Best Christmas Albums Of All Time
Christmas music has the ability to pump us up throughout the holidays. From November right through to January, it is played in many public spaces and on the radio. We have our favourite Christmas songs, but what about Christmas albums? Many artists release a festive album that fans enjoy every year. Here are some of the best Christmas albums of all time.
- Louis Armstrong and Friends, ‘The Best of Christmas Songs’
Mel Torme, Dinah Washington, Duke Ellington and Lena Horne feature on this festive album among many others. Released in 2011, this album has 13 separate Christmas songs to enjoy. It features classics such as White Christmas, Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town, as well as some less familiar but equally as good tunes. Rolling Stone said about the album, “Every cut is immediately familiar – like pulling up to your brightly-lit childhood home on Christmas Eve after too much travelling.”
2. A Motown Christmas
This album was released in 1973 and features the likes of The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and The Supremes. Once again, it includes iconic songs such as I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and some more mellow classics like Silent Night and Ave Maria. The 1999 album on Spotify ends with a “country-tinged, Vietnam-era lament” from Gaye named “I Want to Come Home for Christmas”.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
“It’s pretty ironic that cool, laid-back West Coast jazz – music designed to advertise the easygoing luxuriance of California living – should come to be most commonly associated with poor lil’ existentially bumfuzzled Charlie Brown standing around in the falling snow, complaining to Linus about how Christmas gets him down,” the Rolling Stone wrote of this 1965 album. While jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi composed original scores for this album such as Christmas Time Is Here and Linus and Lucy, there is also traditional music too. For example, O Tannenbaum, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Für Elise.
4. James Brown, ‘James Brown’s Funky Christmas’
This 1995 album is a combination of the three Christmas-themed albums released throughout the creative peak of Brown’s career. This includes James Brown Sings Christmas Songs from 1966, A Soulful Christmas from 1968 and Hey America It’s Christmas from 1970. The songs range from R&B balladry, smokin’ grove workouts and shots of gritty social consciousness. Songs such as Merry Christmas Baby, Go Power at Christmas Time, Santa Claus Goes to the Ghetto and Let’s Unite the Whole World at Christmas feature on this festive album.
5. Elvis Presley, ‘Elvis’ Christmas Album’
This 1957 album sold almost 20 million copies and topped the Billboard charts for a month. Elvis was a huge star in himself, but this album was also adored. In fact, Irving Berlin, the author of White Christmas even tried to get it banned from radio. Traditional favourites like O Little Town of Bethlehem feature on this album. As well as that, country and gospel songs like Take My Hand, Precious Lord feature. Of course, lighthearted rock and roll like Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me makes an appearance too. We can’t forget about the classic Blue Christmas either!