Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Music

A friend and I were discussing what Christmas albums we own and how it can sometimes be hard to find a good one. So, I decided to share my small, yet steadfast collection of Christmas CDs. None of the CDs listed here are over $10, with most falling well below the $5 mark.

In the Christmas Mood- The Glenn Miller Orchestra © 1991
Comments: Okay, first off let me warn you that not all CDs released by LaserLight are as good as this one. In general, the LaserLight label is generally appealing because they are inexpensive and have deceptively-appealing covers but generally real shitball quality tracks. HOWEVER, on occasion, there are exceptions. This CD is one of them. I love this CD and it has become a tradition at my house. I always end up playing it at some point during the holidays. A truly great addition to your Christmas CD collection. *Note: There is also a part II to this collection, which I just discovered while adding a hyperlink!
A Jolly Christmas from Sinatra- Frank Sinatra © 1999
Christmas Gift Collection- Nat King Cole © 1992
Comments: I LOVE this CD. Though it does contain a few tracks that could be considered not traditionally Christmas-y, the CD is excellent through and through. It contains some great Christmas songs that you don't hear ALL THE TIME, so that too is refreshing. However, my all-time favorite Nat King Cole song on this CD is not a Christmas song: A Handful of Stars. A must-have CD for anyone who is a fan of Nat King Cole.
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Christmas Spirit- Various Artists © 1997
Comments: I could SWEAR that we had these same Christmas albums on audio cassette when I was growing up in the late 80's. I distinctly remember seeing them advertised on TV and ordering them from there. However, looking at the copyright date, apparently they were released in 1997. Maybe that was the year the CD versions were issued because I definitely remember the cassette cover art being the same. ANYWAY (sorry, it bugs me when I can't pinpoint dates) I bought this set of 3 discs at Costco back in '99 and they are all excellent. They contains all the tradition Christmas songs sang by the original artists (for someone who grew up in the 70's/80's) and is excellent from beginning to end.
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Holiday Magic- Various Artists © 1997
The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas: Christmas Memories- Various Artists © 1997
Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails- Various Artists © 1996
A Vintage Christmas Cracker- Various Artists © 2002
Comments: I just ordered this one. It's a double disc and it had so many great songs and artists I couldn't resist. With over 40 tracks by artists like Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Dinah Shore, Judy Garland and lots more, you just know it's gonna be good!
Christmas All-Time Greatest Records- Various Artists © 1990
Comments: I was working at a record store the year this one came out and I remember it being in the bin of Christmas CDs that everyone would rifle through day in and day out. I ended up listening to it so often in the store and had so many customers ask "What CD is this?" that it's become another perennial favorite. The artists run the gamut from: Lena Horne, Bing Crosby, The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and lots more.
The Edge of Christmas- Various Artists © 1995
Comments: This one is definitely for those of us who grew up in the 80's and/or just prefer a little more contemporary Christmas music. Some artists include: The Ramones, The Waitresses, The Cocteau Twins, Queen, Pat Benatar, The Pogues and plenty more. It's just not Christmas until I hear The Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping.
Hi-Fidelity Holiday: A Holiday Compilation in Stereo- Various Artists © 1998
Comments: This CD was released by Star-anything to make some-bucks and I bought it cheap at a pawn shop. Me no likee, but it technically is part of my collection, so I thought I'd include it. FYI.
Jazz to the World- Various Artists © 1995
Bing & Friends Christmas- Various Artists © 1999
Comments: This CD has a jillion different covers, so I was unable to locate this particular CD. However, if you wanna try and find it, it's a great CD. The CD contains 20 tracks and includes favorites like Rosemary Clooney's Suzy Snowflake, Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus sung by Bing and Lindsay Crosby and lots more by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney.
¡Esquivel!: Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad- Esquivel © 1996
Comments: This CD must be out-of-print because it is insanely-priced over at Amazon, though I could swear I see this one at the used CD places all the time. Hmmm...
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, - Ella Fitzgerald © 1988
Comments: Another can't-miss Christmas favorite. Excellent CD from beginning to end. Highly Recommended.
Christmas Jump & Jive: Songs That Won the War- Various Artists © 2001
Martinis & Mistletoe: Cool Tunes for Your Christmas Cocktail Party- The Yuletide Lounge Band © 2002
Comments: Believe it or not, some great Christmas CDs can be found in the weirdest of places. I bought this one at the hardware store up the street and I really really like it. And yes, it is yet another example of a good LaserLight label CD. I'm usually leary of music CDs where the songs are performed by any alien group I've never heard of, since it's usually a sign of inferior or just downright 'yuck' renditions. However, this is the exception. The CD flows smoothly and is very Jazzy without trying too hard. It really is perfect background noise for a party or just to wrap presents by. My personal favorite track: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Jazzy!
A Swinging Big Band Christmas- Various Artists ©
Comments: Yet another good example of what LaserLight can do. Great songs performed by Guy Lombardo, Gene Krupa and Les Brown to name a few. A nice CD to have on in the background while doing things around the house during the holidays.


Anonymous Cheryl said...

Not suprisingly, I have a bunch of those same discs. :) Plus "Christmas with Elvis" and Dean Martin christmas for good measure.

Monday, November 27, 2006 8:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

You have impeccable taste! ;) And I'm glad you mentioned Elvis and Dean because the two totally slipped my mind when I was shopping for new Xmas CDs. I'll have to look and see what they have to offer since I like both of them a lot. I remember we used to have the Elvis Christmas album that looked like a blue wrapped gift with red bow and a picture of him in the center. I'll have to see if it's on CD now. Surely it must be.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

THIS is the Elvis Christmas album we had. If only the CD had the same cover. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Woo hoo! I couldn't find the CD on Amazon (apparently it's out of print), but had it for $3 so I just ordered it! No one does Blue Christmas justice like Elvis. :D

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2:14:00 AM  
Anonymous jp said...

There's some cool new Christmas jazz music you might like from the Imaginary Trio, you can hear a couple tracks here:

Friday, December 01, 2006 11:17:00 AM  

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