Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Music

With the Christmas season upon us now is as good a time as any to bring this up. For those of you who enjoy Christmas music what are some of your favorites? What do you think are the "definitive versions" of some of the Christmas classics? And what's your take on the new Christmas offerings this season from Bob Dylan?!?! and REO Speedwagon?

Some of my favorites include:
Hall & Oates - Jingle Bell Rock (I actually prefer their version over the original)
Roch Voisine - O Holy Night (my favorite version of my favorite Christmas song. Voisine is a French-Canadian singer with an exceptional voice who releases albums in his native Canada in both English and French. He has 2 Christmas albums, 1 in French, 1 in English)
Roch Voisine - I'll Be Home For Christmas
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas
Chicago - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Chicago - What Child Is This
Chicago - O Come All Ye Faithful
Chicago - Bethlehem (an original song by Bill Champlin)
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - Little Drummer Boy
David Bowie/Bing Crosby - Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy
John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Chris Rea - Driving Home For Christmas
Olivia Olson - All I Want for Christmas Is You (from the movie Love Actually, I much prefer this version over Mariah Carey's version)
Craig Armstrong - Glasgow Love Theme (a beautiful instrumental theme from Love Actually)
Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around (also from Love Actually. It reminds me of the movie, which I love so as bad as it is, it always makes me smile)
Trans Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve Sarajevo
Steve Lukather & Sammy Davis Jr. - Jingle Bells (from Lukather's Santamental CD, very tongue-in-cheek, very fun)
Dan Fogleberg - Same Auld Lang Syne
Kevin Gilbert & Jonathan Brooke - O Come Emmanuel
Robert Lamm - O Little Town of Bethlehem (I have no idea what this is from. It doesn't appear on Chicago's Christmas album. It even predates it by several years. It's also not on any of Lamm's solo albums, but he does a great job on it)

And this gets an honorable mention because it's such an unusual departure from the traditional arangement of the song:

Jon Anderson - Oh Holy Night

Your turn!


Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

You've got some excellent songs up there!

My all time favourite Christmas song is totally NSFW, it's called "Here Comes Fatty Claus" by Rudolph and the Gang.

But that's perhaps not the most festive of songs!

Around this time of year, I listen to Ella Fitzgeralds "Swinging Christmas" album, which has some fantastic versions of standard Christmas songs.

Also Elvis. I can't have a Christmas without a lot of Elvis!

And one last song: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. Fantastic song!

tad said...

Plex: I did a long list of (mostly overlooked) Xmas songs a coupla wks ago at my blog -- the only 1 we have in common is Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" -- great stuff!
The only Xmas album I can stand 2 listen-2 all the way thru is the Carpenters' CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT. Even when it gets REALLY sugary (& it DOES), I still love it & can't decorate an Xmas tree w/o it -- & all the overdone choirs & orchestrations in the world can't detract from the beauty of "Merry Christmas, Darling" & "It's Christmas Time."
Have a Happy! -- TAD.

Natalia said...

The Carpenters' CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT, for sure. Good selection of songs, beautiful orchestration throughout.
Btw, please tell me, where can I listen to Robert Lamm's rendition of O Little Town of Bethlehem? Thanks a lot.

classicrockforthesoul said...

Great choices!

I haven't heard any of Bob Dylan's Christmas catalogue and I like it that way. Not a fan!

Can't go wrong with Bing.

And yes, Mariah Carey's version of "All I Want for Christmas" just makes you want to jam out!!

I love Michael Buble's Christmas mini-album (he's got a great "classic" voice) and also any Christmas stuff from Amy Grant.

Barbara aka Layla said...

My favorite Christmas song: "Do They Know its Christmas", second fave, "Merry Christmas, Baby" (Springsteen version)

Sue said...

My favourite Christmas song: "Do They Know its Christmas," second favourite, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (Springsteen version)

:) Hehe

Perplexio said...

Richard: Welcome to my blog(s). Thank you for taking the time to comment. Incidentally, my wife and father-in-law are also British (my mother-in-law is a Kiwi).

tad: One of my favorite Christmas albums is Chicago's What's It Gonna Be Santa? Because there are some songs on it I really can't stand I've created my own mix that eliminates the 4 or 5 songs I don't care for. The rest of the album is absolutely brilliant... addition by subtraction! My favorite Christmas album is probably Roch Voisine's Christmas is Calling as I can listen to it all the way through and I love Voisine's voice. I'll have to check out that Carpenters Christmas album sometime.

Natalia: Actually I downloaded the Robert Lamm song from Napster before they went to being a pay service back in the early 2000s. I'm more than happy to share it with you. If you're interested open up my profile and click on the email me link. Given the preponderance of spammers who glean email addresses from blogs, I prefer not to post my email address here.

classicrockforthesoul: I dig Buble. I might just have to get that Christmas mini-album of which you speak. The other Christmas album I NEED to get is Peter Cetera's You Just Gotta Love Christmas... as big a Chicago fan as I am and I don't have Cetera's Christmas CD?!?! Oy vey! He performed some material from it with his daughter last Christmas on NBC as figure skaters skated to his singing. His daughter has a respectable voice (which I'm guessing she inherited from her dear old dad) and is easy on the eyes (which I'm guessing she inherited from her mother, former model Diane Nini).

Barbara & Sue: Do They Know It's Christmas is fantastic! I'd also rate Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas quite high on my list and it's just a silly oversight that I forgot to put it on my list. I normally can't stand Santa Claus is Coming to Town but I will say Springsteen's version is one of the few versions of that song I find tolerable.

Sue said...

Me too, I hate that song. The way Santa is depicted, it sounds just like the God of empire Christianity :)

Hey Perplexio, I have changed my blog address. Can you email me from my profile and I will send you the new URL.

Natalia said...

Hi Perplexio, that's very kind of you. Of course I'm very interested, being a huge Chi as well as RL fan. I tried clicking on the email me link on your profile, but it didn't work, though. It says "Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because the protocol (aim) isn't associated with any program". If you don't mind emailing me instead the link... I'd be very very grateful.