Former Journey frontman Steve Perry has shared a sublime, piano-led version of “The Christmas Song”, from his new holiday record, The Season, which is out today.
Festive classic “The Christmas Song” (commonly subtitled “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” or, as it was originally subtitled, “Merry Christmas to You”) was written in 1945 by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé. The song was popularized by Nat King Cole. Cole recorded the song several times, with the stereophonic version from 1961 featuring a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael widely accepted as the song’s definitive version.
“I hope when people hear this record, they’re teleported in the same way I was when I recorded all these songs,” Perry said of The Season in a statement. “I hope it brings them back to those golden moments with their loved ones and gives them that feeling of joy and connection and comfort that we all need so much.”
Perry said that recording the album was an emotional and cathartic experience. “When I was recording vocals for “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, as I was singing ‘Please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree’ … I was emotionally thrown into standing in my grandmother’s house staring through the door that I always hung [with] mistletoe,” he said in a statement, “and then I saw her beautiful Christmas tree in front of her living room window. I had to stop singing because it felt like I was really there. I was a bit stunned. Back home for Christmas is where everyone wants to be!”
Perry took an extended sabbatical from the music industry after leaving Journey in 1998, but he re-emerged in 2018 with the solo LP Traces. He followed it up last year with Traces (Alternate Versions and Sketches), a stripped-down version of the album.
Though Perry has been back for a few years, he has yet to return to touring. “I’ve got some physical injuries from touring,” he continued. “It’s a tough thing, touring. People don’t realize. It’s like sports. I’m watching baseball these days and there’s injuries. People’s backs and necks start to go out. It’s a young man’s game, but I do miss it.”
The Season includes the following tracks:
“The Christmas Song”
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
“Auld Lang Syne”
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”