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My long time favorite is A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, which contains the fantastic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Spector, and sung by the great Darlene Love, one of my favorite female singers.
I just ordered Christmas Everywhere, the new album by Rodney Crowell on New West Records, available on LP and CD. New West LP's have a sticker on the shrink wrap that reads "Audio Mastered For Vinyl" (whatever than means).
For more sacred Christmas music, there is a lot from Classical composers, J.S. Bach being foremost. His Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat in E-flat major are must-haves, as is Handel's Messiah.
Ok, so don’t shoot me, but I grew up in a household with lots of Muzak-y stuff, and a Christmas perennial was “Christmas with the Three Suns” ... several different RCA pressings over the years (all mono), and I have multiple copies. The bells and chimes shimmer if your cartridge can track it, and that accordion... oh boy!
OK, here's something a little different from the previous posters: On Yoolis Night by the Anonymous 4. For those of you who don't know the Anonymous 4, they are a four-woman acapella group focusing on medieval music. This is an excellent recording by Harmonia Mundi. The harmonies seem to float in the air, perfectly depicting for me the spirit of the season.
I have said this before, and I will say it again. Glen Campbell. I have about 50 Christmas discs of all sorts, pop, classical, etc., and I enjoy them all, but his first Christmas disc is in every way perfection. It was out of print for years in the US, and cost over $100 for one made in the UK. It is now available on a label called ICON inexpensively, check Amazon. There's a picture of Glen's face on the front outdoors, and it's snowing. Every song is perfect, and brimming with authentic feeling. The production is very good, he's right there up close with you. This disc is a must have! I feel so strongly about it that 3 years ago I ripped a copy for everyone in my family and mailed one to each of the eight. Get it! I've been listening to it for well over 43 years, and it NEVER gets old.
2nd and 3rd place go to The Carpenters double disc...so great, and Randy Travis' Old Time Christmas...beautiful.
@ilikemiles, The Ventures Christmas album was the first xmas album I owned. The Mosrite guitars they played on the album have that great twangy sound they are known for (except for Johnny Ramones' ;-) . When I last saw them live (on a cruise ship tour to Mexico with Los Straitjackets), they were back to playing Fenders. Drummer Mel Taylor had passed away, but his son was now their drummer! The other three Ventures were still alive and playing okay, but not like when they were young. Los Straitjackets were much better.