Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Mannheim Steamroller, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Kenny G, Mariah Cary, Gene Autry and Bing Crosby all have a great Christmas album or two for your aural pleasure during the holidays. Enjoy!
The only two I ever play:
John Fahey - The New Possibility - Guitar Soli
Austin Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Wynton Marsalis "Crescent City Christmas"
Your choice of John Fahey is remarkable. Fahey's playing can transport to the manger itself!
Glad you asked. I have several dozen, and of course they range from Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams etc. plus lots of Orchestral and Choral and some rock (not much). With all of that, my 2 perennial favorites are the Carpenters Christmas Collection, and my number 1 favorite from many years ago now is Glenn Campbell's "That Christmas Feeling". The best Cristmas albums seem to have one thing in common, and that is that the artist has a genuine love and understanding for the songs and the season.
If you like vocalists from the 50's and 60's I suggest The Great sounds of Christmas, sponsored by Goodyear on the Columbia label. They were issued one each year in the 60's, about ten in all, and they are commonly found anyplace where vinyl is sold.
I recall there is a christmas album by Twisted Sister. it's a quite nice rock rendition of classic christmas songs.
A few of my favorites:
Various Artists on Atlantic, "Soul Christmas"
BB King, "The Christmas Collection"
Jerry Jeff Walker, "Christmas Gonzo Style"
Boney James, "Christmas Present" & "Boney's Funky Christmas"
Loreena McKennitt, "A Midwinter Night's Dream
The alt.country type Mindy Smith made a nice Christmas record last year. Bought it for my sister, who enjoyed it. John
I would add albums by David Grisman, M-Pact, and Dan Fogelberg
Bare Naked Ladies have a very fun Christmas album which includes my favorite Christmas song ever - a collaboration of the Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLoughlin.
Chris Isaac has a nice Christmas Album.
Holly Cole has a Christmas album too which is awesome.
Tori Amos apparently has one too, but I have not found it yet - anyone else heard it?
Jethro Tull "Christmas Album"
"Now that is what I call Christmas." 2 cds First one has all the usual carols but with the original artists that made them famous. 2nd has more contemporary artists.
I really like the "A Very Special Christmas" series. Various artists from rock, pop, country etc. I have all of them so far.
Charlie Brown Christmas, Vince Guaraldi
happy holidays & listening
Emmylou Harris "Light of the Stable"
The MCGarrigles Christmas Album
Bruce Cockburn "Christmas""
Sarah Mclaughlin "wintersong"
Diana Krall "Christmas Songs"
and a brand new one "Gold and Green" by Sugarland
I'm gonna have to find that John Fahey one - like him!
Another vote for Wynton and Crescent City.
Here's a link to the John Fahey album
where you can hear samples.
Really going into the past, there is always Bing Crosby. His Christmas recordings from "White Christmas" to Silent Night" were huge sellers in the thirties, forties and fifties. Crosby was the voice of America for a generation. For those of who went through the depression and the World War, Crosby's voice on records and the radio was what we needed.
I second Mindy Smith, new and old songs but good enough to play all year.
No "Best," but several favorites:
Christmas Cocktails series (campy, fun, great sound!)
Telarc's Relaxing Jazz for Christmas
Buck Owens Christmas
Ramsey Lewis Trio Christmas
Happy Holidays All!!!
ok now for something completely different.
Kings College,"Oh Come all Ye Faithful".
A compilation of their "Lessons and Carols" service that is broadcast every Christmas Eve on NPR.
This recording is easily found on CD, however the vinyl version (of course)blows it away.There are several cuts where the organ 32ft. pedal note can shake the room.
These guys are one of the best choirs in the world,and this recording is just one of the many they have made.
One to avoid- Christmas In The Heart/Bob Dylan. Pure ear-bleed. Maybe it was a joke?
The Dylan is Stereophile's Recording of the Month...maybe that's a joke as well.
Not tryin to beat this into the bush or anything but all of John Fahey's Christmas albums are essential. My other favorites are Esquivel-Merry Xmas, Sufjan Stevens-Songs For Christmas, Booker T. & The MG's-In The Christmas Spirit, the Maybe This Christmas(includes The Raveonettes, Rilo Kiley, Flaming Lips, etc.), Jimmy Smith-Christmas '64 & the surprisingly not yet mentioned George Winston-December.
Oscar Peterson - 'Oscar Peterson Christmas'"The Christmas Waltz"
- never gets old.
That Tuck Andress is also recommended for any guitar lovers...sorry I forgot it. I didn't have it filed with all my Christmas CDs because I was listening to it just last night. DOH!
Charles Brown's 'Cool Christmas Blues'. (not to be confused with Charlie Brown the comic. Charles Brown is one of blues greats!!!!!!!
Any Elvis Christmas album does it for me!
Well, finally, Christmas 2009 is coming...Happy merry christmas to all of my fellow a'goner (listening to Wintersong of Sarah Mclachlan at the moment).
1. Christmas - The Singers Unlimited
2. God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen - Various artists
Can't forget Alvin and the Chipmunks !
Carpenters Christmas album 1978.
Classic, and completely orginal orchestrations (all,if I remember correctly) by Richard Carpenter.
A little late here, but I just downloaded Charlie Parker & co playing White Christmas in about 1948. Its off a live Savoy set. It really swings!
albeit, a little after-the-fact, my favorite Christmas album is by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. it is entitled, "Christmas at the Brooklyn Tabernacle". this holiday collection is well-worth pursuit, year round --- simply beautiful and sweet music.
you can find it here >>> http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=brooklyn+tabernacle+choir+christmas&ved=0CCYQzAMwAg&cid=8228241370906534313&sa=title#p
Hey, Bubu. Nice to have you aboard.
Several of my favorites: Nat King ColeLoreena McKennittAmy Grant