Dan Fogelberg Releases Unique Christmas Album
Plans Two Live CDs

October 28, 1999

 

This week sees the release of what will likely be one of the most unique of all the holiday-related albums that will be swamping record stores between now and the end of the year -- a medieval-styled collection of original and classic Christmas songs from Dan Fogelberg called The First Christmas Morning (Morning Star Productions*). So where did Fogelberg, whose past pop hits songs include "Leader of the Band," "Longer" and "Run For the Roses," get the idea for a Ye Old Renaissance holiday collection?

"I really started thinking about doing this about twelve years ago," says Fogelberg, on the phone with allstar from his Colorado home earlier this week.

"The first piece I wrote ("The First Christmas Morning") was for Christmas of 1986," he recalls. "I realized I could write original music that sounded very old. And over the years I would write one piece per Christmas season, and eventually I had half a dozen of these things. It's always been the type of record I wanted to make a medieval, Renaissance-type Christmas record."

The album, recorded between March of 1998 and May of 1999 at Fogelberg's ranch studio, includes such other originals as "I Saw Three Ships"** and "At Christmas Time," which Fogelberg says he wrote just last year, as well as left-field versions of such familiar yuletide fare as "O, Tannenbaum" and "We Three Kings."

"I didn't work in the summertime because it was just too silly," he recalls with a laugh. "Trying to write Christmas music, even in Colorado. We left the decorations up, though. My whole studio was decorated until June of this year. It helped. Actually, we did "The First Christmas Morning" on my summer tour this year. It was pretty funny, we'd put a little Christmas tree on the stage and make a bit of a joke out of it."

Fogelberg says he plans to take this holiday season off from performing, so he won't be doing any Christmas or New Year's Eve shows. "I will be back out on the road next summer," he says. "And I'm in the process of working on two very different live recordings."

"One is taken from a bunch of band stuff I've sorted through, all my bands of the 90s," he continues. "Those are kind of archival performances of songs that didn't go on Greetings From The West, which is my Best-of live album -- obscure songs and covers with my wonderful bands.

"The other one is a series of solo concerts I did two summers ago, which I had wanted to do for years, and which my fans have wanted to hear. I've got 35 shows I'm sorting through. Both those projects hopefully I can finish this winter, and then we'll sit down with record company people and managers and figure out which one should come out next."

Fogelberg also says he's been composing music on guitar for the first time, and that he plans to soon start working on a new guitar-based studio album, which would presumably be released in between the two upcoming live titles.

Fogelberg's song "A Voice For Peace" was also the lead track (and inspiration for the title) of the recent Kosovo relief double-CD Voices For Peace.

-- Troy J. Augusto Article at CD NOW.

* Morning Sky Productions

** "I Saw Three Ships" is not a DF original