Report: Hair-Metal Nostalgia Fuels Yuletide Alternatives reports: When producer/composer Paul O'Neill founded TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and launched the yuletide franchise with the album "Christmas Eve & Other Stories" in 1996, he helped lay the foundation of an unexpected niche genre: hard rock Christmas carols.

Eleven years later, TSO is a mainstream yuletide tradition. According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore since 1999, TSO's touring company has sold 2.9 million tickets and has grossed $111 million from 487 shows. The project is mainly known for extravagant concerts filled with lights, pyro effects and amplifiers, but its recorded-music titles are also solid sellers. Five titles have sold nearly 5.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Atlantic senior director of A&R and marketing Greg Nadel predicts that TSO will extend its reach farther this year. Its single "Wizards in Winter" is gaining traction on radio, and Atlantic is working on a promotion with iTunes. "It's just a phenomenon," he said.

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