Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas CDs

I probably own more Christmas CDs than most people's entire music collections. And every year I want more -- I don't usually expect a great album, just one more original or fresh cover that I can add to my ever-expanding Christmas playlist. The NYT covers the latest batch of Christmas CDs, with Brad Paisley's being my modest favorite of the ones I've heard so far. (Stil waiting to hear Sufjan Stevens' album.) And my favorite Christmas CD of all time? Ella Fitzgerald's "Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas."


Sam said...

Okay, after "just visiting" for a while, I'm going to see if I can get myself in the habit of joining the conversation every so often.

Funny that you mention the Ella album. I was just chastising one of our local papers for running a "best-of" type feature about Christmas music, and making no mention of it.

It's one of the absolute-must-have choices for our family. Also on that list are Sinatra, Booker T and the MGs and the Phil Spector posse.

Yeah, it's a pretty dated list. So my question is: What's a "must-have" from the past 15 or 20 (or even 5 or 10) years? Old age is not being kind to me; I'm not staying near as current as I'd hoped I would. Our next purchase'll probably be "High School Christmas Musical," or some such thing.

Michael in New York said...

Welcome to Popsurfing! I can't imagine Christmas without Ella, but I'm sure other people can't imagine Christmas without Herb Alpert and others can't imagine it without Perry Como, etc. Sometimes it has to do with childhood memories. Sometimes -- as with Ella -- it has to do with the music just being incredibly great. personally, I lean towards upbeat secular songs -- I don't like it when people get "serious" and slow things down with "O Come All Ye faithful." A great Christmas album from the past five or ten years? I tend to lean towards compilations. The most I expect from a solo artist is maybe one or two good songs. I love "Where Will You Be Christmas Day?" because it has 24 songs I'd never heard before, but this is obscure, scratchy stuff and almost none of it would make my playlist for a party. I just got the Herb Alpert Christmas CD for the first time last year and it's immediately one of my favorites. What was I waiting for? That's it usually -- discovering some old gem you didn't know about. The Persuasions -- You're All I Want For Christmas and Martin Sexton's Camp Holiday are definitely two standouts. They're the rare recent albums I'd listen to all the way through rather than cherrypicking. And High School Christmas Musical would be awesome! Don't even joke about a thing like that.