Hit me with your favorite holiday record!
November 30, 2015 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Having stumbled across the utterly delightful It's A Holiday Soul Party, I'm on the lookout for any interesting Christmas/holiday music. I've searched past questions, but would love to hear from folks this year! Nothing is off limits - we love everything from traditional to Klezmer Nutcracker to Vince Guaraldi to the South Park Christmas record (don't you judge me). Thanks so much!
posted by ersatzkat to Media & Arts (46 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Bootie mashups! All their Xmas compilations are here and free!
posted by rtha at 8:12 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Alternative Rock X-Mas features a cover of "Little Drummer Boy" by the Dandy Warhols that I love so much I listen to it year-round.
posted by Lucinda at 8:17 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Barenaked for the Holidays (by Barenaked Ladies)
posted by Boogiechild at 8:21 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have a new one out. I only listened to the Hanukkah song but it was pretty awesome.
posted by leesh at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2015

Nick Lowe's Quality Street.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:25 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Jingle Cats
posted by fuse theorem at 8:28 AM on November 30, 2015

Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:35 AM on November 30, 2015

My favourite Christmas song of recent times is Mele Kalikimaka by MeFi's own chococat.
posted by billiebee at 8:38 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

We love the Ultra Lounge series of Christmas music compilations. For nostalgia purposes, I also love my old, old copy of Julie Andrews sings Christmas hits.
posted by areaperson at 8:41 AM on November 30, 2015

Christmas music is my JAM! Three albums I'm loving at the moment:

Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas: Sufjan appears to love Christmas music almost as much as me - this album is wonderful.

Diana Krall's Christmas album has some wonderful classics.

Pink Martini - Joy to the World for something a bit different.

And, despite being...a murderer...if you can get past it...the Phil Spector-produced Christmas compilation album from 1963 has some wonderful tunes.

Interesting individual songs: Dar Williams - Christians and Pagans, Magnetic Fields - Everything is One Big Christmas Tree, Kanye West - Christmas in Harlem, Alison Krauss - Shimmy Down the Chimney, Tim Minchin - White Wine in the Sun.

I shall be watching this thread with some interest...
posted by cpatterson at 8:52 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

The Complete James Brown Christmas

Christmas in the Heart, which is, well.., I don't know what it is, but it's both the nadir and the apotheosis of Bob Dylan's career.

God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen is just very good, as are John Fahey's Christmas albums. I don't think they are particularly unusual.
posted by OmieWise at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2015

Ella Fitzgerald's "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas" is a classic and justifiably so.
posted by neroli at 9:13 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Slightly oblique reference, but you might consider having a look at an underappreciated and excellent documentary about obscure and offbeat Christmas records called Jingle Bell Rocks. Here's an interview with director Mitchell Kezin.
posted by fairmettle at 9:13 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Raul Malo Christmas album is really fantastic.
posted by linder6 at 9:19 AM on November 30, 2015

Looks like it's out of print but Bummed Out Christmas is worth looking for.
posted by maurice at 9:31 AM on November 30, 2015

There's Blame It On Christmas, and while I was looking for that one, I found this list of "unusual" Christmas albums.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2015

You know about The Believers, right? I listen to it all the damn time.

Also Butch Thompson's Christmas albums, samples here -- which are also 12-month plays.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I grew up with John Denver & The Muppets - A Christmas Together and still play it every year.
posted by xedrik at 9:51 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like Christmas music from other cultures, myself. How about some Villancicos Flamencos from Spain?
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:57 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Santastic and all variations are awesome. No seriously
Biggies Last Christmas
posted by jasondigitized at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

It just isn't Christmas without the Harry Simeone Chorale's rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy." The rest of the album is decent, too.
posted by singmespanishtechno at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2015

Seconding the John Fahey. Duke Ellington's take on the Nutcracker Suite is also one of my faves.
posted by talking leaf at 11:22 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I forgot... for some reason I also love Rita Ford's A Music Box Christmas.
posted by talking leaf at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2015

Well, this is a love it or hate it sort of thing, but the Elvis Christmas album (on vinyl - hipster alert!) is popular at my house. Also put me down for another vote for the Nick Lowe Quality Street album.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:00 PM on November 30, 2015

December People does Christmas mash-ups in the style of various classic rock bands. (Example: "White Christmas" done as if it were Billy Idol's "White Wedding.") They have four albums. The first ("Sounds Like Christmas") is very progressive rock centered with tunes in the style of Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Queen, and others of that genre. A lot of fun, and the arrangements are often clever and the performances always strong.

Gary Hoey's "Ho Ho Hoey" series (there are three, I think) is also rip-roarin'.
posted by kindall at 12:20 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Roches' We Three Kings
posted by sarajane at 1:24 PM on November 30, 2015

Ski Trails by Jo Stafford is a good collection of "holiday" music, not explicitly Christmas themed.
posted by rabbitsnake at 1:30 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Kate Rusby, Little Town of Bethlehem with some northern brass
posted by smugly rowan at 1:47 PM on November 30, 2015

If you like New Orleans music, check out 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns.
posted by larrybob at 3:40 PM on November 30, 2015

Christmas Rhapsody by doubtfulpalace is the reason I joined Metafilter
posted by evilmomlady at 5:48 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

A capella group Pentatonix has a holiday album that is popular at our house...
posted by jenquat at 5:50 PM on November 30, 2015

Death Is Not The End has preorders and downloads up for a mindblowing cassette of Christmas-themed gospel.
posted by multics at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2015

If you like Christmas Wrapping, you'll probably like the album it came off of, A ZE Christmas Record.

I play Suicide's "Hey Lord" pretty much year round.
posted by klangklangston at 6:25 PM on November 30, 2015

If you like Sharon Jones, you might also like Booker T. & the MGs, In the Christmas Spirit.
I also have to plug the ridiculously great butt-rock version of Linus and Lucy by Wee B Toyz.

(Both of these got played constantly on WXRT in Chicago.)
posted by xil at 11:13 PM on November 30, 2015

ctrl-F Fairytale of New York, nothing? I'll just assume that's because it was too obvious.
posted by thetortoise at 1:57 AM on December 1, 2015

A couple of Christmas music blogs you might want to check out:
posted by robcorr at 4:00 PM on December 1, 2015

The Chieftain's Bells of Dublin is a standard in my house. As is John Fahey's THe New Possibility. I like the compilation The Edge of Christmas for something fun, slightly punky and 80s.

On MetaFilter you will find some gems. One that I find just irresistible is ludwig_van's Christmas Time for Girls and Boys. I also love the beautiful voice and slow meditative guitar on weston's It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. And antifreeze's mellow brass Huron Carol.
posted by Miko at 9:10 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like Christmas Cookin' (Wes Montgomery & Jimmy Smith). Love that Hammond B-3 jazz.

All of the Ultra Lounge Christmas compilations are fun.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:25 PM on December 1, 2015

I go all introspective and vaguely medieval for Christmas at times, so I loved me Sting's If On A Winter's Night.... Fair warning that he released it when he was right smack-dab in the middle of his Lute Phase.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:12 PM on December 4, 2015

Can't believe nobody's mentioned my favorite raunchy Christmas single, "A Christmas Duel" by Cyndi Lauper and The Hives. From the top:

(Howlin Pelle)
I bought no gifts this year
and I slept with your sister
I know I should have thought twice
Before I kissed her
But with the year we had last
And the dress that she wore
I just went along for the ride
And I came back for more

And I'm sorry baby.....

That's all ok honey cause see...

I bought no tree this year
And I slept with your brother
I wrecked your Daddy's car
And went down on your Mother.
I set your record collection on fire
And said I never knew
Felt kind of bad about that
And I know you did too

pre chorus 1 (both)
So whatever you say, it's all fine by me
Who the fuck anyway wants a Christmas tree
Cause the snow keeps on fallinĀ“ even though we were bad
It'll cover the filth, we should both just be glad

Chorus 1 (both)
And spend, spend, spend this Chris-Christmas together
posted by Devika at 4:55 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

For some interesting versions of standards, I like "A very She and Him Christmas"
As an individual song, I'll add "December" by the Waterboys.
posted by rongorongo at 3:59 AM on December 6, 2015

A John Prine Christmas
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:07 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for something a little more folk/Pagan, Beautiful Darkness by Jessica Radcliffe, Lisa Ekstrom and Martin Simpson might be your jam. I'm not a Christmas-music person, and I listen to this record multiple times in December. It's got a gorgeous fairy-tale feel to it, like The Dark Is Rising in musical form.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just came across this lovely, sorta bluesy version of God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen by Hozier.
posted by billiebee at 2:32 PM on December 15, 2015

Duke Ellington's version of the Nutcracker Suite is gorgeous and clever and swingy and cozy.
posted by exceptinsects at 11:42 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

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