Friday, November 30, 2007

benign holiday foible

I've mentioned before that Christmas music is my weakness. Big time. All of the random kiosks call out to me and pull at my inner heartstrings so that I simply must go see which titles they offer this year. Somehow they end up in my buggy.

Last year The Hater put a limit on me. I was only allowed to buy three new cds. But this year I've not been given a limit yet.

On a curious whim tonight I bought a new Christmas cd because I had absolutely nothing like it... and it's fantastic. It's sing-a-long good. Seriously. I've had the Bose up to 85, scaring the cat and totally rocking out tonight, and thought this would be a great opportunity to give some Christmas music pointers, based on my humble collection.

These are in no particular order of preference. They're all winners:
  • Elvis: Christmas Because it's just not Christmas without the King. (pun intended)
  • John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together That's right! It's hard to beat the classics with a twist of Kermit the frog.
  • Burl Ives: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The soundtrack to the classic holiday tv show. Not something you could listen to all the time, but worth its weight in "Silver and Gold".
  • Christmas with Johnny Cash The oldies with that familiar deep talky-singy voice.
  • James Taylor: at Christmas Jimmy at his best. Some classics- some with his bari twist.
  • Ray Charles: Celebrates a Gospel Christmas with the Voices of Jubilation! Okay, I admit that we bought this one after the Ray movie came out. It's okay for something different, but not the greatest holiday mix.
  • Frank Sinatra: Under the Mistletoe So classic that any Christmas music collection would be incomplete without the crooner. This one came in a pack of 3 cds with the next two. Actually, it was the first Christmas music cds that we purchased after we were married, and arguably the best ones in our collection.
  • Perry Como: That Christmas Feeling See above. It's not Christmas without the crooners.
  • Bing Crosby: Featuring the Andrews Sisters See above. These three are Christmas music legends. Period.
  • Twisted Sister: A Twisted Christmas This was the serendipitous buy that I made tonight, and I'm so glad I did. These are the classics you know, with that 80s rock and roll feel that makes you just a little nostalgic for ratty denim jackets and teased bangs. It is in no way disrespectful to the season, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone from Gen X or Gen Y.
  • Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration I'm not so sure what I was expecting with this cd, but I'm disappointed by it. Maybe I was expecting it to have more of a Celtic flair. It's pretty, but forgetful.
  • Santa Paws That's right. No respectful collection is complete without cats and dogs meowing and barking in tune. This version was obviously done on a keyboard, so I was a little disappointed that it didn't have the zoological feel.
  • holiday jazz (jazz piano) I played piano in my high school's jazz band, so there's a special place in my heart for solo jazz piano anything.
  • Caribbean Christmas Not one of my better buys. In college some of the head honcho percussion gurus had a steel drum group that was fantastic, and I heard them play Christmas mixes before. So when I saw this cd I thought, hey, that'll be like Lalo Davila's group; It will rock! Except that it wasn't anything like Lalo's group, and its only similarity to a rock is that it would sink if you threw it into a pool of water. If you know Lalo, please ask him to make a Christmas cd so I can buy a better steel drum arrangement and pass this one on to those less fortunate.
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory: London Symphony Orchestra All the standards. I bought it for one dollar, which was a great buy.
  • Christmas with the St. James Harp Quartet The Hater is very particular about holiday instrumentals, and he won't let me have any Christmas music that has a solo sax anything. He says it's because his Mom played a certain soprano sax cd over and over for three Christmases straight, and so far that's his only steadfast rule about the subgenre of holiday music . (Although he really hates the music of Celine Dion. I saw that she has her own holiday cd out now, and it was really hard for me not to buy it on sole principle that I knew he'd hate it.*) Another $1 buy.
  • Holiday Voices of Children I thought this cd would be cute voices of kids singing, but it's a children's choir singing... which is okay, but the refinement takes a little away from the magic. Not something that anybody could sing-along with. Another $1 buy.
  • Handel's Messiah: London Symphony Orchestra with teh St. James 48 Voice Chorale It's the kit-and-kaboodle. Another great $1 buy. The Hallelujah chorus alone was worth this buck.
  • Alan Jackson: Let it be Christmas I worked with a lot of people who were big country music-listeners and they burned this for me, saying my collection wasn't varied enough.
  • Kenny Chesney: All I Want for Christmas Guess who burned this one for me, too...
  • Garth Brooks: The Magic of Christmas Yep. You guessed it. I think my collection was way more varied than theirs.
  • The Statlers: Christmas Present Track 2: "Christmas Country Style" Super fun. Another person at the same office burned this one for me.
  • Gladys Knight: Christmas Celebration Someone told me this sounded like gospel music and not Christmas music, but I like it anyway.
  • Marianne Beard: O, Holy Night My favorite single. I wish she'd do a whole Christmas cd!! (hint, hint)
If you have a favorite must-have holiday cd that you don't see on this list, please let me know! I'm always looking for goodies to add to our collection. After all, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

* I still have the Yankees.


Arielle said...

OMG I have to get that Twisted Sister one. We don't really buy too many CDs, our local radio station has been playing Christmas music non-stop since the day after Thanksgiving. I applaud your awesome collection.

The Tudor Rose said...

If you can find it, Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas has tracks by various artists and is superawesome.

Similarly, A Richard Eaton Singers Christmas happens to be a pretty damn good CD, but doesn't seem to be available to order online. I could always pick you up one, though (it's the choir I sing for, CDs are about $20...)...

The Tudor Rose said...

I lied. You can probably buy it by emailing for about $20 plus the shipping (you're looking at probably 6-7 bucks shipping...)

The Tudor Rose said...

Oh! Oh! And the American Boychoir version of "Personent Hodie" (Piae Cantones - arr. John Rutter) is pretty damn excellent as well.

And any choir's version of John Rutter's arrangement of "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" is always good, too.

You've unleashed a monster. :-p

Anonymous said...

Well just make sure that you save some for after Christmas. WakeForrest Bill and VolMom are coming to OKC a day or two after Christmas. I want to see your new house and finally met Zoloft.

Vol Abroad said...

Your post inspired me to buy some new Christmas music - I got English folk christmas which was good.

Mommavia said...

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Christmas's one of our all time favorites!