaded some of the free MP3 downloads that are available on
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a George Winston fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Original!
Whether it's folk, classical, rock or New Age, a truly original work is to be savored. This album by George Winston is truly different. There is nothing like this out there. Like the pastoral picture of winter on the cover, the peace and tranquility in Winston's music represent many snapshots of a sublime world, where war and angst certainly do not live.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I am very new to G Winston. Heard him once, bought the CD and am hooked. This CD is absolutely brilliant, relaxing, thoughtful - I just love it. Highly recommended and worth every cent ! ... Read more

3. Music From the O.C. Mix 3: Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah
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our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00063MCT8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 280
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Album Description

Chrismukkah (Christmas and Chanukah) is what the half-Jewish, half-Christian Cohen Family of "The O.C." celebrates at holiday time-and Music From The O.C.: Mix 3 (Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah) is its soundtrack. Featuring holiday-themed songs by Modern Rock favorites heard either in last year's or this season's Chrismukkah episode, Have A Very Merry Chrismukkah is a musical holiday gift for the modern family. ... Read more

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000001M1W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 465
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars Danny Elfman! It's Danny Elfman! Oh, We Love You...
This is the number one musical in the world as far as I'm concerned. We all remember the great movie, which made the record as the first full length feature of stop motion animation that took three years of hand labor to make! Don't we? Well, this is the soundtrack with the vocals and the origanal score by Danny elfman (pee-wee's big adveenture; Edward scissor hands; Sleepy Hollow; Planet of the Apes). Featuring the composer as Jack, who has a stunning voice and a vocal range of a piano (88 notes? 86?). Danny Elfman cleaverly puts music to life ih these wonderful songs that make you laugh, cry, and wonder what the heck the main charactor Jack Skellington is thinking! With the impactful tracks "Jack's Lament, Sally's Song, Poor Jack, and the Grand Fanaly" this is a cd worth getting anyone who likes music. Nothing can compare to the brilliance of Danny Elfman. He's just too good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, literate soundtrack
Danny Elfman's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" transcends a movie some people didn't like for its dark view of holidays--even if you disliked the movie, you may like the CD because the music is so devilishly clever and literate. Elfman has managed to winningly combine the joy and purity of Christmas music with a darker look at this treasured holiday. The lyrics are terrific (innocently sung but baldly truthful) and the music swoops, soars, and turns back on itself with astonishing ease and imagination. It's like an aural roller coaster in the best possible sense of that image.

Elfman sings the part of main character Jack Skellington (the "Pumpkin King," or master of Halloween) here, and he does a masterful job of conveying Skellington's yearning to do something different and important. Skellington goes after the Christmas holiday with all his energy and ends up botching it badly. Elfman manages to show us Skellington's earnestness as well as his dark side--this is no cardboard character, but a real (if not flesh-and-blood!) person, and we care about him. Catherine O'Hara does a super job with her brief work here as Sally, the Frankensteinian rag doll who falls in love with Skellington.

This is a terrific paean to the holidays in general, and Christmas specifically. With each listen, you'll find new things to admire and love about Elfman's nimble, imaginative music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nightmare
This is one of the best soundtracks I own and have ever heard...I listen to this cd almost every day and could not live without it......

5-0 out of 5 stars As with all musicals, the soundtrack...
Is more fun than the movie itself. I take this in some respects as being an innate flaw in musicals, but also an innate virtue as well in other ways.
The songs on this CD each have a slightly different mood and feel to them, but each seems almost to represent a different style of music along the same basic storyline, almost like a celebration of all kinds of music used in the themes of darkling whimsy that Tim Burton is so famous for.
The music tracks containing no lyrics (there are only a handful of them, since this was the soundtrack for a musical, as I said,) are good, and set the moods when seen in the film, and are enjoyable by themselves, but like all "soundtrack music," they change mood in mid-number a lot.
The beginning and ending were not really music, but they allowed me to get a much better feel for what the story was really meant to be. Patrick Stewart is one of my favorite actors of all time, and he does a wonderful job telling those parts of the story in a style reminiscent of a grandfather with children sitting and listening to him on the floor, combined with the rhyming silliness of Dr. Seuss.
"This is Halloween" is a number that is so perfect at establishing its feel and mood that I consider it, to this day, to be my favorite "holiday song," even above "Carol of the Bells."
"Jack's Lament" is a beautiful, soul-filled song about how lonely it is to be on top and to know there's more to life, but to never experience it. Beautiful song that switches freely between pride and sorrow, inasmuch as those two emotions are entirely connected.
"What's This" is probably the most openly joyful song on the album, but there's an underlying feeling of depth to that joy, because of how well Elfman voiced the main character, which makes me feel as he does when I hear this song. Jack is so involved in this number that I can even almost see him leaping around in joy as the song plays.
The "Town Meeting Song" is a very amusing little number that is, in some ways, rather methodical. It had probably more funny rhymes than most of the numbers, but isn't as deeply emotional as many.
"Jack's Obsession" is an indulgence in curiosity, ambition and pride that is so much fun to listen to, I almost always smile when I hear it. Also, like most of Jack's numbers, there is deep emotion in it; in this case, the anguish of being unable to solve the problem with his brain alone.
"Kidnap the Sandy Claws" is a jarring and, if you think about it, rather a nasty little song, but it's also the most whimsical on the CD, while still remaining dark, and for that it has earned my respect.
"Making Christmas" is just another indulgence in pride over common sense, which, thanks to the way the story goes, is ultimately doomed to failure. The people plunge blindly ahead with their plan, simply because they think they can do no wrong. The song itself is, therefore, rather to be taken as a part of the tale rather than by itself, but there's pleasure to be found here alone.
"Oogie Boogie's Song" is a real kick. I know Oogie Boogie is the villain, but he worries so little and is obviously having such a blast in this song that you can't help but enjoy it.
"Sally's Song" is a celebration of sorrow and worry. Sally fears that Jack's plan is doomed to a disastrous failure, and so her song is slow and emotional. She depicts this sorrow almost as well as Elfman himself.
"Poor Jack" starts out sorrowful and depressing, but makes up for that as it lauches back into the confidence and satisfaction that Jack used to enjoy from being the best at what he did, and indeed, the joy of what he attempted that very night.
And lastly, the Finale contains a veritable collage of all these emotions to lesser degrees, but especially those from "What's This," and "This is Halloween," while indulging in a new emotion; Hope.
All in all, a beautiful album that both tells a wonderful story and is an extremely emotional ride through a world which, though it isn't always human, always feels that way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
This is a great movie, one of the best. It is the perfect gift for any Nightmare Before Christmas fan. I applaud Danny Elfman's excellent music. ... Read more

5. Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music
list price: $49.98
our price: $39.98
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Asin: B0000C05MP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1021
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Songs from the Street, the boxed set that stretches back to "Sesame Street's" 1969 debut, is the kids' record of the year, if not the decade: Big Bird and the gang might've pulled it off themselves--for a crew of fix-it store workers, shopkeeps, and goofball monsters, the talent quotient's off the charts--but when you've got this many names to drop, they've got to land somewhere. What impresses most in three discs is the lack of a single thud. Cab Calloway, Pete Seeger, and James Taylor mosey in on disc one; Johnny Cash, BB King, and Tony Bennett take seats on the stoop for disc two; and the Dixie Chicks, Gloria Estefan, and R.E.M. raise the brownstone roof on disc three--and that's leaving out stars like Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, BillyJoel, and Trisha Yearwood. When it comes to inspiring preschoolers and their parents to sing the praises of rubber duckies, bein' green, and the people in their neighborhood; "The Street" gets busy. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite as definitive as I'd hoped
We all know a few Sesame Street songs and chances are they appear on this collection which features 31 cast originals and 32 celebrity appearances. If you've been watching Sesame Street, you can probaly add those up to a grand total of 63 songs! Of the 31 cast originals, all but one track (HENSON KING OF EIGHT) has been previously released on LP or CD. It would have been nice to have more never-before-released tracks. That said, it's great to have some of the tracks appearing on CD for the first time. As for the 32 celebrity appearances, 25 of them have never been released before. So this is definately the set for you if you're a fan of the celebrity versions.

Inside the 10.5" cardboard case, the 3 Cds are presennted in cardboard slip covers and a 68 page booklet is included. The booklet is really impressive as it not only has credits and lyrics for every song, but also offers a brief timeline of the series from it's debut through the present day, as well as extensive liner notes.

I was really miffed that the original broadcast version of LADYBUG'S PICNIC wasn't used. In order to make this THE definitive Sesame Street collection I believe the broadcast version of all songs should have been used. That said, the remix version of the PINBALL NUMBER COUNT and SESAME STREET THEME are terrific!

For the casual Sesame Street fan this set is terrific. For the Sesame Street fan who has a few CD's but never owned or knows what an LP is, this set will offer you a few things you've never heard before like the Lena Horne and Grover classic HOW DO YOU DO. But if you want original broadcast versions of the songs and don't care for the celebrity intrepretations, then this is not the set for you.

This set gets close to being definitive, but misses the mark by not including original broadcast versions and focusing a bit too heavily on the celebrity appearances.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Set For Sesame Street Fans Young And Old
This was a great CD set. I bought it as soon as I heard about it on "The Playground" a 3 houg children's music show on Emerson Colege Radio 88.9 in Boston. (Weekend nights from 5-8.) It was great to hear Mr. Hooper on "I've Got Two" without the static of my old Record. I love Children's music and I still have all my old Sesame Street Records. I wish the would release the old records on CD. There are so many out of print Sesame Street Songs that should be brought back. Remember Susan's "Someday Little Children(will Be Living On The Moon)". This is great with all the famious stars on this box set. They should of included included more songs with Mr. Hooper. I miss him on the show. They did not include my favorite sesame street song "We All Sing With The Same Voice". ("We All Sing with the same voice, The Same song, The same voice"). All in all Great set for anyone who wants to hear their sesame street favorites again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fell in love so fast...haven't gotten to all of the discs!
Our whole family fell in love with the first disc we popped in that we still haven't made it through all of them! But I can't wait until we do. For now, we listen to Oscar the Grouch and Johnny Cash singing "Nasty Dan" all the time in the car and around bath time. I think by now I can recite all of the lyrics. What a great way to share music with your child!

2-0 out of 5 stars 35 Years and a lot of missing memories...
Anxiously awaiting this box set, I was thoroughly disappointed when I found there were so, so many songs left out. There are so many songs from "today's Sesame" - what happened to the songs of Sesame from years ago? I was expecting to see more of the classic, unavailable songs from my record collection, but sadly, they can't be found on this box set. Disc 3 is a disappointment - who wants to hear another Aerosmith song???!! Not me. Give me the Ernie & Bert Rhyming song and you would have made my day. Sorry, I have to give it 2 stars. Most of these songs are available on all their other CDs. Shame on you Sesame Street! This box set is just as lame as Season 35.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let's go back to the Street!
Like millions of children before and after me, I grew up with Sesame Street. I even credit the show for teaching me how to read at the young age of 5. So, it was only natural that Songs from the Street would attract my attention. Still, because of its price, I hesitated... after a few months, I finally decided to buy it and am I ever glad I did!!!

Everyone who's ever watched Sesame Street will find at least a few personal favorites... And make some discoveries along the way! For instance, Stevie Wonder's 1-2-3 Sesame Street (previously unreleased on album) is a great funky number that could have been used as a theme song for the show. It's THAT good.

And how can anyone listen to Mah Na Mah Na and not have it stuck in the head all day? (Yes, the Mah Na Mah Na song appeared on Sesame Street before being associated with the Muppet Show.)

The sound is pretty good, you can even hear some details that you weren't supposed to hear. For example, on Sweet-A Little Baby, sung by guest star Pete Seegers and the kids, you can hear faint shushing to cue the kids from singing along when the chorus is over.

There is only thing, though: Why wasn't Matt Robinson credited as Gordon? He does appear on at least one song (I've got two -- from 1970's Sesame Street 1 album, featuring the original cast). It would have been nice to see the original Gordon credited alongside the best-known Gordon, Roscoe Orman.

In any case, this is a great box set. I just hope that Sesame Workshop will release a DVD with the best early years' sketches (don't you want to see Mr. Hooper again?).

Happy 35th anniversary, Sesame Street!!! ... Read more

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00005OWIU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 862
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

You needn't see the film of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to appreciate the wonder, magic, and fearful chills of J.K. Rowling's phenomenal bestseller in John Williams's outstanding score. Williams typically avoids the source material for the films he scores, but he reportedly derived great pleasure and inspiration from Rowling's first Harry Potter adventure, and created a perfect motif (fully expressed in "Hedwig's Theme") to dominate his score. It's first heard as a dreamy celesta waltz and embellished through myriad incarnations and moods, often with a sinister edge befitting the darker tones of Chris Columbus's direction. Evident are fantastical allusions to Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky (among others), and Williams's epic track is "Quidditch Match," a breathtaking frenzy to accompany the film's dazzling highlight. And while Williams occasionally flirts with self-plagiarism (with inevitable variants of his Hook and Star Wars themes), this is nevertheless a richly regal score that brilliantly evokes the mystery and magic of Harry Potter's world. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (213)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Mix of Old and New
I bought this CD simply because the eerie tinkle of the bell music in the trailers and commercials for the Harry Potter movie had really grabbed me. It's typical of John Williams, with softly layered tones that you have to turn the knob way up to hear, sweeping right into crescendos that knock you off your feet. However, it's largely based on that same set of notes ("Hedwig's Theme") and can get a little repetitive or, dare I say, boring. If you're a die-hard fan of John Williams, I'd suggest it, but otherwise, you're probably better off getting it used or obtaining a copy from a friend.

3-0 out of 5 stars He's at it again
John Williams has managed to not produce any new music for over a deacade, but he still delights with what he does come up with - generic, entertaining, very true to form to whatever movie he is scoring. This CD is no exception to that rule.
Listen to Harry Potter and you can catch snippets of Star Wars (especially in flying scenes), similarities to Edward Scissorhands (delicate chiming noises) and those ever-present strings that underscore whatever emotion he thinks the character can't convey with looks alone. (You'll find that in ALL of his stuff).
The best part about this soundtrack is that there are no distracting tracks with words, so you can play it in the background and do other things like read or use it as inspiration ofr writing (mmm, mood music!)
Guaranteed that the second track will sound just like this one, but that is not a bad thing either, now is it?

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply perfect... mostly
Perhaps it's because I heard the soundtrack before I read the book or saw the movie, but I simply cannot imagine any other music being used for the Harry Potter world. While many film scores are well-composed and seem to complement their films well, this score seems to grow naturally out of the story itself, by way of the great John Williams.

One thing to keep in mind about the music, though, however great it is, is that it was composed to complement the movie and not necessarily as an independent listening experience. That said, the soundtrack does, in fact, make a great listening experience, though a few of the tracks do seem to go on for a while without a lot of direction. Williams seems to be big on providing a constant musical wallpaper--or perhaps Columbus requested this, and that means there is simply a LOT of music that went with this film, and much of it is simply atmospheric.

That said, the entire sountrack is worth buying for the trailer music, opening theme, and end titles alone. These pieces bring the main themes of the entire album together (including the excellent Hedwig theme) and integrate them into coherant stand-alone pieces. Also, even the "atmospheric" tracks provide an excellent ambience for exercising or jogging or just working around the house.

5-0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC . . . VINTAGE WILLIAMS!!!!!
This soundtrack by world-famous composer John Williams is so good, I can't express it in words. Hedwig's Theme, Harry's Wondrous World, The Quidditch Match . . . this, folks, is what TRUE magic is all about!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best movie soundtracks!
I love the movies ,esp. the first one"harry potter and the sorcres stone" and the music really makes it even MORE enchanting. The way they piece the music is magical and whimsicle, and it takes u into another world. I may still be a teen and i'm usally listening to the hippest music, but this cd is a definite exception.Every h.p. fan should buy a copy. Worth the money. ... Read more

7. Merry Christmas With Love
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00062ZV2E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 17
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Clay Aiken may look wide-eyed and unassuming, but when it comes to figuring out what his fans want for Christmas, he's got it all figured out. On Merry Christmas with Love he so cannily anticipates the musical sugarplums dancing in the heads of his devotees that you half expect him to climb down the chimney and hand-deliver it. Key to the dozen-song collection's appeal is its straightforwardness: Parting ways with the sea of celebrities who use holiday discs as an excuse to cut loose, Aiken banishes irony and coyness so absolutely here that certain carols--the medley "Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night" especially--take on church-like tones; expect tree trimmers to put aside their tinsel and contemplate the meaning of the season. Yet don't expect them to miss out on any merriment. On less chestnutty selections like the ballads "Mary Did You Know" and Celine Dion's "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day," Aiken lets it rip, reining in a passion and pure-heartedness so believable that fans will wish he, rather than the guy in the red velvet suit, were Santa Claus. -Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

8. Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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Asin: B0000032MK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3558
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Pop has a good time eating itself on this collection of Doctor Demento favorites. The tunes on this stylistically varied double CD send up a plethora of pop culture phenomena. The perpetrators come from every imaginable entertainment background. Pro wrestlers, folk singers, comedians, actors, garage bands--you never know who's liable to produce a novelty song. Here it doesn't matter if a respected composer or a one-hit wonder recorded the ditty; all sorts of tracks jostle each other on this funny collection. The material covers quite a time span, ranging from Spike Jones's "Der Fuehrer's Face," released in 1942, to "Wappin'," an unreleased track by Darrell Hammond and Christopher Snell which was a hit on Demento's radio show at the tail end of the 1980s. The 20th Anniversary Collection is quite an assortment of the corny, goofy, wacky, and wild. --Fred Cisterna ... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Best CD-Set in the Demento Series
This double CD is the best of the series. It features nutty numbers like "Poisoning Pidgeons In The Park" and "Dead Puppies" as well as the well known Weird Al Yankovic song "Eat It". My favorite in this bunch of novelties is Jim Backus' "Delicious" (this actually made the top 40 back in '59!). If you haven't yet sampled any of Dr. Dementos compiliations, you should start with this one rather than any of his other "anniversaries". The rest are filled with lame songs by unknown (or forgettable) artists. Demento is pricy, too, so anyone not seriously looking for strange novelty stuff, there are better deals out there!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of Dr. Demento's collection of novelty hits
You simply cannot please everybody when it comes to putting together an album that professes to include "The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time" as Dr. Demento does for this 20th Anniversary Collection. I take one look at the playlist and want to know where is Groucho Marx singing "Lydia the Tatooed Lady" and probably everybody has a different "Weird Al" Yankovic song they would rather listen to than "Eat It." But then it is not like this is the only collection the good doctor has thrown our way. This 20th Anniversary Collection does include a good number of "must have" novelty hits, from "Cocktails for Two" by Spike Jones and "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" by Allen Sherman to Steve Martin's "King Tut" and "The Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Tom Lehrer has always been my personal favorite and "The Masochism Tango" is one of his best. There is also the quintessential novelty song with Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (although your taste might run towards "Purple People Eaters" or my friend the "Witch Doctor"). The most important thing is that is you do not have a Dr. Demento collection, then it is almost impossible to have even half of these songs. These are not songs you want to listen to every day, but every once in a while you need to get up and hop around the room to the "Monster Mash." Despite any holes you might see in what is included, "Dr. Demento's 20th Anniversary Collection" is the best offering from the good doctor to date.

4-0 out of 5 stars While not all of the best, definitely a good colelction
When I got this CD, I expected it to be based on the record album compilation similarly named. It wasn't. Still, it's a truckload of great demented songs that'll keep your toe tapping and your belly laughing. It was just missing some of my favorites, though over time most have since been released on other demented CD's.

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect carpool collection....
When I was a kid there was one crazy dad in the neighborhood that collected novelty and party records- and looked for any excuse to play them- usually for us kids. There are recordings here that I haven't heard for 30 years- and several that I never heard before. There was also some stuff here that I think that I may have heard before at parties, but it was so far into the evening before anyone had the guts to play it that I'm not really sure....
If you want to drive your carpool crazy on the way to work, then this is the perfect collection for the job. Actually, if you just want to make a permanent impression on people, turn the stereo up full blast, roll down the windows, and play "Masochism Tango" or "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"....they'll never forget you. In fact, they'll probably even write down your license plate number....

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is SO COOL!
This Is The Greatest Album By The Doctor. It Features A Lot of Great Stuff Like BOOT TO THE HEAD By The Frantics, Pencil Neck Geek By Frank Blassie, The Time Warp By The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast, Fish Heads, The Purple People Eater, Dead Puppies, And Others! Love The Dr. Demento Show. ... Read more

9. Andrea Bocelli - Sacred Arias / Myung-Whun Chung
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00002ND9N
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1051
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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When he was growing up, Andrea Bocelli recalls finding inspiration in a favorite recording of sacred music performed by tenor legend Franco Corelli. Bocelli--who in the meantime has come to inspire millions of fiercely loyal fans himself--returns to the genre as the guiding theme of Sacred Arias, the release of which coincides with the first English-language biography of the singer. These performances are filled with the singer's phenomenally well-known vocal signature: his flair for long, sweetly floating high notes and the gentle sense of cadence he brings to a melody.It's a mistake to compartmentalize Bocelli into a singer of "operatic" versus "popular" styles: in truth his approach is at heart the same. Lack of color and control in his phrasing remains a drawback, but the emotional empathy Bocelli evokes is never in doubt. The arias collected here sample some of the most famous devotional pieces: Schubert's "Ave Maria" and Mozart's transporting "Ave Verum," as well as an arrangement of "Silent Night" in which Bocelli tries out his English. There's also a decidedly odd choice of bedfellows for a program of "sacred" music, such as a song from Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder (whose "angel" is the object of an overpoweringly erotic attraction) and Handel's figurative ode to a tree, "Ombra mai fu." Still, Bocelli sings with an unfeigned directness that is sure to expand his already enormous following even further. --Thomas May ... Read more

Reviews (111)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Tenor Sings Gregorian
This is a very fine album which I enjoy immensely. Andre Bocelli's tenor voice is a pleasure to listen to. He has scored 5 Stars with me. His various versions of "Ave Maria" are splendidly performed. It is a best-loved religious song. "Panis Angelicus" is sung so well, so meaningful, which is the way the song is to be sung. The song is from 1871, when Franck was a resident organist at St. Clotilde in Paris. The work was originally scored for tenor, organ, cello, harp, and double-bass. Mr. Bocelli has done an album worthy to be in anyone's collection, especially if you are a 'music lover.' The material that is covered on the album is directly related to 'The Mass' as it has been sung in the past generations of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, most specifically done in Gregorian Chant. The listener is taken back to a time pre-Vatican II. A most pleasing voice has taken me back to my childhood singing in the choir, as I have sung most of these songs also. And, I was pleasured by these wonderful songs then and now. Another beautiful song is "Pieta, Signore." Someone whom may enjoy this album may also enjoy listening to Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavorotti, and also, Michael Bolton. They all are tenors with beautiful voices. The song "Ave Maria" has also been sung by the three above-mentioned artistes. This album is comparable to the other artistes' rendition's of "Ave Maria" that has been sung also by the above. I would highly recommend this album to any one who appreciates the sound of an excellent tenor such as Andre Bocelli.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritually uplifting
"Sacred Arias" was my first Bocelli CD (it hasn't been my last!). As a pastor, seminary student, and lover of classical music (especially sacred music) I was drawn to it the moment I saw it. And, when I first listened to it, I was not disappointed. I find each of the arias to be tremendously inspiring. But, the "Sancta Maria" brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it. This CD provides me with 62:22 minutes of worship as I listen to each of these beautifully sung praises and prayers that have served as a testimony of faith over time. It is obvious that these pieces are dear to Bocelli's heart because his heart is definitely in his interpretation of them.

A note for reviewer Nicole Kimberly of January 25, 2000. She had asked for the choral music for the "Gloria a te, Christo Gesu." It probably is not available yet. If I am not mistaken, this piece was written specifically for the Roman Catholic Jubilee Celebration of the new milennium, and Bocelli publically debuted this hymn at the start of the Vatican Christmas Service Christmas day, which marked the beginning of the Jubilee Celebration. Bocelli was honored by being selected by the Pope to sing this hymn for that special celebration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding CD
This was the first Bocelli CD I heard. A friend thought I would like it and got it for me for Christmas. I loved it the first time I heard it. It was an outstanding collection of Christmas hymns, we actually sang one in my church choir and one in my school choir. It has helped expanded my library of songs, since I sing Tenor. So now when I go to sing at Christmas and Holiday shows I can now do more than Jingle Bells, and Away in a Manger.

With Andrea's outstanding Tenor range this is an excellant addition to anyone's music collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Genuinely uplifting and spiritual. If you liked this, you'll love:

50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Marylin Mansun - Antichrist Superstar
Eminem - Slim Sahdy LP

5-0 out of 5 stars Special Edition with both DVD & CD is available
Instead of this CD alone, I suggest the Bocelli, Andrea : Sacred Arias CD & DVD Special Edition (ASIN: B0000CE9VO). It includes the full 77 minute concert on DVD, plus the two bonus tracks on the DVD, plus the full 72 minute CD. This includes two bonus tracks on the CD not available on the original CD. Amazingly, the Special Edition is a few dollars less than the DVD alone and only a few dollars more than the CD alone. What a bargain! This is an amazing concert with a tremendous picture quality on a big screen TV. It is one of those DVD's that captures the feeling of "being there". A must-see for any Andrea Bocelli fan. ... Read more

10. December
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Asin: B00006LWR6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 323
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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With his GQ looks and warm, seductive brass tone, trumpet player Chris Botti has what it takes to command attention. This lovely recording will appeal to deeper jazz fans as much as to easy-listening and fusion aficionados. From brooding and bubbling arrangements of holiday standards to the original, radio-perfect ballad "Perfect Day" (featuring the talented horn man on vocals), Botti and his various ensembles deliver 13 tracks of comfort and joy, plus a taste of fleeting, seasonal melancholy that recalls Chet Baker. The more somber moods are brightened, however, by such merry fare as the Brazilian arrangement of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and the swinging "Winter Wonderland." You probably won't hear a more romantic (or ironic) version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and when was the last time a Leonard Cohen tune ("Hallelujah") appeared on any Christmas disc? December is tasty throughout and highly recommended. --Martin Keller ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars How Can You Miss This?
'A Great Christmas Album' is the only description I can put this CD. This mixture of Botti's trumpet and his boyish and soft voice is like a fire in the dark freezing-cold night.

Not only for Christmas time, but any given lonely winter nights.

5-0 out of 5 stars simply beatiful
the arrangements were outstanding,i'll be home for christmas is special.i've never heard that arrangement quite like that before. botti is special.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Christmas Album in July
Chris Botti's combination of smokey jazz and the christmas spirit is brought togehter like no other trumpet player I've heard. It's hard to believe, but I only heard of Mr. Botti's music last year. Ever since, I have practically purchased all his albums, simply because he has that wonderful smooth relaxing sound that calms my spirit. In "December" he holds true to this same style. Creating an environment where you feel the joy of Christmas, inviting your spirit to rest in the 'Christmas Song', 'Perfect Day', and 'Silent Night', to mention a few. This album is so inspirational, that I'm listening to it in July, over and over again. I look forward to more beautiful music from Mr. Botti.

5-0 out of 5 stars Botti Sets the Ambience for Christmastime
This is a must-have for your Christmas CD Collection. Chris Botti's Trumpet playing is better than ever. This Album is put together well and has a great choice of Music. Playing this CD during a Christmas Dinner Party helped create that special Holiday ambience. The Music is never overwhelming and sets the right Mood. Playing "December~Chris Botti" as background Music will make everyone feel the Spirit of Christmas.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love smooth jazz. I love Christmas music and I love the music of Chris Botti.
This one terrific cd to own. All the way through there is the signature stylings of Mr. Botti.
His smooth sound, the sweet melodies and the new and enchanting way to here some of my favorite Christmas music.
If I was to make a list of my favorite Christmas cds they would include: Amy Grant's HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, Glenn Miller's IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD (I & II), Olivia Newton-John's THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION, Jim Brickman's THE GIFT, Martina McBride's WHITE CHRISTMAS, Gloria Estefan's CHRISTMAS THROUGH YOUR EYES and Chris Botti's DECEMBER. ... Read more

11. A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B000000XDJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 50
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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The first time you listen to this disc you will undoubtedly be transported directly back to your childhood. Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters will go toe-tapping and funky-dancing through your mind's eye. Play it a few more times, though (ignoring the dialogue snippets, if you can), and you will begin to truly revel in Guaraldi's wonderful, humorous, deep piano playing. You'll hear why he's such an influence on new age ivory tickler George Winston, but you'll also realize that Winston's holiday music never quite sparkles with the underlying passion, and humor, that twinkles in these grooves. Buy it for the nostalgia--keep it because it will remain one of the most enchanting albums in your holiday collection. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars An all-time Christmas classic!
Thanks (so much) to the timeless annual television special which delights us each December, it's difficult to find a collection of songs which touch the inner child in quite the way A Charlie Brown Christmas does. The late Vince Guaraldi's brilliant interpretations of these holiday standards are borderline genius---tailor-made to reflect the Peanuts characters' pursuit of integrity and meaning as adults trapped inside little children. As good a true jazz piano record as anyone will find, this treasure chest echoes of many happy Christmases past, and warms the heart and soul like nothing before or since.

There simply aren't enough positive adjectives to describe this soundtrack. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all---those who fondly remember the TV special and look forward to its return every year; those who desire to add a slightly different flavor to their yuletide music collection; and those who enjoy fine jazz, by an artist whose immense talent was barely realized, but fortunately captured here. And pardon the cliche', but like a fine holiday wine, this one only betters as it ages. Drink it in as it rekindles your most joyous childhood memories.

STAR TRACKS: Classic carols "O Tannenbaum," "What Child Is This" (extended later on the album as its traditional "Greensleeves"), and "The Christmas Song" each are delivered in a style unlike any holiday chestnuts, but "My Little Drum," a lovely interpretation of "The Little Drummer Boy," is a far more stirring rendition than the famous original it borrows from. "Christmas Is Coming" and the ebullient "Linus and Lucy" are spirited, youthful celebrations guaranteed to raise a smile on anyone, anywhere, at anytime. But for pure imagistic splendor, the beautifully desolate "Christmas Time Is Here" (performed twice, once with a small children's choir) and the colorful "Skating" may be the album's most evocative numbers, transporting the listener into the story's animated world which every one of these enchanting songs so perfectly support.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Stocking Stuffer
This is one Christmas CD you should have in your collection! If you already have it, give it to someone special!

Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to the 1965 classic TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas helped incorporate the style of music that became known with Charlie Brown specials (he would do several more soundtracks for Charlie Brown TV specials and their 1st movie until his untimely death in 1977).

This is more than just a soundtrack, as there are many pieces not featured in the special ("My Little Drum", a variation of The Little Drummer Boy, "The Christmas Song", "Greensleeves", and "What Child Is This").

Then of course come the songs from tne special. There's the original compositions "Christmastime Is Here", which opens the special, "Linus and Lucy", which would be featured in many of the other Charlie Brown specials for years, and "Christmas Is Coming" (a bossa nova number, which sounds a little like Richie Valens' "La Bamba"). Of course, you have the traditional Christmas carols included like "O Tanenbaum" (if you close your eyes, you can almost picture Charlie Brown and Linus shopping for the perfect Christmas tree!) and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" (which closes the TV special. Sorry, you don't get the anticlimactic "MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!".). Then there's the ode to Schroeder's favorite all-time composer, Beethoven, who as Lucy points out "never got his picture on a bubble gum card" with "Fur Elise" (you can almost picture Schroeder tickling the ivories as you hear this!).

4-0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of being a little kid watching Charlie Brown.
This is a great CD! It takes you back to when you were a little kid on the couch watching the Charlie Brown christmas special.
I think it will make a great CD to play around the holidays. =)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Christmas Album
This album is an absolute MUST HAVE. It is what Christmas is all about, a true masterpiece. No contest as my favorite Christmas album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best Christmas Album Ever...
I first bought this LP (yes, LP) when I found it in a dusty used album bin, about 2 blocks from Fantasy Records in Berkeley where it was recorded. The album was in perfect condition, so I made a tape copy that got played year after year. Eventually I wore the tape out, so I took out my pristine album and made another copy. No one I knew had the LP or knew where to find it, so they'd ask me to make them a tape. I wouldn't copy the LP directly - it was priceless to me - though I'd lend out the tape for them to copy. Eventually someone never returned it, so I made yet another copy from the LP. I wore that one out too, but by then they'd issued the CD and I bought that. The CD had one or two tracks the LP didn't have, and to be honest they added little for me - the LP as it stood was perfect. A few years later a bunch of my CDs were stolen, so I bought it again, which is my current copy.

There really isn't any more to be said about this CD. Everyone's seen the show, and the music of Vince Guaraldi is timeless. One of the all-time greatest jazz musicians, Guaraldi had a unique and almost universally liked style few, if any, modern musicians can touch. The soundtrack has taken on a life of its own - play it at a party and people will smile and relax as they are almost subconsciously transported back to childhood.

The Christmas season starts for me right after Thanksgiving, when I first play "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Through all the hassles of traffic, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and the overall holiday rush, this CD always reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas, what this season is truly about. And I still take out and admire securely-stored LP version which I will never give up. ... Read more

12. Partridge Family Christmas
list price: $6.98
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Asin: B00004OCRR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3362
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's the Best Christmas Album from 1972!!!
I defy you not to be "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" with this CD! This "was" "is" and always "will be" my favorite Christmas CD bar none. I still have it on LP and I love David Cassidy's rendition of Elvis's "Blue Christmas" because it showcases this beautiful man's exceptional, husky voice. "My Christmas Card to You" is a joyous, Wes Farrell-produced version of holiday sentiment ala crushed velvet and shag hairdos. I even will admit to loving "Sleigh Ride" and "Frosty" when sung by the sexiest man on the planet. It's nice to hear Shirley Jones on a solo "The Christmas Song" and the funky cover picture completes it. If you were a kid of the 70's and Christmas meant that several Partridge Family and/or David Cassidy LP's were under your tree, pick this CD up and dust it off every year! It is truly not a holiday at my house until David croons a little Christmas cheer! This album sold 6 million copies; it is their best selling album ever, believe it or not. Have a listen!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Shirley makes it worth having
This is not near as good as the music on the Partridge Family's regular releases. The arrangement are just a bit too gimmicky. However, hearing Shirley sing the lead on two songs on the album make it all worth it. On the traditional Partridge Family albums, Shirley's voice is generally relegated to the background. What a pleasant surprise!

(Oh for the release of the track "Whale Song" on a CD one of these of Shirley's few non-Christmas lead vocals from the Partridge Family's catalog.)

As for some of the other comments made....I did find the sound to be distorted at higher volume levels...a sign of the "budget" status of the CD.

The liner notes, which someone mentioned, were non-existent on the BMG Special Products version listed here. A single ply card was all that was inserted in the cover of the jewel case.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Listened to it So Many Times I Wore it out!
I remember when I was a little girl in the 70's having a Partridge Family Christmas album, it was a 33' record and I listened to it so many times I wore it out but I had a lot of fun listening to it though. Should be a lot better on CD and a lot sturdier!

5-0 out of 5 stars You love the PARTRIDGE FAMILY ? Purchase this one !
If you were or still are a fan of the PARTRIDGE FAMILY's vocal harmonies then I strongly suggest you purchase this CD.

The CD contains several memorable holiday songs (WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND) having received TOP~40 airplay during the polyester decade.
You'll appreciate the original holiday-theme songs (MY CHRISTMAS CARD TO YOU). Having viewed several times their holiday episode located in a ghost town, I relieved childhood memories when I place this CD on my home entertainment system.

The innocent musical approach of this CD almost makes one remember what it was like to believe in Santa Claus!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very cheerful, but lacking in the traditional side
Overall, a good christmas album because of it`s cheerfulness and great song selection. Many of my favorite songs are here such as "SLEIGHRIDE" and "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS" among a few others. The greatest songs, though, as performed here, are "ROCKIN` AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE," "THE CHRISTMAS SONG," and "FROSTY THE SNOWMAN," probably because these three songs are done more traditional than the others. This is just my opinion. And that is why the 4 stars rather than five. I feel there is too much electronic type sounds which really weakens some of the cd and takes away from the traditional side (although I do acknowledge that this is their style, it`s just not mine). And they do have a lot of rock in it which sometimes is good, but sometimes is bad. However, it is so cheerful that I did enjoy it a great deal and so 4 stars was deserving. This cd is kind of like the Osmond Family christmas cd, mainly in the vocal department rather than the music. I find this cd to be more cheerful than the Brady Bunch christmas cd, but the Brady Bunch cd is more traditionl (and is traditional). All in all, the Partridge Family christmas cd, recorded in the early seventies, is a worthwhile buy if you would like a cheerful, rockin`, and semi to little traditional christmas cd. I felt it was worth it and did enjoy it overall. ... Read more

13. The Polar Express
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Asin: B00063F8B2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 60
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In adapting Chris Van Allsburg's beloved, 1986 Caldecott Medal winning children's Christmas fable, director Robert Zemeckis fused the technologies of live-action motion capture and CGI to an unprecedented degree, producing a visual sensibility that perfectly embodies the netherworld between fantasy and reality that made the book so inviting. Musically, Zemeckis has shrewdly teamed longtime collaborator Alan Silvestri with hit tunesmith Glen Ballard for the original half his soundtrack, then given the rest over to a star-packed tribute to pop Christmas past that includes such timeless chestnuts as Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland" by the Andrew Sisters and Perry Como's "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." But the Silvestri/Ballard originals here are the main event, from Tom Hanks' vigorous vocal mugging on the title track and "Hot Chocolate" through the innocent charm of "When Christmas Comes to Town" and the over-the-top, jumpin' jive of Steven Tyler's "Rockin' On Top of the World." Josh Groban's "Believe" overdoes the treacle, but Silvestri's rich choral workouts and underscore suite are grand Hollywood-scaled tributes to the spirit of the season. Also available in a deluxe, illustrated children's book format gift edition that includes an actual encased jingle bell embedded in the cover.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

14. The Lost Christmas Eve
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Asin: B0002ZDVGS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 39
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If you're looking for something out of the ordinary for the season, The Lost Christmas Eve is for you. This final entry in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's rock opera trilogy is perhaps their most ambitious and complex in the series. Like its predecessors, The Lost Christmas Eve tells the story of heaven's youngest angel called back to earth to continue Jesus' unfinished work. This time he lands in New York City to help redeem not only Christmas, but the soul of humankind itself with a story line that rivals anything Frank Capra ever dreamt up for the big screen. Conceived and composed by Aerosmith and Savatage producer Paul O'Neill, most of the song were penned O'Neill, Robert Kinkle, and Savatage founder and keyboardist Jon Oliva, and features the rest of the seminal Florida metal band on the record. While not as bombastic as Savatage's fourteen rock epics which touch on topics as diverse as the Russian Revolution, the 15th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan's descendants, and Beethoven's last night, the record still has a grandiose, almost over-arching baroque feel, with its prog-rock organ swells and electronic alchemy. The best moments are during the soaring instrumentals, on tracks like the "Wisdom of Snow," "Wish Litz," "Christmas Bells, Carousels & Time," and the majestic rendering of "O Come All Ye Faithful."--Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

15. December
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0000DJYOD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1152
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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It was inevitable that The Moody Blues would produce a Christmas record. Why it took this long is the mystery. The group's classical music underpinnings have always been ripe for the Christmas canon and on December they add to it with their own contributions. "Don’t Need A Reindeer" is a remarkably sweet little pop song that proves Justin Hayward can still write what sounds like a hit. A fair amount of orchestration shades the rest of the CD, as the band arranges and adds lyrics to a Bach piece (here called "In the Quiet of Christmas Morning") while also taking on "In the Bleak Midwinter," "When A Child Is Born," "White Christmas," and the John Lennon/Yoko Ono classic, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." In the same vein, though less cheerful, John Lodge pens a melancholy meditation on the horrors of the Mideast in 2003. While he’s no John Lennon and December is uneven at best, for Moody Blues fans it will be like finding the lost chord.--Martin Keller ... Read more

Reviews (85)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for the Holidays
This one has got something for everyone, not just the loyal Moody Blues fans - although they will love it ,too. December is a Christmas CD in the best sense of the word, echoing the values and traditions of Christianity, and the universal themes of brotherhood, friendship and love, while warmimg the hearts of listeners with wonderful musical and lyrical pictures of the Christmas/winter season. The songs are a mix of sacred and secular music, featuring 5 original songs by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, 4 beautifully arranged covers of songs as diverse Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and John Lennon's "Happy Xmas", and 2 very elegant arrangements of works by J.S. Bach and Gustav Holst. Hayward and Lodge shine in this effort, not only as fine musicians , songwriters and vocalists, but as the producers of this disc - and their original compositions are some of the highlights of this truly unique collection of songs. Add to all of this the fine keyboard work and orchestrations of Danilo Madonia, and you have a holiday offering that is sure to delight the listener for years to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars the Moody Blues are back!
For those of us who have kept the faith and for the newcomers to the Moodies' journey through time and space, our reward has arrived in October, not December!
Being a fan of the Moodies since '67, I definitely look forward to each new release like a letter from a loved one.. Full of where they are and what is going on in their lives, it's been an enduring relationship.
They have talked of making a Christmas album for a few years now, and holiday seasons have come and gone with no sign of it coming true until this year... December was well worth the wait..
The tonal quality of this CD is superb- it is so clear that it sounds like Justin and John are in your living room. A mix of traditional Christmas songs with a Moody touch ("Big Red" on White Christmas) and original compositions, it is more than "just" a Christmas CD. The rendition of Happy Xmas(War is Over) will remind a casual listener of "Isn't Life Strange" in the way John and Justin's voices interweave.. John's song "The Spirit of Christmas" questions where the spirit has gone and does have some antiwar sentiment between the lines...
If you're a Moodies' fan like me, you've already enjoyed this, maybe a couple of times already today. If not, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to give this wonderful gift from one of the most creative and influential bands a listen; like so many of their other releases it will take you on a journey, make you think, and leave you feeling just a little better afterwards...

3-0 out of 5 stars december
I have the moody blues as the # 1 rock group since days of future past,I have seen them in concerts 3 times since I came to Canada and I'll love to watch them every time I can,I have spend thousands of dollars in their long plays,cassetes,cds and dvds, I always thought of them as one of the few people in this world who have seen and sang about the things are happenning in this human world,with all the violence,pollution,destruction of this planet and us, and at the same time with all the wonderful and magic things this life has to offer to those that have been able to discover and live them.What I find strange with this new album "december" is like if they couldn't find another kind of time and theme to sing their songs,times changes so we are,I hope they can keep that line in their lyrics and music,with their messages of love,peace,joy,that this world needs so much.

5-0 out of 5 stars the moodies know the true meaning of christmas
christmas is a time of togetherness peace and sharing. the moodies remind us not to forget people from our past.the moodies remind us how precious new life and new beginnings are. while this is not a tradiotional cd for christmas. it is a chritmas cd from the hearts of the moody blues. thank you justin john and grahm!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nicest Moody Blues Album in Years
Worth a listen any time of the year. Pleasant surprise. ... Read more

16. Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs: 16 Original Songs From The Hit TV Series
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000336P
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6480
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite Cartoon
Why aren't these cartoons on DVD yet? If you too love the Animaniacs, go here to help us get them put out on DVD...

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly fun and educational!
I have an old cassette of this soundtrack when it first came out. My four children and I had more fun listening to the songs and learning from them than I would have ever imagined!!! We all learned things like the state capitals and planets without even realizing we were "studying". I even sing the state capital song when I can't remember one. This music is super cool and hysterically funny!! I highly recommend it. I'm actually purchasing the CD because we wore the cassette out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun for Children and Adults Alike
This soundtrack is a wonderful collection of songs from the hit animated TV series from Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg. Funny, entertaintaining, and educational, these catchy and often exceedingly clever numbers are sure to put a smile on your face, whether you're 8 or 88.

"Yakko's World" and "Wakko's America" alone are worth the price of the disc and are sure to become favorites among both the big and little ones in your family. Adults will be amused by the pop culture references and whimsical, yet intelligent lyrics of each song, while kids will get off on the catchy tunes, and playful attitudes of the voice actors from the series.

Whether you're a fan of the show or a casual listener, "Animaniacs" is a great CD collection for all ages!

Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Animaniacs will cheer you up!!!
I had this as a tape when it was first released...My daughter was about 9 at the time and now she listens to the CD when she has a bad day at work. It will cheer you up if you need to be cheered and it will sustain a good mood if you already have one. I also like the educational value of this CD. It is helping my 8, 10, and 11 year olds with their States and Capitols. Nmenonic devices to help pass those tests, along with a catchy tune...ENJOY!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic
If you love Animaniacs, you'll love this soundtrack. This is the first cd released by the makers of the series and has the most popular songs on it. My personal favorite is schnitzelbach, but the universe song rocks too. buy it, you won't regret it. ... Read more

17. Christmas with the Rat Pack
list price: $17.98
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B00006IJWZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 21
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Just as irony is being pronounced dead, along comes this boozy holiday compilation to suggest that rumors of its demise may be premature. Given the culture's simmering lounge mania, this collection (with its cheesy homage/rip-off Oceans 11 art direction) may be belated--but hey, punctuality was never these swingin' cats' bag, Jack. The novelty of having three of the 20th century's most notorious sinners belt, whoop, and sing the praises of sleigh bells, roasting chestnuts, and the virgin birth would be enough to recommend this dizzy, 21-track delight, but there's actually some rewarding pop archaeology here as well. Two of the best tracks--Sammy Davis's ring-a-ding-ding romp through "Jingle Bells" and Dino's dreamy "Peace on Earth/Silent Night"--hail from a vintage, ultra-rare Reprise sampler. Sammy's typically over-the-top "Christmastime All Over the World" and Nat Cole tribute, "The Christmas Song," also make their CD debut. Dino's holiday TV specials yield more unreleased rarities: Sinatra-Martin duets of the loopy "Marshmallow World" and a touchingly tipsy take on "Auld Lang Syne" that suggests the boys have shared more than one cup of kindness. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of My Christmas Favourites
When this came out last year I grabbed a copy from a fast-diminishing pile at my local record store. And I now regard it as one of my all-time seasonal favourites.

The opening lines from the insert tells it all: "Forget about ho-ho-ho and bells that jingle. This Christmas will be strictly ... Ring-A-Ding Ding. Yep, Frank, Dean & Sammy are serving a heaping helping of yuletide cheer featuring classic versions of holiday standards, rare first-time CD performances and hitherto unreleased bonus tracks."

This is followed by two pages of brief anecdotes from each of the stars, some of it related to the origins of the nickname The Rat Pack, as well as a note from Frank's long-time pianist Bill Miller relating their appearance in Las vegas while filming Ocean's Eleven.

A picture spread in the middle shows the three in action on stage, followed by three pages showing the contents and when the song first appeared on record. The earliest [track 11] dates to 1954 and the Capitol LP Merry Christmas To You while most of the remainder are culled from albums originally reeased in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Track 20 is from Dean's TV special on December 21, 1967 and track 21 is from his December 31, 1970 show. The only one previously unreleased is track 3, Christmas Time All Over The World by Sammy, and when you hear it you'll wonder why it was held back at the time.

Thank you Capitol for what is now surely an essential addition to any Christmas collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Christmas cocktails with Frank, Dino and Sammy!
Capitol has followed up their "Eee-O Eleven: The Best Of The Rat Pack" disc (one of the few excellent 'Rat Pack' compilations around; most others recycle the trio's bargain-basement material) with this brilliant Christmas-themed CD. While all of the songs Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sing on their own have been released before on CD, this is a pretty good selection from that material.

From Frank, we get a few timeless carols, "The First Noel", "Hark! The Herald Angels", etc (backed with a choir), plus the beautiful "Christmas Waltz", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". We even get treated to "I Believe", which is a somewhat rare single, and wouldn't really even be on this CD if not for a throw-away reference to Santa Claus!

From Dean, we get a few tracks from his "A Winter Romance" album (a priceless collection of frosty not-so-politically-correct charmers), as well as a few traditional by-the-numbers Christmas anthems: "Silver Bells", "White Christmas", "Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer" and "Winter Wonderland", all of which see Dean impeccably slurring his way along as only he can! A highlight is the stunning "Peace on Earth / Silent Night", which is taken from a ultra-rare Reprise Christmas promo album.

Another track from this album is the incomparable Sammy Davis, Jr.'s take on "Jingle Bells", which is given a Vegas arrangement that swings something fierce! Sammy's tracks really make you wish he'd recorded his own Christmas album. I suppose he was too busy wowing the world onstage as The Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived, to consistently blow the socks off everyone from the studio.

The only (minor) gripes are in the small print... For those who care, Capitol's telling a few badly-researched fibs in the liner notes. Dean's "White Christmas" is his '59 version, not the '66 as claimed; Sammy's "It's Christmas Time All Over The World" has in fact been released, and on so many budget Christmas LPs it's not funny, while Davis, Jr.'s sensational version of "The Christmas Song" was not originally from his "The Nat King Cole Songbook" LP, but from a 1963 album, "California Suite", devoted to songs written by Mel Tormé.

The two finishing tracks, Frank/Dean duets from Dean Martin's TV shows cap off a sensational album - the talent of these three guys will short circuit your CD-player if you're not careful, so pour yourself something stiff, and sit down to a nostalgically cool Yule! This CD is even enough to make this Australian reviewer forget that it's the middle of summer and as hot as blazes outside, and cry insanely into the bushfire smoke "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Coolest X-Mas CD ever
I was under the impression that I was cool BEFORE I got this CD. Now I just can't stand myself. Frank and Sammy tear it up, but Dean is my boy. What a pimp. This CD rocks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid!
Overall I found the CD to be great - I was expecting a few more Christmas tunes but am very pleased with the selection the chose for this CD anyway. The recording quality is great and overall this inspires me to get more of the Rat Pack CD and DVD collections. What a blast it must have been to watch these guys live!

5-0 out of 5 stars These hip cats set a swinging, partying mood!
I brought this CD home as a Christmas present for a coworker, but my husband claimed it before I could gift-wrap it. After he played it once, I realized it was the perfect gift for just about everyone on my list. I bought six more to give as gifts -- all to thrilled recipients. We took our own CD along to 2 holiday parties where the hosts played it nonstop and all the guests loved it. This is the perfect Christmas CD. The choir and orchestra are quintessential 1960s. The sacred songs get the respect they deserve, and the silly songs have never been more fun. Do what I did: get one for yourself and one for every music lover on your gift list. ... Read more

18. Dr. Demento: The Very Best of Dr. Demento
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000056W0C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3416
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just What the Doctor Ordered.
Several years ago there used to be an affiliate of the now-defunked children's radio group known as Radio Ahhs! (Radio Ahhs! no longer exists because of the Walt Disney Company). Anyway, the local affiliate in the St. Louis area used to play some of the coolest music around. Just about everyone I knew from my younger siblings to high school students and our parents listened to the station from time to time because of the original and highly entertaining music. Some of the songs I remember hearing from those times are on this album and I know now that a lot of the music they played originated from Dr. Demento. Some of my favorites on the album include:


"Fish Heads"

"Bulbuous Bouffant"

"Hellow Mudduh, Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp)"

"Star Trekkin'"

"Ti Kwan Leep/Boot to the Head"

"Marvin, I Love You"

"They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!"

"Bulbous Bouffant" and "Ti Kwan Leep/Boot to the Head" aren't really songs but are comedy sketches that are just as entertaining as anything done by Monty Python. "Fish Heads" is one of the songs I remember from Radio Ahhs! and in reading the liner notes that are included with the disc, I found out that Bill Muny from LOST IN SPACE fame is one of the two members of the group that sings "Fish Heads". Dr. Demento is largely responsible for Wierd Al Yankovic even having a career, but it's nice to see that on this album the only song by Wierd Al is "Yoda". However, Wierd Al also wrote the introduction to the liner booklet. "The Smoke Off" by Shel Silverstein is probably the most offensive song on the cd because of the cursing and the subject matter (it's about a pot smoking competition). There are a couple other tunes that verge on the edge of vulgarity, but "The Smoke Off" is really the only one that crosses the line.
Overall, this is a good album for anyone looking for some truly original music to own. It's also a good way to introduce people to dementia music and the crazy world of Dr. Demento.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvin, I LOVE you!
This is a very nice collection of some of Dr. Demento's best hits on his radio show. I actually have many, many other Dr. Demento albums and so when I bought this most of them were repeats for me, but it was all worth it for the song "Marvin, I Love You" by Marvin the Paranoid Android, which makes its first appearance on CD ever right here! This is a very sweet song and listening to it will make you almost want to cry for the poor robot. It's also nice to hear Dr. Demento himself getting in on the act in his rendition of "Shaving Cream." "Posioning Pigeons..." is one of Tom Lehrer's best, I just love his voice! "Bulbous Bouffant" and "Ti Kwan Leep" have musical qualities to them, but they're more comedy sketches than songs. "Fish Heads", "Hello Muddah...", and "They're Coming..." are great classics. I'm also glad that Dr. D. decided to only put one Weird Al song ("Yoda") on here as well, because he usually tends to overdo his compiliation albums with too many Al songs. I mean, Al's a great singer (I have all his ALbums), but leave room for other talented people! Be warned though, some songs are mildly offensive. Other than the obvious ("Posioning Pigeons...", "My Dead Dog Rover", and "Dead Puppies") one of the tracks features Shel Silverstein (and yes, I mean that late, great children's author) using many swear words (including the "f" word, but that one is bleeped out), "Shaving Cream" just fools you into thinking it's going to cuss, and "The Scotsman" jokes about what ISN'T present underneath those kilts. And finally, if you plan on collecting ALL of the other Demento albums (on CD's), then you should know that the only ones that aren't repeats are: "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Nanook Rubs It", "Marvin, I Love You", "The Smoke Off", and this special version of "Shaving Cream." But, if you're like me, then it's still worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Laughter is indeed the best medicine
Most of the songs on this compilation I have on the three retrospective collections that Rhino put out in 1991,1995,& 2000 respectively-I'm glad that Frank Zappa's "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" & Shel Silverstein's "Smoke Off" are included on this disc-They are classic bits-The weakest track on this collection:Dr.Demento's desecration of "Shaving Cream"-Otherwise,I recommend it for lovers of novelty music everywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life, don't talk to me about life!
Is this where a fine English actor (Stephen Moore) should end - not deceased but alive and healthy as far as I know. As there are probably a few people who are wondering what the heck I am wittering on about, he is the voice of Marvin The Paranoid Android who has managed to get on to this collection - and not the best Marvin song either on the two singles I know about.

As to the album itself - get the anniversary editions - far more warped (demented), and there are only two or three extra tracks that are not on these, so myself, I would not buy this, however it looks like a great start for anyone who may be in need a decent fix of brain surgery from the Doctor - it is only your mind you have to lose!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Silly Songs for Kids and their Parents
We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Dr. Demento!! This compilation is A plus. I used to listen to Dr. Demento in high school on a local Los Angeles radio station on Sunday nights, I never missed it. We bought this and other Dr. Demento collections for our 5 yr. old (who has an amazingly black sense of humor) and we put it on and clean the house and dance and sing the songs. We especially love the sick, twisted humor of "Hamster Love", "THe Tennessee Birdwalk" and "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road". Our absolute favorite is "Bulbous Bouffant" by the Vestibules, our son actually took the CD to his teacher: after writing down the wordsin the song, she used them for a spelling test!!! (he's in a highly gifted program) SHe thought it was a HOOT!!!!! An absolute MUST to cheer you and put you in a good mood, if you're life is as hectic and stressed as mine is with 2 small kids. Just don't tell your parents, they might not approve!!!!!!!! ... Read more

19. Watching the Snow (Dig)
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our price: $10.99
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Asin: B0002W11TA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1391
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Album Description

Pop/jazz/rock cross-over star Michael Franks' first-ever holiday album sets the scene for mirth, merriment, and a cool yule all around. On tracks like "Said the Snowflake" and "I Bought You A Plastic Star (For Your Aluminum Tree)," the artist's trademark wit and lyrical worldplay are clearly in evidence. And throughout the disc's ten tracks, this master musician taps into his signature sense of timeless romance, wrapping his poetic songcraft in melodies as inviting as a blanket of freshly fallen powder. Delight your senses with the magic of the season, as observed by Michael Franks. ... Read more

20. State of Grace
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00004YBZS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5552
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Producer and composer Paul Schwartz thanks many people on State of Grace, but there is one notable exclusion: the 12th-century nunHildegard von Bingen. Although these aren't her compositions, echoes of her ecstatic hymns and sequences resound throughout Schwartz's latest electronica-classical opus. He composes his own 21st-century gothic chants,which are sung by the impassioned soprano Lisbeth Scott. Scott is a powerfulsinger who brings a more emotional, perhaps even lustful, tone to these electro-Gregorian evocations, gliding over synthesizer ministrations and violin from the durable Gavyn Wright. Paul Schwartz was also responsible for the Aria CDs, on which he updated operatic arias with dance beats. State of Gracebenefits from the less oppressive rhythmic regimentation, letting these soaringmelodies ring out. When Schwartz deviates from his gothic inspirations, Stateof Grace flags, notably on a predictable rendition of "Amazing Grace," amisguided Celtic take on the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts," and a trio of instrumentals. --John Diliberto ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very soothing and relaxing to listen to
I recently found a copy of this album on one of my excursions to my favorite record store. I have been awfully curious to hear this album since I am also a big fan of classical/pop music. Plus the cd artwork was very intriguing and very Renaissance-like too. So I immediately fell in love with "State of Grace" the very second I put the cd into my stereo. I was fortunate to have found this cd... I found Lisbeth Scott's vocals very soothing and comforting to listen to, especially this morning when I was drinking coffee from a local coffee shop. I particularly enjoyed the stunning cover of "Amazing Grace". "Amazing Grace" has always been a beautiful song but it is even more beautiful with Lisbeth Scott singing the lyrics. I also really enjoyed track #3 "Miserere" and Auguries of Innocence part 2". "Be Still My Soul" is a stunning masterpiece. The lyrics really touched my soul. I found the song really soothing to listen to. Part of the credit goes to Lisbeth's restrained vocals and the breathtaking lyrics. It has been awhile since I have heard an album as beautiful as "State of Grace" it is awonderful album. I loved the album artwork. It has that Renaissance quality that I have always loved. I'm so glad that I came across this cd by chance. It is simply stunning. If there was one track that didn't really float my boat was the last track which kinda makes me drowsy, especially when I listen to the cd at the office. Overall I loved the cd. I haven't been able to stop playing it non-stop since this past weekend.

4-0 out of 5 stars Above average, but...
Paul Schwartz, the genius behind Aria and Aria 2 (he is also responsible for Revolution that I like much less) writes and arranges the music for this collection of songs and instrumentals. It's a hit and miss kind of thing - hit when he allows Lisbeth Scott's unusual and lovely voice to explore the gems like Veni Redemptor or Angelica, miss when he concentrates on instruments in Auguries of Innocence or decides to suddenly do a bad rendition of Amazing Grace or Simple Gifts. Veni Redemptor and Amazing Grace almost seem like they came from two different albums made by two different people, so stark is the contrast.

I recommend this for those fans of Aria that just have to have more - now - and can't wait for hopefully a better outing from Paul Schwartz next time. This will satisfy an appetite a little. It's definitely one of the more beautiful "holiday-oriented" or "spiritual" albums you will ever hear, too. But it doesn't measure up to what it could have been.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Paul Schwartz and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I also downloaded some of the free MP3 downloads that are available on
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Paul Schwartz fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars What was I thinking?!
I already wrote a review for this back in 2001. I just wish I would have given it 5 instead of 4 stars. Listening to State Of Grace is a beautiful, uplifting experience that exults the spirit into higher places, and the multi-talented Paul Schwartz has quickly become one of my all-time favorite musicians. He composes and orchestrates all the music while Lisbeth Scott's angelic voice glides like softly felt wings that radiates a deep sense of majesty over the ambient beats and the glorious strings and church choirs that sing their heavenly praises to the mighty forces that we must first believe in order to perceive. But fear not. You don't have to be religious to enjoy this. Just open your mind and, most importantly, your heart and let it wash over you... That's all I ask.

This is now one of my top 20 most cherished albums and that's saying a lot since I currently own over 500 cds!

4-0 out of 5 stars Intense, intriguing and cool
A compelling collection of compositions by innovative composer and keyboardist Paul Schwartz. The mood of the album varies, but minor keys predominate and a mysterious, brooding reflectiveness pervades many of the selection to good effect. Christian lyrics in both Latin and English are sung by a soloist, accompanied by programmed groove beats and a lush orchestra of synthesized sound. Clear-voiced Lisbeth Scott does a nice job of emulating a boy soprano for the Latin numbers, the Joyful Company of Singers provides a full, if muted, choral sound in "Misere", and violinist Gavin Wright offers soaring descants and sweet leads on several numbers. But it is composer Schwartz who gives distinctive voice to this music with his multilayered programming. He is at his best in sweeping tracks like "Veni Redemptor Gentium", the choral "Misere", the symphonic "Auguries of Innocence, Part 2" and the delicately brooding "Angelica". Songs I could have done without, however, are "Amazing Grace" and "Simple Gifts", tunes that do not lend themselves to the groove beat phenomenon. While that seems to work well for plainchant and some symphonic and operatic selections, these already-metered folk songs would have been better off left in their traditional state. Nonetheless, "State of Grace" is a good listen--evocative, stirring, and generally well-matched in its fusions. If you like religious plainchant fused with modern musical elements, you might also enjoy "Vision: The Music of Hildegard of Bingen" by Richard Souther, Libera's self-titled debut album, and anything by Enigma. ... Read more

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