Monday, December 10, 2012

Our 22 Choices for Top Christmas Albums

Please Let Us Know Your Favorites Too!

      Every year the Holiday CD market is given a few more gifts of song.  The albums range from the singer-of-the-moment
to dead performers singing duets of marvel with present day stars.  Through the years there have been some that stand out in our collection from all the others, and here they are in order of their release:

Bing Crosby 
White Christmas 1945
   The song that inspired the 1954 movie 
   along with other carols with notable arrangements.
Phil Spector
A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector 1963
   Classic recording including Darlene Love's 
   Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Andy Williams
The Andy Williams Christmas Album 1963
   Several of the songster's favorite arrangements.
Vince Guaraldi
A Charlie Brown Christmas 1965
   The only jazz Christmas album I can stand!
If Every Day Was Like Christmas 1966
   All of the legend's favorite Christmas songs.
Barbra Streisand 
A Christmas Album 1967
   I've worn out three of these albums.
Philadelphia Brass Ensemble 
A Festival of Carols in Brass 1968
   Classic arrangements with no vocals.
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers 
Once Upon a Christmas 1984
   Soundtrack from the vanguard music video TV special.
Peter, Paul, and Mary 
Holiday Celebration 1992
   Something for all ages.
Soundtrack from Toys
Toys 1992
   A fantasy movie with a fantastical soundtrack.
Placido Domingo, Diana Ross and Jose Carreras 
Christmas in Vienna 1993
   Memorable recording of the PBS special.
Michael W. Smith 
Christmas Album 1993
   All three of his Christmas albums are great, 
   but this one started it all.
Vanessa Williams 
Star Bright 1996
   An instant modern hit.
Ru Paul 
Ho Ho Ho 1997
   Disco and irreverent takes on familiar and unfamiliar carols.
Linda Eder 
Christmas Stays the Same 2000
   Her Broadway interpretation of many holiday classics.
Martha Stewart Living
Home for the Holidays 2001
   Compilation of singers with their holiday hits.
Adagio Trio
Winter Gift  2002
   Traditional carols with flute, cello and harp.
Barbara Cook 
Count Your Blessings 2003
   The Broadway veteran lends her interpretation 
   to some unconventional holiday songs.
Frank Sinatr
The Christmas Collection 2004
   A timeless collection of many of his holiday classics.
Kristin Chenoweth 
A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas 2008
   Every arrangement works on this holiday songbook.
The Music, The Christmas Album 2010
   The cast now has three holiday albums, 
   but this one was the beginning.
Indigo Girls 
Holly Happy Days 2010
   A romp through many unconventional holiday songs.

      Of course, there are hundreds more out there and these are just our opinion of the best.  Our taste in holiday music tends toward the traditional arrangements so ones like Mannheim Steamroller have been omitted even though they're the number one selling Christmas albums. 

      We do have a couple albums to be avoided at all costs.  Christina Aguilera's (we love her) sounds like she's gargling her way through every tune and her rendition of Oh Holy Night should be banned.  How anyone can take such a beautiful song and do that to it is simply beyond comprehension.  We've only heard portions of Aretha Franklin's holiday attempt (we love her too) and that was enough to turn us off to the rest.


Hilary said...

I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Cherry City Kitties said...

We have heard bunches of those, the Momma says she can sing the entire Andy Williams record by heart (We hope she doesn't start now...)
Back when she was a girl, she used to listen to two records that were put out by the Firestone Tire Company with Christmas songs by a lot of famous people on them. She said they "wore those things out" at the holidays. I think that means she liked them.

Dexter said...

Neil says he remembers the Firestone albums too. I'm betting I could find some in our basement!