Favorite Christmas albums?

I know it’s early, but this got sparked by a discovery I made online.

What’s your favorite Christmas album(s)?

My list goes as follows:

“Merry Christmas from Sesame Street” - An album that’s actually older than I am, this 1975 LP (which I now have on CD) has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. It’s pre-Elmo, and features a touching version of “The Gift of the Magi” titled “A Christmas Story” with Bert, Ernie and Mr. Hooper, as well as the Oscar the Grouch classic “I Hate Christmas.” A bastardized version was re-released on CD a few years ago with Elmo and Telly pasted in to replace Hardhead Henry and Smart Tina, not to mention the erasing of Mr. Hooper’s “A Christmas Story,” David’s “The Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street” and Luis and Maria’s “Saludo/Arrurru.”

“Christmas with the Chipmunks Vol. 1” - Another tradition, another vintage LP. Bonus points for knowing the words to “Chipmunk Christmas Song” (I still want my hula hoop!)

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” - Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to the classic TV special. Gotta love it.

Playboy’s Latin Jazz Christmas. Sheila E’s version of “Santa Baby” was surprisingly weak, but all in all, a swell collection.

I would have to say that one of my all time favorites is the Elvis Presley Christmas album. Probably because I grew up listening to it every year as a kid.

Kiki & Herb - Do you hear what we hear?

I mean combining Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and Smells Like Teen Spirit into one song is simply the best

The Beatles Christmas Album. It contains the flexi-discs they sent to the Official Beatles Fan Club every year, 1963-1969. Each of these is a scripted message to fans, and they range from silly to very strange, with more production values in the later discs. The last one was assembled by Kenny Everett. Tiny Tim appears on one, singing a chorus of “Nowhere Man”!

You can’t buy it at this time, but it’s the only major catalogue item they haven’t released to the public yet. It has to show up someday.

I get so tired of the celebrity “rehashing of the Christmas classics” collections. I prefer the eclectic. My favorites are:

  1. Comfort & Joy - Rockapella

  2. Bright Day Star - Baltimore Consort

  3. Another vote for A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio

and my “guilty pleasure,” the three Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas CD’s.

For us it’s Spirit of Christmas by Ray Charles, some really old Aretha Franklin christmas album my mom has had forever, and the Jackson 5 christmas album. We have a very motown christmas. :cool:

Based on the Christmas albums I have it appears that for music, the A Very Special Christmas series. (I like No Doubt’s version of Oi To The World better than the original.) I’ve always liked the KROQ Christmas recordings. (Poe did a lounge-y version of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer that was nice.) And the Best Christmas Song Ever is, of course, The Pogues’s A Fairytale Of New York.

RuPaul, Ho Ho Ho.

And I have this alt-Christmas semi-punk…thing called Action Figures Sold Separately which is pretty OK.

  1. Christmas Greetings, Vol. 3 — Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Cary Grant, Doris Day, Carol Burnett, Viki Carr, etc.

  2. Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas — Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Mel Torme, etc.

  3. A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Sing along with Santa’s Helpers a “chipmonk” singing style album that I had as a kid and then paid a rediculous amount of money for on Ebay last year
Frosty the Bluesman - Its a Christmas CD but my favorite song is **The New Years Eve Gig (Auld Lang Syne) **

A Nat, Bing, and Dean CD (don’t have the name here at work) that has Dean Martin singing Winter Wonderland in his best lounge lizard style.

It’s Christmas Time by Elvis

And of course The Best of Ho Ho Hoey by Gary Hoey His Carol of the Bells is a spine tingler of a performance, an incredibly powerful song.

Phil Spector’s Christmas album.

I used to like all this stuff, but for two years I’ve work in a bookstore, which means something like 800 hours a year of unrelenting Christmas music Hell. A co-worker gave me A John Waters Christmas as a kind of all purpose antidote. I love it with my entire heart and soul.

Years ago I had one with hits by Burl Ives and Bing Crosby. That was a good one.

I really like Trans Siberian Railroad.

Oh heck, I like 'em all. :slight_smile:

Festival of the Heart - John Boswell; beautiful piano renditions of classic carols and some new carols
Rocky Mountain Christmas - John Denver; Christmas, John Denver style.
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio; timeless.

Robert Shaw Chorale, “Christmas Hymns and Carols, Volume 1.” It was done in the 50s, but I managed to find an unused copy in Ann Arbor in the late 80s. Volume 2 was good as well. I picked up a DVD of Shaw’s chorale, but, while good, it wasn’t the same performance.

Also from the 50s, the Norman Luboff Choir did a good recording, although they tended to cut the songs short after a couple of verses. Okay for “Away in a Manger;” not so good for “We Three Kings.”

In the 80s, the Waverly Consort did a couple of wonderful albums of early Christmas music, or at least music that fits at Christmas.

Chanticleer’s Our Heart’s Joy - Biebl’s *Ave Maria * truly gives me chills.

I’m glad nobody here said Manheim Steamroller.
I’d have to stuff you in a box with John Tesh and Yanni.

I like Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas CD. Nyah.

But what I really came in to post was “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen. Possibly not technically a Christmas album, but there are some Christmas songs on it, and I used to love hauling it out of Mom’s LP stash every year around the holidays.

David Benoit’s "Christmastime"
“**Yule Struttin’”, ** by various artists
**“In Gabriel’s Garden”, ** by Wynton Marsalis (not really Christmas music, but nice baroque pieces)
Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album;
"The Nutcracker"