Mott The Hoople – Live At HMV Hammersmith Apollo (2009)

frontcover1“Mott the Hoople storm back to London for a dazzling night at the Hammersmith Apollo.

The stakes in heritage rock reunions are getting so high that, soon, only the exhumation of some demised old stager will up the ante. This latest one, however, was pretty far-fetched.

Mott the Hoople were titans of mid-Seventies glam. In their early career, they struggled as unreconstructed rockers, until David Bowie, no less, remodelled them in satin suits and platform boots. He donated them a fabulously dissolute glam anthem, ‘All the Young Dudes’, and thus began their tenure in the Top Five.

This, however, was a band destined to fail. They didn’t handle whirlwind fame well at all, and quickly disintegrated, only to be championed retrospectively by fans such as Morrissey, for their raunchy, wry take on the rock ‘n’ roll life.

Forty years on from their inception, and thirty years since some of the members had concertposteractually spoken to each other, Mott stormed back into London for the first of five sold-out nights at the Apollo. Their singer, Ian Hunter, agelessly shrouded in corkscrew curls and face-blotting sunglasses, led straight into a ballad, ‘Hymn For the Dudes’, his gnarly, Dylan-esque voice roaring at the high notes. This was not to be a half-hearted canter through the hits.

The first hour was mostly devoted to the band’s pre-Bowie, high-voltage rock ‘n’ roll material. Hunter, a busy solo artist for more than three decades, and the silver-topped lead guitarist, Mick Ralphs, riffed vigorously, in active defiance of Time’s subsequent intervention. The partisan crowd — at least eighty percent of whom, gloriously, unrepentantly, were old enough to remember it all from the turn of the Seventies — responded with commensurate enthusiasm.

The electricity crackled to a new intensity, however, when Hunter moved to a piano stage-left, and finally unleashed a dazzling run of glam classics — songs about little more than rock itself. Glam, originally, existed purely to overturn prog-rock’s tedious virtuosity, to revive the raw, sexy thrill of Fifties rock’s simple, thumping beats and clanging riffs.

Perhaps it was daft, witnessing a seventy-year old man with a blond afro singing, “I get my kicks from guitar licks”, but also fabulously empowering, given his heedless dedication to the cause.

The sense of lifelong commitment was heightened during the encore, when the band’s original drummer, Dale Griffin, entered the fray.

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Martin Chambers with Ian Hunter and his daughter Tracy Hunter

Griffin has Alzheimer’s, and had to be led by the hand to a drum kit alongside his substitute for the evening, the Pretenders’ Martin Chambers. Soon, he was pounding away the rhythm to ‘Roll Away the Stone’, grinning from ear to ear. ‘All the Young Dudes’, then, was simply breath-taking, with Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott joining in for a verse.

And the rockin’ went on, unrestrainable, deafening, totally life-affirming.”(by Andrew Perry; The Telegraph, 02 October, 2009)

Okay, most of th time, Mott Te Hoople sounds like a “Mott The Hoople Revival Band” … but it´s still a very important document of one of the finest bands from the Seventies.

Note: This show was recorded and transferred to CD on the night. This means you hear a CD-R rather than factory-pressed CDs.

Recorded live at the first Mott The Hoople re-union show
at HMV Hammersmith Apollo 1st October 2009.

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Personnel:
Verden Allen (keyboards)
Martin Chambers (drums)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, piano, bass on 11.)
Mick Ralphs (guitar, background vocals)
Overend Watts (bass, vocals on 11.)
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Joe Elliott (vocals on 20.)
Dale Griffin (drums on 21. + 22.)
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background vocals:
Maggie Ronson – Tracy Hunter

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Jupitor Intro  (Holst) 1.12
02. Hymm For The Dudes (Allen/Hunter) 5.34
03. Rock & Roll Queen (Ralphs) 4.44
04. Sweet Jane (Reed) 4.51
05. One Of The Boys (Hunter/Ralphs) 6.15
06. Sucker (Hunter/Ralphs/Watts) 5.15
07. Moon Upstairs (Hunter/Ralphs) 6.32
08. The Original Mixed Up Kid (Hunter) 4.41
09. I Wish I Was Your Mother (Hunter) 6.36
10. Ready For Love (Ralphs) 8.13
11. Born Late ’58 (Watts) 4.33
12. Ballad Of Mott The Hoople (GriffinHunter/Ralphs/Watts) 6.18

CD 2:
13. Walking With A Mountain (Hunter) / Jumpin Jack Flash (Jagger/Richards) 5.56
14. Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan) / Laugh At Me (Bono) /The Journey (Hunter) 9.02
15. Golden Age Of Rock & Roll (Hunter) 3.35
17. Honaloochie Boogie (Hunter) 3.43
18. All The Way From Memphis (Hunter) 9.46
19. Roll Away The Stone (Hunter) 4.41
20. All The Young Dudes (Bowie) 4.52
21. Keep A Knockin’  (Penniman) 3.53
22. Saturday Gigs (Hunter) 6.28

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Return To Forever feat. Chick Corea – Where Have I Known You Before (1974)

lpfrontcover1Where Have I Known You Before is the fourth album by jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever, the second since leader Chick Corea had “revamped” the line-up and moved towards electric instrumentation, playing jazz fusion with clear influences from progressive rock.

While the style of music did not change much since the previous album, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), important changes took place in the band’s sound and line-up. Chick Corea, for instance, had started to use synthesizers (most notably the Moog Minimoog and ARP Odyssey synthesizers), developing the distinctive sound he became known for. An equally important change in the band was the replacement of guitarist Bill Connors with the then 20-year-old virtuoso Al Di Meola. Connors left the band before the recording of this album to concentrate on his acoustic solo career. Overall, the band developed a clearer, more focused sound and style. This was due in part to the personnel changes, the implementation of new technology, and new playing techniques, but it was also a product of more careful recording and production in the studio.

Between the album’s longer tracks are three of Corea’s short piano improvisations that all bear a title that begins “Where Have I…”. The first track is Stanley Clarke’s “Vulcan Worlds”, which features some melodic motifs that would also appear on Clarke’s self-titled second solo album Stanley Clarke the same year. The song proved Clarke “one of the fastest and most facile electric bassists around”. Each player except for drummer Lenny White takes long solos. The next long track is Lenny White’s composition “The Shadow of Lo”, a complex piece with many changes in mood. The last track on Side A is Corea’s “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy”, a sequel to his “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”, the title track from the group’s previous album.

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Side B begins with the collective jam “Earth Juice”. Most of Side B is taken up by Corea’s 14-minute epic “Song to the Pharaoh Kings”, a song notable for its use of the harmonic minor scale. The track has a long keyboard intro, after which Chick Corea is joined by the full band, and an “eastern” theme appears. Each member of the band plays a long solo.

This Return to Forever set finds guitarist Al DiMeola debuting with the pacesetting fusion quartet, an influential unit that also featured keyboardist Chick Corea, electric bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. On this high energy set, short interludes separate the main pieces: “Vulcan Worlds,” “The Shadow of Lo,” “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy,” “Earth Juice” and the lengthy “Song to the Pharoah Kings.” Acoustic purists are advised to avoid this music, but listeners who grew up on rock and wish to explore jazz will find this stimulating music quite accessible. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Stanley Clarke (bass, organ, bell tree, chimes)
Chick Corea (keyboards, synthesizers, percussion)
Al Di Meola (guitar)
Lenny White (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Vulcan Worlds (Clarke) 7.51
02. Where Have I Loved You Before (Corea) 1.02
03. The Shadow of Lo (White) 7.32
04. Where Have I Danced With You Before (Corea) 1.14
05. Beyond The Seventh Galaxy (Corea) 3.13
06. Earth Juice (Corea/Clarke/White/Di Meola) 3.46
07. Where Have I Known You Before (Corea) 2.20
08. Song To The Pharoah Kings (Corea) 14.21

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Deep Purple – Live In Graz 1975 (2014)

frontcover1Recorded live at the Liebenaur ice rink in Graz, Austria, ‘Graz 1975′ captures the Mark III Deep Purple lineup in one of its very last performances. However, this is hardly the sound of a band in its final hours.

Instead, it is that of a band charged and ready to take on the world. This show is often regarded as the “holy grail” of this lineup, and has been frequently traded in bootleg form by fans for years prior to this, its first official release.

Several shows on what turned out to be this lineup’s final tour were recorded using the fabled Rolling Stones mobile studio. Shortly after these concerts, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would split to form Rainbow, and Purple would bring in Tommy Bolin to try and keep things rolling. ‘Graz 1975′ is a wall to wall feast, and may be the definitive portrait of this version of the band.

Deep Purple waste no time getting to the point here, kicking things off with the almighty ‘Burn.’ Without question it’s one of the greatest of all the band’s songs, and this version is absolutely captivating. The energy level goes right off the rails once that mighty riff kicks in.

labelSinger David Coverdale had clearly settled into his place in the band by this point. While he may never have captured the role with the brilliance that Ian Gillian had, he more than holds his own here. Newer recruit and bassist Glenn Hughes has also found a home here, adding his own personality to the mix both in playing and presentation.

Three tracks from the band’s then-current album ‘Stormbringer’ turn up here — ‘The Gypsy,’ ‘Lady Double Dealer’ and the title cut. All three are high octane stuff, surpassing the studio versions — with ‘Lady Double Dealer’ particularly killing. ‘Mistreated’ from the ‘Burn’ album gets a lengthy workout here, allowing Blackmore to show off with a bluesy but high energy solo. ‘You Fool No One,’ also from ‘Burn,’ maintains that same energy and surge for over 12 minutes.

There’s also a rock solid rendition of the all-time classic ‘Smoke On The Water.‘ One interesting thing about this version is the vocal harmonies provided by bassist Glenn Hughes during the second verse. His addition here adds a nice change up, taking the song somewhere else entirely.

blackmoreNow, time to nitpick. Do we really need another 20-minute-plus version of ‘Space Truckin’? Probably not. It’s noodle central for both Lord and Blackmore on this one. Thankfully, Mr. Paice holds down the fort, keeping the whole mess from blowing off into the wind.

That is the one main problem with any live Deep Purple outing, their tendency to go on and on. When they tighten it up, which is actually the case for most of the songs here, they are a force of nature. But when they meander, they get lost. As for the overall performance, it’s pretty damn amazing, and as for the sound quality, it’s all aces. This set was produced by the legendary Martin Birch, the man responsible for countless great hard rock records from Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and beyond. His sharp approach on the initial recording, coupled with some tasty remixing and mastering from Martin Pullan shine this monster up just right.

In short, if you love Deep Purple, you will love this album. Even if you’re one of those who swear only by the Mark II lineup, there is no denying the band’s power here. Turn it up loud and let it rock! (by Dave Swanson)

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Personnel:
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
David Coverdale (vocals)
Glenn Hughes (bass, background vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Ian Paice (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Burn (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 7.51
02. Stormbringer (Blackmore/Coverdale) 5.08
03. The Gypsy (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 5.23
04. Lady Double Dealer (Blackmore/Coverdale) 4.31
05. Mistreated (Blackmore/Coverdale)  14.40
06. Smoke On The Water (Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice) 9.43
07. You Fool No One (Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice) 12.15
08. Space Truckin’ (Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice) 20.22

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Rory Gallagher – Live In Europe (1972)

frontcover1Live in Europe is the third album by Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher, released in 1972. It is a series of live recordings made by Gallagher during his European tour. Unusual for a live album it contains only two previously released songs (“Laundromat” and “In Your Town”). All the other songs are either new Gallagher songs or Gallagher’s interpretation of traditional blues songs.

Live in Europe was released at the end of the British “blues boom” that began in the 1960s. Sparked by bands such as the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, and Cream fans and musicians were fascinated by authentic Chicago blues artists such as Muddy Waters. Gallagher had an extensive knowledge of this kind of music. Although he tended to play down arguments about what was “pure” blues. In an interview at the time he said:

“If there was one fault with the boom in the 1960s, it was that it was very straight-faced and very pontificatory, or whatever the word is. It used to annoy me that there was an attitude of ‘Thou shalt not play the blues unless you know who played second acoustic guitar behind Sonny Boy Williamson the first on the B-side of whatever.’ That kind of thing gets music nowhere, it’s like collecting stamps. I mean, I buy books on the blues and I check out the B-sides and I know who plays on what records and that’s fine. But then you’ve got to open that up to the rest of the people. Because that kind of snobbery defeats the purpose; it kills the music.”

Rather than live versions of his most popular songs there are only two songs on the album that were previously recorded by Gallagher in the studio, “Laundromat” from his first album and “In Your Town” from his Deuce album. All the other songs are Gallagher’s versions of classic blues songs. The album starts with what was to become a signature song for Gallagher, Junior Wells’ “Messin’ With the Kid”. The song “I Could’ve Had Religion” was Gallagher’s salute to what he called the “redemption style blues” of the Robert Wilkins and Gary Davis. After hearing the song on this album Bob Dylan expressed interest in recording it and assumed it was a traditional blues number rather than an original song by Gallagher.

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Blind Boy Fuller’s “Pistol Slapper Blues” is next. Gallagher then shows his versatility, swapping his Stratocaster for a mandolin and performing the song “Going to My Home Town” with the audience stomping their feet and cheering in response as Gallagher sings “do you want to go?”. The finale is the straight ahead hard rocking “Bullfrog Blues” written by William Harris. Gallagher switches back to the electric guitar and the full band and gives bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Wilgar Campbell, a chance to solo. With the CD release two additional blues songs were added: “What in the World” and “Hoodoo Man”.

Most critics agree that Live in Europe is one of Gallagher’s finest albums. It was his highest charting album to date reaching 101 in the Billboard 200 for 1972. The album was his first major commercial success and provided his first solo top ten album. It won him his first Gold Disc. In the same year of 1972 he was Melody Maker’s Guitarist/Musician of the Year, winning out over Eric Clapton.

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The live album Live in Europe/Stage Struck captures Rory Gallagher at his finest, as he tears his way through many of his very best songs. Though the performance quality is a little uneven, there are gems scattered throughout the record, including smoking versions of “Messin’ with the Kid” and “Laundromat.” (by Thom Owens)

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Personnel:
Wilgar Campbell (drums)
Rory Gallagher (guitar, harmonica, mandolin, vocals)
Gerry McAvoy (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Messin’ With The Kid (Wells) 6.25
02. Laundromat (Gallagher) 5.12
03. I Could’ve Had Religion (Traditional) 8.35
04. Pistol Slapper Blues (Fuller) 2.54
05. Going To My Hometown (Traditional) 5.46
06. In Your Town (Gallagher) 10.03
07. Bullfrog Blues (Traditional) 6.47
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08. What In The World (Traditional) 7.40
09. Hoodoo Man (Traditional) 6.02

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Karel Gott – Bílé Vánoce (White Christmas) (1982)

frontcover1Karel Gott (born July 14, 1939, in Plzeň) is a Czech Schlager singer, and an amateur painter. He is considered the most successful male singer in former Czechoslovakia and currently in the Czech Republic; he was elected the Most Favorite Male Singer in the annual national poll Český slavík (English: Czech Nightingale) a total of forty-one times, most recently in 2016. He also gained widespread fame in the German-speaking countries and is a fluent speaker of the language. Worldwide he has sold an estimated 50–100 million records with his songs, 23 million of them in the German-speaking market, and about 15 million in former Czechoslovakia and its successor states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Of his debut LP in Russia (Melodiya, 1977) there were sold over 5.5 million copies. (by wikipedia)

Czech singer and painter Karel Gott was born on July 14, 1939, in Pilson, Czechoslovakia, but has made his home in Prague since he was six years old. Fascinated by jazz, he first began singing in public in 1958, and in 1960 began studying opera and voice at Prague Conservatory. He released his first single, a duet with Vlasta Pruchova, on Supraphon Records in 1962. A year later his first solo single appeared, a Czech version of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River,” and Gott subsequently ended his official studies at the conservatory, quickly building an impressive career as a singer and composer. In 1967 he signed with Polydor/Deutsche Grammophon and has remained with the label ever since, releasing an astounding 125 albums and some 72 singles for the imprint between 1967 and 2000 alone. In the 1990s Gott began turning his attention to painting, mounting his first exhibition in 1992. (by Steve Leggett)

And this is his Christmus album for his country, Czech Republic and it´s a real crazy album, because Karel Gott sings the songs in Czech, English and German …

But … a nice addition to all these christmas albums, you can find in this blog.

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Personnel:
Karl Gott (vocals)
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Ladislav Štaidl Se Svým Orchestrem
Ivana Snopová (vocals on 06.)
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background vocals:
Bambini Di Praga – Sbor Pavla Kühna – Bohumil Kulínský

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Tracklist:
01. White Christmas 3.50
02. Oh Holy Night 3.46
03. Blue Christmas 2.13
04. Lightin’ The Candles (Pri vanocnich svickach) 4.16
05. Our First – Together Christmas Time (Nase prvni vanoce) 2.48
06. Shinin’ Shinin’ Christmas Tree (Zitra stromek zazari) 2.19
07. Dear Native Land (Navrat) 2.04
08. O, du frohliche (O sanctissimo) 1.34
09. Stedry vecer nastal 0.53
10. Nesem vam noviny 1.17
11. Ja bych rad k Betlemu 1.47
12. Pastyri, vstavejte 1.43
13. Bratri, ja jsem slysel 1.50
14. Jak jsi krasne, nevinatko 1.47
15. Gloria In Excelsis Deo 2.16
16. Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen) 4.05

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Wishbone Ash – First Light (2007)

frontcover1First Light is the first album by rock band Wishbone Ash. The recording was made to get a record deal but as the band signed to MCA Records with the well-known help from Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in early 1970, they decided to re-record most of them.

In 2006 a Wishbone Ash aficionado from America named Dr. John managed to purchase the acetate from a Christie’s auction and in 2007 the re-discovered recordings were released by Talking Elephant and so the Wishbone Ash fans finally got the opportunity to experience the very original versions of tracks from the debut-album as well as two never before heard songs “Roads Of Day To Day”, and “Joshua” and a vocalized version of “Alone” (which appeared as an instrumental on the second album Pilgrimage). The album as a whole represents the band in their first stages of their creation. During the sessions of recording, the band used homemade instruments – Martin Turner used a homemade bass guitar which he had bought for £5. (by wikipedia)

Back in late 1969 or early 1970, a very young Wishbone  Ash (Andy Powell,
Ted Turner, Martin Turner and Steve Upton) made an album of  songs in hopes of
securing a record deal with a major label. This album was  recorded in the dead
of night at AdVision Studios in the UK. Upon completion it  was then sent
over to Apple Corps LTD in London for mastering

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For over 35  years, these recordings have remained forgotten in the Apple
vaults gathering  dust. Recently, however, Christie’s Auctions put this acetate
of these  recordings up for purchase through their online auction house where
it was bid  on and won by collector extraordinaire, Dr. John. Dr. John then
contacted Andy  Powell about the find and offered them back to him to do with as
he pleased in  hopes that they would be released for all the fans of the band
to enjoy.

What makes these recordings so special is the energy and enthusiasm
displayed on every song played. “First Light” has a rawness and edge that the  first
official recording on MCA lacks. Plus it contains two songs never released
anywhere before.

This special artifact contains the first known  recordings of: Lady Whiskey,
Roads of Day to Day, Blind Eye, Joshua, Queen of  Torture, Alone, Handy, and
Errors of My Way. The recording of Handy on this disk  is worth the price of
admission alone. (by talkawhile.co.uk)

What a brilliant album !

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Personnel:
Andy Powell (guitar, vocals)
Martin Turner (bass, vocals)
Ted Turner (guitar, vocals)
Steve Upton (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Whiskey 3.11
02. Roads Of Day To Day 5.51
03. Blind Eye 3.35
04. Joshua 2.13
05. Queen Of Torture 3.09
06. Alone (with vocals) 3.09
07. Handy 12.41
08. Errors Of My Way 6.24

All songs composed by Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Ted Turner, and Steve Upton

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Peter, Paul & Mary – A Holiday Celebration (1988)

frontcover1One of the most successful folk groups of the 1960s (“Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”), Peter, Paul & Mary reunited in 1978 and have pretty much continued playing together for people of all ages. This celebration is helped along by the New York Choral Society and includes many familiar Christmas songs. While none of them possess an extraordinary singing voice or dexterous musicianship, their talents combined make for a sound greater than the sum of its parts. Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” is their one concession to their success as topical performers. The rest is festive and often moving. (by Rob O’Connor)

Always a favorite holiday album, “A Holiday Celebration” has not only the warmly familiar harmonies of Peter, Paul and Mary, but also the vocal support of the New York Choral Society. This 1988 album was recorded live, which has always been the best way to listen to this particular trio of folk singers sing. Most importantly, this is a “holiday” album, which means it is not limited to just Christmas songs, but covers the entire spectrum of the season. There are conventional Christmas songs (“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”), religious songs (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”), Jewish Songs (“Hayo, Haya”), Children’s Songs (“The Friendly Beasts”), familiar poems set to music (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”), old PP&M classics (“A Soalin'”) and even the obligatory protest song (“Blowin’ In the Wind”). Truly, there is something for everybody on this album. Mary Travers is featured on a beautiful song you have probably never heard before, “I Wonder As I Wander.” This is just a lovely album and as soon as I listen to it each year I am in the mood for the holidays. This is also the first album I put on each year when it is time to trim the tree. (by  Lawrance Bernabo)

I add the complete show without edita and a nice Christmas single by Peter, Paul & Mary from 1969.

Recorded live, and chosen from the PBS Television Special
“A Peter, Paul and Mary Holiday Concert.”

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Personnel:
Noel „Paul“ Stookey (vocals, guitar)
Mary Travers (vocals)
Peter Yarrow (vocls, guitar)
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Dick Kniss (bass)
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New York Choral Society conducted by John Daly Goodwin
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Orchestra conducted by Robert DeCormier

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Tracklist:
01. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Campbell) 2.45
02. A Soalin’ (Mezzetti/Stookey) 3.45
03. The Friendly Beasts (DeCormier) 3.26
04. O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Stookey/DeCormier) 3.04
05. I Wonder As I Wander (Niles) 3.46
06. The Magi (The Heart Of A Man’s Palace) (Henry/Yarrow) 3.52
07. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 5.12
08. The Cherry Tree Carol (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.19
09. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Moore/Quinn/Stookey) 4.32
10. Hayo, Haya (Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.57
11. Light One Candle (Yarrow) 3.10
12. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 4.08
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13. A Holiday Celebration (full album -no edits) 45-65
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14. Christmas Dinner (single, 1969) (Stookey) 2.57

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