Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Christmas playlist

I admit it: I have a lot of Christmas music. I like Christmas music. Some songs or albums have memories. Some I just like. Some are new discoveries. Some are golden oldies.

Albums:

  • All-Star Christmas (various) I think this is the only album I have with "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy.
  • Arthur Fiedler's Christmas Pops (Boston Pops Orchestra) Orchestras just have a way with Christmas music.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi) Is it even Christmas without Charlie Brown?
  • Chex Holiday Classics vol. 3 (various) I got this one free in a Chex cereal box a number of years ago.
  • The Chipmunk Song (The Chipmunks) This is the only song I have from their Christmas album. I generally find them annoying, but this one is a classic.
  • A Christmas Album (Michael Crawford) He's best known for playing the Phantom in London and on Broadway. The man can sing.
  • Christmas at Home (Donny Osmond) I admit I love Donny Osmond. Is that wrong? Some songs I've never heard anywhere else include "Who Took the Mary Out of Christmas" and "The Kid in Me". 
  • Christmas Cheers (Straight No Chaser) The original group from IU, singing their a capella versions of Christmas songs, including the studio version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
  • The Christmas I Love (André Rieu) I have fond memories of seeing André Rieu in concert with my grandma. He leads a fabulous Strauß orchestra.
  • Christmas Songs of the Season (various) I don't know if they still do, but Kohl's used to sell a Christmas album every year to benefit their Kohl's Cares for Kids charity. This is the version from 2000. 
  • A Christmas Together (John Denver and the Muppets) I so wish they would release the special this is from on DVD. I love this album. Some of my favorites include the medley with "Alfie, The Christmas Tree", "The Peace Carol", "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (one of few versions of this song I like), the story of "Silent Night" and they sing the first verse in the original German,  "When the River Meets the Sea", "The Christmas Wish".
  • Elvis Presley Christmas Duets (Elvis and various) Just what it sounds like: artists did duets with recordings of Elvis.
  • Elvis' Christmas Album (Elvis Presley) This is an older album that only has 12 songs. There used to be a lot of versions with the songs just in different orders.
  • Get Music - Holiday (various) I got this free online years ago.
  • Holiday Pops (Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra) I admit it: I'm a Keith Lockhart fan. 
  • Holiday Sing Along with Mitch (Mitch Miller and the Gang) I grew up listening to this one. If you want a Christmas album with easy to sing along with tunes, this is the one to get. 
  • Holiday Spirits (Straight No Chaser) Yep, I have both of their Christmas albums. Their version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is one of the few I like. (I hate that song.)
  • If Every Day Was Like Christmas (Elvis) I'd have a "Blue Christmas" without Elvis, and this is his complete Christmas recordings. 
  • Listen! It's Christmas (Johnny Mathis and CeCe Winans) This was offered by Hallmark a number of years ago. Johnny Mathis is another one I can't have Christmas without.
  • Merry Christmas (Bing Crosby) When I bought the album, it was called Merry Christmas but is apparently now White Christmas. Bing is a classic. You can't have Christmas without Bing. Some songs here you won't hear elsewhere include "Christmas in Killarney" and "Mele Kalikimaka" and "Adeste Fideles" in the original French ("O Come All Ye Faithful"). And of course he does his most famous one: "White Christmas".
  • Music of Christmas (IHM Choral) This is an album made by the choral group at my mom's high school. 
  • Now That's What I Call Christmas (various) A mix of old and new - some of my favorites are Nat King Cole singing "The Christmas Song", Bing Crosby & David Bowie singing "Little Drummer Boy/Peace of Earth", John & Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band singing "Happy Christmas", "Merry Christmas Darling" by the Carpenters, Gloria Estefan's "Love on Layaway", Burl Ives singing "Holly Jolly Christmas"... I could go on.
  • Platinum Christmas (various) Modern pop stars sing Christmas songs. 
  • Snoopy's Christmas (The Royal Guardsmen) Snoopy faces the Red Baron on Christmas. It's a classic. 
  • A Soap Opera Christmas (various) Essential for any soap fans from the mid-90s. 
  • That Christmas Swing (Dave Williamson Big Band and Singers) I love big band music. I love swing music. I love big band swing Christmas music.
  • These Are Special Times (Celine Dion) Yes, I have her Christmas album. Got a problem with that?
  • Twisted Christmas (Bob Rivers) This is for when I need something irreverent. There are several albums in the series, but I only have the one. "Joy to the World" on electric guitar should be a classic. Seriously, that track alone is worth the album. One day I may pick up I Am Santa Claus if only for "O Little Town of Bethlehem" set to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun" (it fits perfectly, thus enhancing the irony.)
  • Ultimate Christmas (The Beach Boys) Yep, love the Beach Boys. "Little Saint Nick" is now a classic, but it was on the young, hip side of this album (the other side is more traditional) when it was released.
  • When My Heart Finds Christmas (Harry Connick, Jr.) My favorite original tracks are "When My Heart Finds Christmas" and "(It Must Have Been Ol') Santa Claus"
  • 25 (Chicago) I love horn rock. Even at Christmas.
Amazingly, with 440 songs, there are still three albums I miss. Alabama Christmas and Christmas II, and Kenny Rogers Christmas were perennial favorites growing up and I still miss those. Maybe one day I'll have them. 

So what are your favorite Christmas songs and albums? Is there anything "must have" that's missing from my collection?

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