By Kerry Hayes | Staff Writer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And it wouldn’t be complete without the soundtracks of the season filled with silver bells, decked out halls, and Michael Bublé. It is undeniable that Christmas music is one of the greatest genres ever created, and whether you listen to it starting December 1st, the day after Halloween, or all year round, there is nothing like Christmas music to brighten your mood. But it is not without error that this jolly genre came to be. So without further ado, I present to you the best and worst Christmas albums of all time!

 

In hopes of starting off the list on a cheerful note, and in no particular order, here are the best Christmas albums!

1) “Christmas Songs by Sinatra” by Frank Sinatra: This man’s voice is like butter, so smooth and wonderful. His rendition of “Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)” is arguably the best version to this day.

2) Literally anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra: If anyone wants to see exactly what my reaction is to listening to any of their albums, I invite you to view season 8 episode 10 of the Office, to see “Dwight’s Christmas Rock Out” to Trans-Siberia Orchestra. “Enough of this garbage. THIS is Christmas!”

3) “Christmas with Weezer” by Weezer: The age-old question for Weezer is why did they choose to cover the most “Jesus-y” songs? And why does it work so well? Rolling Stone put it best, when they said, “When Rivers Cuomo sings ‘Oh, come let us adore him’ on ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’ his creepily deadpan vocals sounds like he’s stalking the Baby Jesus, not celebrating him, and on the pooch-metal rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ he’s like a Dickensian-droogy ready to burn his crummy Victorian orphanage if he doesn’t get some figgy pudding, stat!”

4) “Elvis Christmas Album” by Elvis Presley: This album continues to be the biggest-selling Christmas album of all time since it’s release in 1957, with over 10 million copies sold in the United States.

5) “Noel” by Josh Groban: Is this man’s voice doesn’t send chills down your spine, well, then you are wrong. Fun fact: the album was released in October 2007, and by the end of 2007, it has 3.7 million sold, just beating the soundtrack for High School Musical 2 for the best selling album of that year in December 2007 (it’s now up to 5.89 million copies). But when talking about Josh Groban, I would be remiss as a Christmas music fan if I didn’t give acknowledgement to “Believe” from the soundtrack to the Polar Express.

6) Speaking of The Polar Express… what a fantastic score that was!! From Tom Hank’s singing “The Polar Express” and “Hot Chocolate” to Josh Groban’s “Believe”, Matthew Hall and Meagan Moore’s “When Christmas Comes to Town”, Steven Tyler’s “Rockin’ On Top Of The World”, and Frank Sinatra’s “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”, this album has you laughing, dancing, and crying all at the same time.

7) “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee

8) “Christmas” by Michael Bublé: I am a loyal Michael Bublé fan, and therefor refuse to listen to any other version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (that includes you, Mariah Carey, I don’t see your name on this list here!)

9) “The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album” by The Beach Boys: “Little Saint Nick” is easily at the top of the album. How they pulled off a holiday sounding surf tune, I don’t know.

10) “Christmas Album” by The Jackson 5

11) “Under The Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber: I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t pumped when I got this in my stocking in 2011. Although Bieber’s lyrical choices are questionable at times, ( “The wise men followed a star, then way I follow me heart…shorty with you”…ok Justin…) it is still undeniably catchy.

12) “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi Trio: Arguably the best song on the album is “O Tannenbaum.” Although it sounds a bit like the theme song from Frasier, it is still undeniable that one cannot listen to this song without doing the “bob and nod” dance.

 

Although I mainly wanted to focus on Christmas albums as a whole, it is important to realize that not everyone is going to dedicate an hour or so of their time to sit down and listen to a full album. Here is my definitive list songs that are as lit as your Christmas trees!

“Santa Claus is coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen: I’ve said it before, and I will say it again…if you don’t freak out when you hear the intro to this song (which arguably the bets part in the song, aside from that amazing guitar solo), then you don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas.

“Last Christmas” by Wham!: Amazing. Truly amazing. Not only are George Michael and Andrew Ridgley’s voices magical, but it’s also amazing because you can’t sing this one without a serious hint of anguish and angst.

“The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie: I mean, it’s David Bowie, how could you not like it? He was such a versatile artist that dominated the 60s and 70s; paired with Bing Crosby who is undeniably the most popular and influential media star of the first half of the 20th century, and the result is magical.

“Wonderful Christmas” by Paul McCartney: This is the Christmas song that you will listen to every single day of December and never get sick of it. By listening to this song on repeat you will quite literally have a wonderful Christmas time.

“Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry: For rock and roll-swing, a killer guitar solo, and a soulful voice, look no further than Chuck Berry.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid: The song is just political enough to be good. It was a response to the 1984 Ethiopian famine, and ended up raising more than $24,000,000 for its cause. The single stayed on the charts for weeks following the holiday, and was the biggest UK chart success of the decade. Contributions by Phil Collins, Sting, George Michael, Bono, and others have made it a Christmas classic, and have encouraged other artists to launch fundraising campaigns. Since it’s release, it has been re-recorded twice at the 20th and 30th anniversaries, again donating all proceeds to relief efforts in Africa. And isn’t that what this Christmas season is really about?

 

Aside from the beloved classics and iconic covers, I think we can all agree that there is some truly unbearable Christmas music. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the worst Christmas music ever made!

Starting off the list of worst Christmas albums is… 

1) “A Colt 45 Christmas” by Afroman: it is just truly awful. Not suitable for family listening.

2) “The Night Before Christmas” by David Hassellhoff: When consulting with Christmas music professionals, most of them didn’t even know that Hassellhoff put out a Christmas album, and boy do they wish they still didn’t. The worst part of the 42 minute long album has to be the spoken word piece “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Instead of evoking cheer and nostalgia, Hasselhoff’s voice sounds more like an eerie nightmare before Christmas.

3) “Christmas Shoes” by Newsong: This Christian rock band has done the impossible with Christmas music by ruining your day just by hearing that first note. Behind what is actually a beautiful song is a super morbid song about a homeless child who is literally watching his mother die on Christmas Eve. As loving and beautiful this song is, I have never been able to listen to it without bursting into tears and virtually ruining my day. So I guess it isn’t the song that is terrible so much as it is the impact of the song.

4) “Elvis Presley Christmas Duets” by Elvis Presley and various artists: Elvis Presley’s Christmas albums are some of the best parts of the holiday season, so why did this album need to ruin the streak? This album, which features Elvis singing with artists like Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant, and Olivia Newton-John, is like when your grandma tries to reuse all of the Christmas wrapping paper from last year and pretend all the rips and tape aren’t there. Can’t we just listen to “Blue Christmas” on repeat and let Elvis rest in peace?

5) “A Twisted Christmas” by Twisted Sister: I’m sorry but I just can’t get on board with this.

6) “All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan” by Kenny Chesney: This entire album is just a weird mix of Christmas bells, acoustic guitars, and an overwhelming indecision to either throw in a Christmas movie or head to the beach.

7) “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses: I know I am going to get some serious controversy for this one, but everyone reading needs to be honest with themselves and understand how annoying this song is. The 80s “one hit wonder” group’s annoying jingle about the drag of the Christmas season never reached Top 40, but for some reason it’s played on a loop for 25 days out of the year.

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