2. Jesus O What A Wonderful Child - Jack Vidgen
3. The Christmas Song - Anthony Warlow
4. Hark The Herald Angels Sing - The McClymonts
5. Silent Night - Damien Leith
6. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Jon Stevens
7. O Holy Night - Jessica Mauboy
8. Coming Home For Christmas - Leo Sayer
9. The Spirit Of Christmas - Ross Wilson & The Melbourne Staff Songsters of The Salvation Army
10. O Come All Ye Faithful - Gorgi Coghlan
11. Christmas Waltz - Lee Kernaghan
12. Blue Christmas - Lanie Lane
13. Sleigh Ride - The Wiggles
"The Spirit of Christmas" CDs are a charity venture put out each year by Australia's Salvation Army and sold exclusively through Myer stores, with proceeds going to support at-risk children in Australia. The series began in 1993 and they haven't missed a year. They routinely feature a line-up of the biggest stars on the Australian music scene, across all genres, though many of the names might be unfamiliar to we here in the states. Among regular contributors to the series are Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band), John Farnham (Australia's Cliff Richard), Delta Goodrem (star of the Australian soap Neighbors), Judith Durham (The Seekers), and Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel, Diesel, INXS). Yes, Olivia Newton-John has been featured as well, as have Kate Ceberano and Kylie Minogue. Even Tommy Emmanuel had contributed years before doing his own Christmas album for 2011.
Since you can't get this from any independent retailer, and since Myer doesn't sell them on line, and because iTunes (AU) doesn't sell to Americans, this is pretty much a window shopping exercise. We get to ooh and aahh, but we can't take it home. For those determined to add some of these babies to their collection, I can assure you the bidding on eBay is often fierce. Might I suggest the summer time as less competitive. The initial retail price is high and our dollar isn't at it's strongest, so you won't get them cheap in any event. But there are usually some real gems on these collections that don't turn up anywhere else, making the pursuit a worthy one for the obsessive collector.
On this year's "The Spirit Of Christmas", the big draw for folks like us is likely to be Leo Sayer who wrote an original song with an anti-war theme. And, while I didn't have high hopes for the track, Leo really knocked it out of the park. The rest of the tunes are all solid as well, especially the tracks from Jack Vidgen, The McClymonts, and Ross Wilson. But it's Leo's "Coming Home For Christmas" that's putting this album on my wishlist.