We can debate long and hard about who made the best, the most moving or even the most fun Christmas recordings, and no matter how many times we do it, there will always be those who disagree. Many of the finest recordings are from artists reimagining famous carols, others were written specially to celebrate the warmth of Christmas and the spirit of love and giving.
Here are our favourite three, all available to download, buy or stream from your favourite platform.
Elvis: Christmas Album
Release Date: 1957
The unmistakable tones of The King, Elvis Presley, are on full display in this iconic Christmas bestseller. The album is a mix of jovial rock & roll hits like Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me and heart-warming interpretations of traditional carols like O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night, and, in a nod to his roots, some gospel-inspired classics like his huge hit Blue Christmas and Take My Hand.
James Brown: Funky Christmas
Release Date: 1995
During his long career, James Brown recorded three Christmas albums: James Brown Sings Christmas Songs, A Soulful Christmas and Hey America It’s Christmas. On this 1995 record, he chooses the best tracks, tracks that showcase his brand of high-octane soul but with a funky sometimes gritty Christmas message. Top pumping tracks include Go Power at Christmas Time and Soulful Christmas, along with the socially consciousness Santa Claus Goes to the Ghetto.
Bing Crosby: White Christmas
Release Date: 1986
Bing Crosby’s 1941 recording, White Christmas, has sold well over 50 million copies, and is the best-selling single of all time. The 1986 album builds on the original 1945 Merry Christmas record by adding additional seasonal tracks Crosby recorded before his death in 1977. The record reflects his Irish upbringing, combining a smattering of classic Irish Christmas songs, like Christmas in Killarney, as well as unforgettable favourites like I’ll be home for Christmas and Santa Claus is coming to Town. For the easy-listening Christmas vibe, this takes some beating.