Long renowned for selling more concert tickets than albums, Trans-Siberian Orchestra united a 60-piece orchestra plus chorus with the talents of Paul O'Neill, a veteran hard rock producer. The group released its debut album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, just in time for the 1996 holiday season; it eventually sold three-times platinum in the United States. The Christmas Attic followed in 1998, and two years later the group issued its first non-seasonal recording, Beethoven's Last Night. The live DVD and perennial PBS donation incentive The Ghosts of Christmas Eve arrived in 2001.
In 2004, the group returned with its fourth album, The Lost Christmas Eve, which produced its best sales in the U.S. since the debut. Trans-Siberian Orchestra then collected all its Christmas recordings on the three-CD/one-DVD collection Christmas Trilogy. In 2009, after a five-year hiatus, the group returned with the two-disc Night Castle, a non-holiday-related concept album. A five-song EP, Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night), followed in 2012. Letters from the Labyrinth, their first full-length in five years and a rare non-concept album, appeared in 2015, and in late 2016, the band brought back and updated the Ghosts of Christmas Eve live show for a North American tour, and the original recording saw a first-time audio release. ~ John Bush