Tidings of Comfort and Joy (Roger Whittaker album)
|Tidings of Comfort and Joy|
Vinyl - Canada - 1st edition.
Tidings of Comfort and Joy is a Christmas album by Roger Whittaker released on vinyl in 1984. The album consists of a variety of traditional Christmas songs all sung in Whittaker's baritone with a backup choir. Despite the traditional song selection, the music makes heavy use of early-1980s synthesizers for lead instruments which had a then modern sound.
The publication of the album was quite varied. A number of different companies published the album under different titles with different songs and in different orders, even within the same country in the same year. Because of this, it's difficult to determine what the original release was, though the title I'm using here is from the most widely published release. A total of 23 unique songs were mastered, as indicated by the same synthesizer used in all of them, but no single album includes all 23. Several other compilations using tracks from the 23 songs have also been released, each time with new albums titles and new song orders. Most releases begin with Ding! Dong! Merrily on High with the chiming of the bells and end with Silent Night which finishes with a brief medley of previous songs from the album and the same chiming of bells, though a few were haphazardly thrown together without this in mind.
A few of the songs on this album were also recorded in German for the album Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht.
In the late 1980s, my mother had the World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs version of this album on vinyl and frequently played the album around Christmas time. In the early 1990s, when I was really getting into Christianity, I especially loved this album due to the religious nature of most of the songs, and Whittaker's powerful voice helped strengthen my emotional attachment to the religion's beliefs. After I moved out of my parent's house, I went over a decade without hearing the album and also deconverted in the process (the two are unrelated). Feeling nostalgic one December, I went searching for the album online and found The Christmas Song. Because it had the songs I remembered, I assumed it was the same album my mother had, although I didn't realize at the time, it was missing a few tracks, and had one new song which, I wasn't sure why I didn't recognize. When I heard the songs again after such a long gap in time I was surprised at how awful the synthesizers sounded. Somehow, I wasn't bothered by them when they were more common in pop music. However, I still appreciated the familiarity of Whittaker's amazing vocals and quickly regained an appreciation for them. While researching for this page, I discovered that the CD version I had found was only a partial compilation release of the more complete version. When I saw the cover art for World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs, it jogged my memory, so I looked up the missing tracks and heard them, now with a gap of about 25 years, and was again awash in nostalgia over them. Although I now find the religious songs to be obnoxiously preachy, due to the nostalgia it induces, I still love the album, and it's one of the few Christmas albums I can tolerate. To this day, it's the only work of Roger Whittaker's that I'm familiar with.
This track listing is from the World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs release which was the first US release.
The album's total score is 99.
The following songs were mastered for the same album, but used on other versions of the album.
|-||In the Bleak Midwinter||Christina Rossetti, Harold Darke||-|
|-||Rocking||Traditional, Percy Dearmer||-|
All of these albums use the same set of songs.
- discogs.com/master/2194933-Roger-Whittaker-Worlds-Most-Beautiful-Christmas-Songs - Discogs - World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs.
- discogs.com/master/1275464-Roger-Whittaker-Christmas-With-Roger-Whittaker - Discogs - Christmas with Roger Whittaker.
- discogs.com/master/907467-Roger-Whittaker-Worlds-Most-Beautiful-Christmas-Songs - Discogs - World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs.
- discogs.com/release/11319347-Roger-Whittaker-The-Christmas-Song - Discogs - The Christmas Song.
- discogs.com/master/1617273-Roger-Whittaker-Happy-Holidays-From-Roger-Whittaker - Discogs - Happy Holidays from Roger Whittaker.