Ice, Ice Baby: The cover of Stella Artois' "Under the Holiday Star" EP which will feature holiday classics recroded with classical jazz orchestration.
Originally named after a Christmas star, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Belgian lager Stella Artois is returning to its roots. The beer brand will be releasing an exclusive eight-track holiday EP, "Under The Holiday Star," available for free online download from Stella Artois' home page in November, beginning with the first single "The Nutcracker March" on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
The compilation was inspired by the popularity of the jazzy, French take on "The 12 Days of Christmas" -- "Les 12 Jours de Noel" -- featured in Stella's 2010 holiday campaign (below ) and available as a free download to fans last year. The eight tracks featured on the album -- including standards like "Deck The Halls," "The Nutcracker March" and "Auld Lang Syne" and two original compositions, "Snowball" and "Let's Call It Quits" -- were recorded with a similar classical jazz orchestration. The compilation was recorded in Los Angeles, New York and Paris under the guidance of composers Gordon Minette, James Leibow and Andy Bloch and arranger Dan Block.
Emma Fox, global marketing manager for Stella Artois, tells Billboard.biz that the recording sessions went to painstaking lengths to recreate the 1960s. From vintage sound equipment and instruments to a 33-rpm vinyl-playing turntable carved out of ice pictured in the cover art, the album was created "using a keen eye and ear for authenticity in true Stella Artois fashion," Fox says.
Stella Artois' 2011 holiday campaign will feature one of the tracks from "Under the Holiday Star," but Fox isn't sharing which one just yet.
The "Under the Holiday Star" EP's back cover and complete tracklisting.