Some Great Christmas Albums

I can’t believe it’s less than a week until Christmas and there hasn’t been a single Christmas post yet. Wow.

So here’s my humble attempt at one. Great Christmas albums. I don’t mean the greatest of all time. We did great Christmas songs a couple of years ago. We even did bad Christmas music (and here) around the same time. We did best Christmas animation, Christmas films, and so forth. But this is just some good Christmas albums you may have missed that are worth listening to.

Tony Bennett: Snowfall and A Swinging Christmas. The latter in particular is amazing. I’ve been listening to it a lot the past few days. Bennett is always good but somehow he really manages to bring something new to these songs.

Christmas Cocktails. (There are several volumes) Some of the songs you’ll recognize but some are these truly bizarre Christmas recordings from the 50’s and 60’s. Great stuff and somewhat unusual.

Lisa Ono: Boas Festas. Not a great album by any means. And listening to it straight gets a tad repetitive. But take these Brazilian jazz takes on songs and throw it into your random mix. I guarantee you’ll love it.

Lena Horne: Merry from Lena. Great Jazz Christmas takes. A great album to listen to.

I’ve got a few others but why don’t you guys chime in.

BTW – I can 100% guarantee you won’t like Country Christmas by Johnny Cash. Imagine if someone decided to take Cash, one of the greatest performers of all time, and set him up with the producers of Duran Duran (yes there are synthesizers) and have him make souless versions of songs. What I wish for a stripped down Rick Rubin styled take on some of these songs. I actually deleted this from iTunes I hated it so much.


17 thoughts on “Some Great Christmas Albums

  1. I think the funniest one I’ve ever heard is definitely Neil Diamond. Being Jewish, shouldn’t he not even celebrate Christmas?

  2. I’m not a huge Christmas music fan, but these are my favorites:

    The first Elvis Christmas album
    Beach Boys
    James Brown
    Phil Spector
    Louvin Brothers
    Hillbilly Holiday compilation

  3. BTW – if I put that up I have to put up some Bennett.

    And just because it’s my favorite post-70’s rock Christmas song. U2.

  4. As far as albums go, I always have to do the Christmas cookie baking to The Carpenters Christmas Portrait.

    A few slightly more random singles I like:

    The Bird and the Bee: Carol of the Bells
    Keb’ Mo’: Jingle Bell Jamboree
    The Irish Tenors: Suo Gan
    and I love The Wexford Carol by just about anyone.

  5. Low has a great Christmas album. Not sure most of you would like it though. My favorite song from it is the most accessible one, called “Just Like Christmas.”

    They have a new Christmas song out this year called “Santa’s Coming Over.” It’s rather ominous:

  6. I love the Tony Bennett. For me, I listen to Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas. It’s a great album except for Frosty the Snowman, where she does something cutesy with her voice.

    Also, A Charlie Brown Christmas is great. And I love Sufjan’s Christmas set (thanks SG!).

    But, other than the cheesy strings, you can’t do better than the Voice of Christmas himself, Bing Crosby. Listening to just him would probably be too much for me, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without him.

  7. I’ve been really enjoying Aimee Mann’s Christmas album. I really like the way she does some of the old standbys like “Merry Little Christmas.”

  8. LL, there are some albums that are and always will be considered classics. The Vince Guaraldi Trio is one of the greats as is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas or Andy Williams. There are a few others. I figure they just go without saying. (i.e. for me Louis Armstrong which outside of Crosby & Guaraldi is my most listened to album)

  9. For some reason that I do not understand my family was raised on a Roger Whittaker Christmas album. My brother found a copy online a few years ago and it was terrible.

    We’re raising our kids on a Gene Autrey album. At least I can explain this as Mr Autrey was a friend of my wife’s family.

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