Monday, December 24, 2012

My Seven Favorite Christmas CDs

I like a lot of Christmas songs. I hate a lot of Christmas songs, too, but that's a topic for a different post. Today I'd like to tell you generally about the music I listen to (AFTER Thanksgiving), and specifically about the seven CDs in my collection I listen to more than the others.
Click on the hyper-links to go to youtube to see/hear the songs I am talking about!

In order of purchase, oldest to newest:
1. A Very Special Christmas
This is probably my favorite Christmas CD, for a few reasons. For one thing, it's my oldest. I had a few favorite albums as a kid, but those are long gone. As an adult, this was the first one I ever bought. Secondly, of the 15 songs on it they are all great, and I really like atleast 10 of them. Unfortunately, I've been buying this series for the past 25 years and most of the other CDs in this series can't meet that claim.  My second favorite in this series is probably #2, but the first is always the best.
Do You Hear What I Hear? by Whitney Houston
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by John Mellencamp
Baby Please Come Home by U2
Lump of Coal: 
Never liked Gabriel's Message by Sting or The Coventry Carol by Alison Moyet.

2. "Dreaming of a White Christmas" 24 Great Christmas Songs
I bought this while I lived in Japan. I got it through my office's Co-Op Sales, and I have never regretted it! Although the song titles are all in Japanese, the songs themselves are the originals. Besides Elvis, Nat "King" Cole, and the others on the CD cover you can see there is also Doris Day and Gene Autry.
Blue Christmas and Here Comes Santa Claus by Elvis Presley
Christmas Song and Caroling Caroling by Nat "King" Cole
Lump of Coal: 
Mahalia Jackson bringing the gospel to Sweet Little Jesus Boy and Silent Night.

3. "I Want To Listen To Jazz" Christmas Album
This was part of Toshiba EMI's release of jazz standards by artists on their label. So here's Ella Fitzgerald, Nat "King" Cole, Lou Rawls, Jo Stafford, Duke Pearson, and Peggy Lee, to name just a few. Classics, all!
Christmas Waltz by Nancy Wilson
Jingle Bells by Duke Pearson 
Lump of Coal: 
Only because I hate the song itself, O Tannenbaum by Nat "King" Cole
Not really a fan of Dean Martin's version of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, either

4. John Denver & The Muppets A Christmas Together
I bought this as a collection with some other now-forgotten CD at Costco or Sam's Club. This was the keeper. I remember watching this TV special years and years ago, but I don't think I ever had the actual album before finding this CD...
Twelve Days of Christmas by everybody!
Have Yourself A Merry Christmas by Rolf and John
Christmas Is Coming by Robin, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy
Lump of Coal: 
The original compositions by John Denver, The Christmas Wish and Alfie/Carol For a Christmas Tree, don't stand the test of time. Skip 'em.

5. Santa's Top 10 Favorites 
I found this after calling up an FM radio station when I lived in Indiana and asking, "Who sings that Little Drummer Boy song you just played?" They told me it was the Harry Simeone Chorale, so I went on a search for it and found it on THIS album. As Christmas CDs go, this is a good one: short and sweet, with no absolute clunkers in the mix.   
Bought For: 
The Little Drummer Boy by Harry Simeone Chorale
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
Lump of Coal: 
None, really, but if hard pressed I don't need another copy of Bing Crosby's White Christmas, and I'm not really a fan of Pat Boone's I'll Be Home For Christmas.

6. Casey Kasem presents All-Time Christmas Favorites
I always wanted a copy of Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano and Sleigh Ride by The Boston Pops. With this 2-CD set I had to buy 28 other songs to get them, but it was still worth it.
Bought for: Feliz Navidad, Sleigh Ride
It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
Frosty the Snowman by The Beach Boys
Lump of Coal: 
I hate Perry Como, so I can't stand his White Christmas. I had high hopes for The Twelve Days of Christmas by Harry Belafonte, 

7.The Music GLEE: The Christmas Album
The first is always the best. Although Lea Michele sings a bit too much here, all of the "group" songs are adorable. Only one mis-step, and you can skip over it easily.
Bought For: 
We Need A Little Christmas, Baby It's Cold Outside
Deck The Rooftop, The Most Wonderful Day of the Year (The Misfit Toys' Theme)
Lump of Coal: 
You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Matthew Morrison. Mr. Shue, you are NOT Boris Karloff. Sorry!
Note: I couldn't find any actual GLEE videos on youtube, but I figured you know who/what they are, right?

Extra Special Added Attraction: 
My second favorite Christmas song, and one of my favorite versions: 

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