What are yours? I'll be back later with mine.
Favorite Christmas Albums:
5. REO Speedwagon - Not So Silent Night
4. Roch Voisine - L'Album Noel
(French Christmas album)
3. Chicago - What's It Gonna Be, Santa?
(2003 re-release of 1998 X-mas album with 6 extra songs)
2. Roch Voisine - Christmas is Calling
(English Christmas album)
1. Steve Lukather & Friends - Santamental
REO Speedwagon's Christmas album is a valiant effort. I appreciate the uptempo arrangements. Musically it's thoroughly enjoyable. However, vocally Kevin Cronin's voice isn't what it used to be. If this had been recorded when Cronin was at his vocal peak (late 70s early 80s) this likely would be ranked closer to the top of the list.
Voisine is a French Acadian Canadian who releases albums in both French and English. Growing up on the NY/Quebec border I had some exposure to his music from listening to radio stations out of Montreal. He had a big Canadian hit in 1993, I'll Always Be There
which was co-written by David Foster and by the sounds of it it was at least co-produced if not fully produced by Foster as well. He has a great voice that works perfect for Christmas music. I'm not a big fan of the French language. But if anyone can make French sound good, it's Voisine.
The Chicago Christmas album would rank #1 with the simple removal of their god-awful funeral dirge interpretation of Feliz Navidad
and the 2 songs by the children's choir... Addition by subtraction, if you will.
As for individual songs, I'd stick to the classics... Bing Crosby's White Christmas
, Sammy Davis Jr. doing Jingle Bells
, heck even Burl Ives Holly Jolly Christmas
I think the disparity between my taste in Christmas albums vs. individual songs is that while the classics are great-- listening to entire Christmas albums by some of the old crooners... well they get to sound a bit dated. If I'm going to commit more than 3-5 minutes to Christmas music I'd rather listen to something more contemporary. But if I'm only in the mood for a song or two I'd much prefer to listen to the old school stuff over the contemporary material.