Tidings of Comfort and Joy (Roger Whittaker album)

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Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Roger Whittaker - Tidings of Comfort and Joy - Canada.jpg

Vinyl - Canada - 1st edition.

Artist Roger Whittaker
Published 1984-??-??
Type Studio
Genre Hymn, Ballad, Synthpop
Themes Christmas

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.

Track Listing

This track listing is from the World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs release which was the first US release.

Track Title Composers Rank Rating
A01 Ding! Dong! Merrily on High Jehan Tabourot, George Ratcliffe Woodward 2 Rating-4.svg
A02 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Traditional 4 Rating-4.svg
A03 O Come, All Ye Faithful Traditional 13 Rating-2.svg
A04 The Twelve Days of Christmas Traditional, Frederic Austin 18 Rating-0.svg
A05 The Christmas Song Robert Wells, Mel Tormé 3 Rating-4.svg
A06 Angels from the Realms of Glory James Montgomery, Edward Shippen Barnes 15 Rating-2.svg
A07 Mary's Boy Child Jester Hairston 9 Rating-4.svg
A08 Away in a Manger Traditional, James R. Murray, William J. Kirkpatrick 16 Rating-1.svg
A09 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane 8 Rating-4.svg
A10 The Holly and the Ivy Traditional 1 Rating-5.svg
B01 White Christmas Irving Berlin 6 Rating-4.svg
B02 The First Noël Traditional 7 Rating-4.svg
B03 The Little Drummer Boy Katherine Kennicott Davis 19 Rating-0.svg
B04 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Traditional, Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley, George Whitefield 11 Rating-3.svg
B05 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly Traditional 14 Rating-2.svg
B06 O Tannenbaum Melchior Franck, Ernst Anschütz 17 Rating-0.svg
B07 Winter Wonderland Felix Bernard, Richard Bernhard Smith 10 Rating-3.svg
B08 Past Three O'Clock Traditional, George Ratcliffe Woodward 12 Rating-3.svg
B09 We Wish You a Merry Christmas Traditional 20 Rating-0.svg
B10 Silent Night Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr 5 Rating-4.svg

The album's total score is 99.

The following songs were mastered for the same album, but used on other versions of the album.

Track Title Composers Rank Rating
- In the Bleak Midwinter Christina Rossetti, Harold Darke - Rating-0.svg
- Sussex Carol Traditional - Rating-0.svg
- Rocking Traditional, Percy Dearmer - Rating-1.svg



All of these albums use the same set of songs.