by David Hawkins
There are those Christmas mainstays which we hear every year. “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey climbs music charts along with the Eagles’ rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas”, and Lee Perry’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
We hear these songs and others over and over throughout this season so you may be looking for some variety in your Christmas playlist. There are many great Christmas albums that many people gave not heard it. All three albums include a mixture of both covers and original songs.
Let It Snow, Baby… Let it Reindeer by Relient K
2007’s Let It Snow, Baby… Let It Reindeer includes everything from soft ballads to punk songs to modern takes on Christmas classics. Some tracks, such as “12 Days of Christmas” or “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas”, go for humor while tracks such as “Merry Christmas, and Here’s To Many More” and “I Celebrate the Day” are much more serious. This diversity in tone, style, and lyricism makes this 20-song Christmas album interesting and worth a listen.
Standout Tracks: “Merry Christmas, and Here’s To Many More”, “Silent Night/Away In A Manger”, “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ For Christmas”
James Brown’s Funky Christmas by James Brown
James Brown’s Funky Christmas (also called A Soulful Christmas) is the oldest album in this article, with A Soulful Christmas being released in 1968 and the Funky Christmas re-release being released in 1995. A Soulful Christmas was the 26th album by blues musician James Brown. Interestingly enough, James Brown was actually born right here in South Carolina. His Christmas album includes all original songs, many of which tackle racial issues from the time. The album opens with “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto”, one of the most iconic songs on the record. Another race related songs titled “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” even inspired Bob Marley’s “Black Progress.” This album is a very different and socially conscious type of Christmas album that is still fun to listen to.
Standout Tracks: “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto”, “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud Part 1”, and “Santa Claus Gave Me A Brand New Start”
Christmas: Live from Phoenix by for King & Country
The newest of these 3 albums, this live album was released just this year. for KING & COUNTRY blends their interesting instrumentation with both classic and original songs. This group throws in drums, cellos, trumpets, and more. The songs are all fun and worth a listen. Their rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” is amazingly energetic. The fact that this is a live album also makes a lot of the tracks interesting.
Standout Tracks: “Little Drummer Boy”, “Into the Silent Night”, and “The Proof of Your Love ft. Rebecca St. James”