While we know Christmas really is going to be looking a whole lot different this year, nothing is stopping you from blasting out your favourite Christmas record while you unwrap your gifts with your family over Zoom.
Which is why we’ve rounded up our ten favourite Christmas albums, from all time classics to 2020 newbies. All that’s left to do is cosy up with your favourite festive jumper, pop open the Prosecco and sing as loud as you can.
The world’s favourite Christmas sweetheart, Mariah Carey’s holiday album special was always going to make its way onto our ultimate Christmas album list and rightly so, it’s been filling our hearts with joy since its release in 1994.
Whether you love ‘All I Want For Christmas’ or loathe it, delve a little deeper into the mix and sieve out some of Carey’s Christmas cover gems. To add even more of a sparkle to the tainted 2020 festivity, Carey teamed up with Apple TV+ for a Christmas special and all of those new songs are on Spotify too if you really want to eek out every ounce of her Christmas tunes.
Let’s face it, the majority of Christmas albums feature a few old time favourites, including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’, It’s a Holiday Soul Party. This album will no doubt leave you bobbing your head as soon as press play on Spotify or shout to Alexa to pop it on. Let Sharon Jones’ voice guide you into a blissful seasonal place as you unwrap your presents on Christmas Day.
Those looking for an album to fuel them through the Christmas season should pop on Sufjan Stevens’ 42 song epic, Songs For Christmas. The boxset album is filled with five separate EPs of yuletide songs and carols recorded over a five year period. This five disced album is filled with old time favourites sung in a new way, plus multiple newbies from the American multi-instrumentalist.
If Dolly Parton’s country Christmas album doesn’t make you smile as soon as you put it on, we’re not sure what will… As well as part-funding one of the Coronavirus vaccines this year, she also released her forty-seventh solo studio album in October too. As you can expect, it’s filled with festive favourites with her own special cheery twists thrown in.
On her way to stealing Dolly’s country crown is Kacey Musgrave. Back in 2016, the American country singer released a seasonal album named, A Very Kacey Christmas. Pair this one alongside some Christmas telly viewing of her Amazon Prime Christmas special, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show and you’ll be in for a good ol’ time.
Frank Sinatra’s A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra is best enjoyed sitting in front of a roaring fire, bundled in blankets and a glass of scotch (or your tipple of choice) in tow. There’s something so quintessentially Christmassy about the 1957 album, in so much that it guides you back to a bygone time. Close your eyes and listen to Sinatra’s passionate voice light up the room with Christmas classics, from ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’.
Another oldie from the golden years is Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas. Blast this one on this week and merrily jig along to Fitzgerald’s signature melodies and big jazz instruments. All eighteen songs are great but our favourite would probably have to be ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, Sorry Frank.
Bing Crosby’s cover of the song, White Christmas really is a yuletide staple, and while we might not be experiencing a snowy season this year, it’s always nice to dream just like Crosby did so longingly back in the early 1940s. His album, also entitled White Christmas, is littered with classic favourites too, from ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’ to ‘It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas’.
Despite dating back 65 years, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a must watch come December. You’ll probably remember watching along in awe as a child, whether you were growing up in the 60s or the 00s, and the jazz filled soundtrack can’t go unnoticed too. It’s mostly instrumental, in the background guiding Charlie and his friends along during the holiday season as they skate to the pond and ponder what Christmas truly means.
It seems 1957 was a prime year for Christmas albums as Elvis swoops in alongside Sinatra’s classic album. Elvis has such a distinctive voice so much so that you can recognise his voice from the first note. This twelve track album is filled with festive favourites, from ‘Silent Night’, ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and ‘White Christmas’. We also love how basic but effective the album title is.
Honourable hit Christmas song mentions:
It wouldn’t be a British Christmas song list without an honourable mention to maybe the best yuletide hit from the 80s, Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’. When you think about the gritty lyrics, it’s a rather sorrowful song, but it soon shot to fame back in 1984. The music video is always a fun one to watch if you’re in need of a laugh at some 80s hairstyles…
Another classic and honourable mention is Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’. Following the news that London’s in Tier 4 and all Christmas plans ruined, we’re not so sure we want it to be Christmas everyday if 2020’s is the only option, but regardless, Christmas is a magical time so this song will be sure to bring back memories of fonder Christmas times.
No British Christmas playlist is complete without the 1984 original Band Aid hit, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. Launched and founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia, the Christmas favourite continues to bring hope to those who need it most and has been re-released with new celebs singing the much loved refrains.
Another song, another 80s classic. This time it’s in the form of Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’. You without a doubt know the lyrics to this one so we’ll just leave you with one thing… Are you hanging up your stocking on your wall?