My all-time favorite?
"Christmas Portrait" by The Carpenters. I’m apparently not alone. The 1978 release, and the expanded double-ablum that came out in 1984, sold more than a million copies.
I always loved Karen Carpenter’s voice and it is especially suited to secular and religious holiday music. The way Rolling Stone described it, “her milk-bath vocals fit ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘What Are You Doing New Year's Eve’ like a reindeer sweater.”
The music magazine rated it only16th among the top 25 Christmas albums in its 2012 ranking.
It did, however, beat out Bob Dylan’s 2009 holiday effort “Christmas in the Heart,” which came in at number 21 on the list.
It’s hard to argue with anything by Bing Crosby (at number 8), Frank Sinatra (13) or Ella Fitzgerald (10) And of course Elvis had to make an appearance. His 1957 Christmas album landed at number 2.
So what did “The Stone” anoint as the top album of all time for the Yuletide season?
"A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector" which saw its first Christmas in 1963.
According to The Stone, “The Crystals party under the chimney on Santa Claus Is Coming to Town; Ronnie Spector turns Frosty the Snowman into a puddle in the front yard; and on the classic Brill Building original Christmas Baby, Please Come Home, Darlene Love throws herself into an epic ballad of romantic affliction, turning winter wonderland into teenage wasteland. No wonder Brian Wilson has called it his favorite album of all time.”
To see the whole list go to the article here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-25-greatest-christmas-albums-of-all-time-20121219/elvis-presley-elvis-christmas-album-1957-19691231
Some of my annual favorites, however, were ommitted from the list. They include:
Jimmy Buffet, “Christmas Island,”, (1996) Besides a few standards and the title track, Jimmy does some other Buffet-style tunes such as A Sailor’s Christmas and Ho, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum.
The Jackson 5 Christmas Album, (1970), Michael and his brothers get funky on some holiday classics such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy, and Frosty the Snowman.
Sylistics Christmas, (1998) Besides soulful renditions of classics like The Christmas Song and Silver Bells, the group provides the post-Christmas tunes of What Are You Doing New-Year’s Eve, and Auld Lang Syne.
Whatever else you do this month, make sure you listen to your favorite sounds of the season.