Our Favorite Holiday Albums
November is halfway over and (in the US) elastic-waisted pants are ready for Thanksgiving – which means everyone is technically allowed to start listening to Holiday music, right?
Some may roll their eyes when it comes to premature holiday cheer, but let’s be real: everyone loves a good holiday song. They make us feel that very peculiar warm and fuzzy bundle of emotions that signals the end of another year. If you were a lovesick ‘80s or ‘90s kid, for instance, your boombox was most likely blasting George Michael’s “Last Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on repeat.
Our favorite part about holiday music is how it spans every decade and genre imaginable – yet is completely timeless and inclusive of disparate musical styles. Here are a few of our favorite holiday albums.
The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album
The Beach Boys, 1964
While the group expertly applies their catchy brand of surf rock to tunes like “Little Saint Nick” and “Merry Christmas, Baby,” the standouts are undoubtedly the croonier, orchestra-backed tracks like “Blue Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” With Brian Wilson’ssingular brilliance leading the chorus of harmonies, The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album never fails to stir up wistful feelings of holiday schmaltz.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio,1965
Arguably one of the most beloved holiday albums ever recorded, A Charlie Brown Christmas, is more than just a soundtrack or a Christmas album. It’s a great jazz record that can be appreciated any time of the year. With its instantly recognizable melodies, the album so beautifully captures what it feels like to be a kid — both the joy of it and the struggles along the way. Listening to Gauraldi’s masterpiece is a must and is sure to warm your heart.
It’s a Holiday Soul Party
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, 2015
Sharon Jones could take any song we thought had been done a thousand times too many and make it fresh again. She was a queen of soul who could deliver a holiday album full of originals, which is a rare thing indeed. It’s funky, the production is spot on and it’s bound to transform any dull holiday party into a bumpin’ affair.
A Very She & Him Christmas
She & Him, 2011
While She & Him are the oft-mocked poster children for doe-eyed indie rock, they sure know how to make a good Christmas album. A Very She & Him Christmas is probably one of their most recognized records, giving every hipster the perfect soundtrack for their holiday dinner. But hipsterdom aside, the album is perfect easy listening – with Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward delivering breezy covers of our favorite holiday hits.
Bing Crosby, 1945
Rolling Stone once said “What Jesus is to Christmas, Bing Crosby is to Christmas music.” There’s really no better way to put it. Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas compilation album includes not only the best-selling Christmas single but the best-selling single of all time, period. “White Christmas” has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. But forget the numbers, the song is a classic for a reason. With a baritone like butter, Bing Crosby is a once in a generation talent and will forever be remembered as the voice of Christmas.