Who hasn't heard a rendition of "O Holy Night" and thought, that song could really use some distorted guitars and tricked-out drum machines? Well, lucky for all of us, composer Chip Davis turned that dream into a reality with his traveling Christmas extravaganza, Mannheim Steamroller.
The Steamroller has been decking out Christmas songs with garish synthesizers, electronic drums and effects-heavy guitars since its debut in 1984. That same year, it released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, which went on to sell a whopping 5 million copies. All told, the Mannheim brand has sold more than 40 million albums, making Davis one of the top 50 best-selling artists of all-time.
Davis has capitalized on this success by expanding into the medium of children's books, patenting a music therapy system, and even creating an entire line of food and bath products under the Mannheim Steamroller name. So, while you're enjoying some Mannheim Steamroller Christmas jams, you can relax with a Mannheim Steamroller bubble bath and enjoy some Mannheim Steamroller hot chocolate in your Mannheim Steamroller mug.
In addition to the more modern instruments that Mannheim Steamroller utilizes, the orchestra/band/art project sports modest brass and string sections. It also hauls around a pretty insane light setup, making this one of the few events that you can take both your mother-in-law and stoner teenage kid to—truly the spirit of the holidays.