A band that you either love or hate. I personally am a hater. The group started earlier than 1975, when the leader of the band invented a mixture of rock, pop, and classical, called "new age music" (oh joy). They have put out 8 albums of a series of music called "Fresh Aire" as well as their Christmas time favorite "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas," which has sold more than 5 million albums since its 1984 release. Mannheim Steamroller's brand of music is a little odd. They play a sort of adult contemporary techno, using synthesizers, but also drums, bassoons and flutes.

But wait! That's not all!

"A feature film based on a story he has written is also being developed. The film, featuring Davis' (the leader of the group) music is about Christmas 100 years in the future when everyone has moved into shopping malls and forgotten about the giving of oneself that is the heart of the holiday."

Sounds like another action packed Hollywood blockbuster to me.

Their website is at www.mannheimsteamroller.com

Mannheim Steamroller is probably best known for ripping off classical artists for profit. Arguably, no one else plays exactly the sort of music they do. They started with a baroque style with the first Fresh Aire album, with lots of harpsichord. Each Fresh Aire album is focused on a specific period in music, although they seem to have a hard time getting away from sounding like Handel.

Throughout the entire Fresh Aire series of albums, they offer variations on a single theme that they title an interlude. It's actually a very nice melody even if it is a bit kitsch.

Mannheim Steamroller is the only artist I can think of that will combine harpsichord with a fat bassy sawtooth Moog. For this combination alone I am grateful.

This term also refers to the very special attributes of the Orchestra at Mannheim in the 18th century. It was the beginning of the classical era of music and composers like Stamitz were writing for the orchestra at Mannheim. Often called an "army of generals" the Mannheim orchestra was famous for their virtuoso playing and their very special treatment of dynamics, being able to smoothly transition from pianissimo to fortissimo with incredible accuracy and occasionally speed. This effect came to be known as the Mannheim Steamroller effect.

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