James Taylor

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River
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Mon Beau Sapin
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Go Tell It On The Mountain
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Winter Wonderland
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Auld Lang Syne
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In The Bleak Midwinter
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Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
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Jingle Bells
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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
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Some Children See Him
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Christmas Music Playlists with James Taylor Songs

And Rock-A-Bye Sweet Baby Jesus

James Taylor is a singer songwriter whose appeal has hardly waned since he started out in the mid-sixties. That said his career was not without its fair share of false starts which were aggravated by heroin addiction and depression but his innate gift for music thankfully saw him make good on his talent. Taylor's 1970 'Sweet Baby James' (the title track does mention December and snow so could be tenuously seen as a Christmas number) is seen as his classic and though his first Christmas album would not arrive until 3 decades later in 2004 'James Taylor: A Christmas Album' still showcased a seminal talent.

Taylor's first brush with the season arrived in 2002 courtesy of the closing track on his 'October Road' album. His rendition of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' was perfectly judged in what would become the template for his greater winter adventures 3 years later. 'James Taylor: A Christmas Album' was initially given a limited release by Hallmark Cards in 2004 but would receive a wider release and different title, 'James Taylor At Christmas', in 2006. The reissue lead to a Grammy nomination in the Traditional Pop Album category and the addition of 2 extra tracks not included on the Hallmark edition (the aforementioned 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and a cover of Joni Mitchell's 'River'). Taylor covered most yuletide bases on this album and even brought in Natalie Cole for a typically low ebbed version of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'. Elsewhere there were traditionals aplenty in the shape of 'Winter Wonderland', 'Jingle Bells' and 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)' which were all infused with James Taylor's soft and welcoming intonations. While it hardly reinvented the way Christmas music is recorded there is something comforting to be taken from hearing this legend making festive.

'James Taylor At Christmas' is a soft and considered record with even the normally frenetic ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ slowed down and delivered with soul and panache. The album was re-released again in 2012 with a couple of extra tracks included for the occasion. 'Mon Beau Sapin' see Taylor singing the French version of 'O Christmas Tree' and he also added his take on the Beatles' 'Here Comes The Sun’ which is cello heavy and winter sounding thanks to Yo-Yo Ma’s beautiful playing.  

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