Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#820 in the Series) is George Winston, December.
There’s really not a ton more that you can say about this album that hasn’t been said previously? It’s an all-time Hall of Fame Christmas season album, how’s that.
I read a few reviews on this album while looking for information on it. They all basically said the same thing, how this album set the tone for a whole new genre, and how for years and years others would try and recreate what George Winston created in 1983. It’s just a man and his piano and that’s it.
One of the most difficult things in all of music has been to record a new Christmas album of mostly original material and have it stick, and stick like Christmas snow in Alta, Utah. If you want to introduce a new Christmas song in the last 30 plus years you had better be John Lennon, or Paul McCartney , but that’s what George and his label Windham Hill were able to do.
The thing about 99% of Christmas albums, is that if you don’t have all the usual songs, well, you really don’t have much of a chance. People just want to hear the songs they heard as kids, they don’t want new songs on their Christmas albums. It’s a time of tradition, a time to think about memories from your youth, and that’s why we want those songs we know.
These aren’t all original, a few are public domain songs, but none are “Jingle Bells” or “Winter Wonderland.” The only song here that people almost surely would know is “Carole of the Bells.”
Year after year however, this album continues to sell and continues to get play, as it should. Listen to it below.
— Larry Carta
- Thanksgiving (Winston) 4:04
- Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head (Traditional ) 2:40
- Joy (Public Domain)3:13
- Prelude (Winston) 1:16
- Carol of the Bells (Public Domain) 3:56
- Night, Pt. 1: Snow (Winston) 1:51
- Night, Pt. 2: Midnight (Winston) 1:56
- Night, Pt. 3: Minstrels (Public Domain) 2:00
- Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel (Pachelbel) 5:21
- The Holly and the Ivy (Public Domain) 4:52
- Some Children See Him (Burt) 3:43
- Peace (Winston) 4:02
- George Winston – Piano