Our Favorite Holiday Albums: Featuring Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and More
Thu, 23 Dec 2010 10:14:51
Christmas comes but once a year, so that means we have to enjoy the holiday music as much as we can while we can get it! My Uncle Terry keeps wondering when Five Finger Death Punch are coming out with a Christmas album, but to no avail. While we can’t promise there will ever be such a thing, here are our favorite Christmas albums to throw on during this most wonderful time of the year.
Bing Crosby- White Christmas
Bing is a classic for the holidays- with his baritone croon and jazzy take on many standards (as well as the album’s namesake track, “White Christmas”) this is one that embodies the yuletide season.
Ella Fitzgerald- Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
A jazz legend, Ms. Fitzgerald offers her take on the holidays here. Did you know that during the course of her sixty year career, she recorded over fifty albums? It makes Rihanna look like a real slacker! It also makes that seven-record deal look like a slow month.
Elvis Presley- Elvis' Christmas Album
Even the King released a Christmas album, which included his, well, “bluesy” Christmas track, “Blue Christmas.” Elvis is an American institution, so I believe Federal Law actually dictated that he record a Christmas album.
Dean Martin- My Kind of Christmas
As an expressly talented actor and singer, Dean Martin proved that he is one of the most multi-talented men show business has ever seen. I would imagine that Dean Martin’s kind of Christmas includes a highball, playing roulette, and cocktail waitresses dressed in Santa hats- but maybe I’ve just been staring at the Rat Pack poster for too long.
The Ventures- “The Ventures' Christmas Album”
Surf rock legends The Ventures always add something special to anything they do. Here, they turn the Christmas classics into a surfin’ safari beach party. You can put a little twist and shout in your caroling with this fine collection.
Bob Dylan- Christmas in the Heart
We had to include this- I think it’s so funny that the rebellious and legendary folk singer came out with a Christmas album. Are Rage Against the Machine dropping their holiday album soon as well? It seems like Dylan would be against this sort of thing, but more power to him. This includes the smash hit Christmas jingle, “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Christmas Shopping).” Just kidding.
Beach Boys- The Beach Boys Christmas Album
Like the Ventures, The Beach Boys give a dreamy, sunny, and sixties take on Christmas. It’s a mixture of standards like “Frosty The Snowman” and fantastic originals like “Little Saint Nick,” and “The Man With All The Toys.” Here’s a fun fact- by about 1975, Brian Wilson had grown to about the same size as Santa Claus, clocking in at over 300 pounds!
A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording of the CBS Television Special by Vince Guaraldi
The Peanuts specials always had such amazing, classic jazz music, and we have The Vince Guaraldi Trio to thank for that. This album includes “Skating,” the magical song that Snoopy ice skates too in A Charlie Brown Christmas- we all remember that from our childhoods, don’t we?
Kenny G- Miracles: The Holiday Album
No one can rock a Christmas album quite like Kenny G! Imagine this, a Christmas album suitable for your elevator ride, or a trip to the dentist. I’m trying to decide if Kenny G has passed that ironic threshold where he’s so cheesy, he’s become cool. I think he’s passed the litmus test!
Brian Setzer Orchestra- Christmas Comes Alive!
Have a swingin’ Christmas, everyone! Brian Setzer brings his retro vibe to the holiday season with this, which is actually his fourth Christmas album! How many Christmas albums from Brian Setzer Orchestra do we really need? At least four, it turns out. It even includes a version of “Stray Cat Strut”- I tell you, the man is obsessed with cats!
Now, your knowledge of holiday albums is complete. Have a safe and delightful Christmas season- get some rest, spend some time with family, and prepare for all our lists next year! Coming up next, we’ll debut our Top Ten Martin Luther King Day albums.