Overlooked Christmas Music Recommendations

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BiffJackson, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. BiffJackson

    BiffJackson Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Northampton, MA
    It's two weeks till Thanksgiving, 6 weeks until Christmas, it was 11 DEGREES this morning, and I feel like listening to some Christmas music. Admit it, you feel the same way. Okay...so maybe some of you don't. But some of you DO. I have a million Christmas favorites, but I'm always looking for something new to listen to. I don't mean “NEW” new—I'm not rushing out to pick up the new Lea Michele Christmas album, or Bing Crosby with the London Symphony Orchestra, or the TEN THOUSANDTH cover of “Last Christmas” or “Baby, It's Cold Outside”—I'm looking for things that are DIFFERENT, and maybe off the beaten path.

    I'd love some recommendations of discs you've found, over the years, that others have generally overlooked, but which are WONDERFUL and, above all, CHRISTMASY.

    I'll start. A couple years ago I picked up a used copy of this, Plum Pudding, a diverse, odd, surprising and CHRISTMASY blend of readings and songs, credited to Felicity Lott, among several others. It is one of the first Christmas CD's I reach for every year. I hope you like it, and I hope you have some of your OWN suggestions to make.

  2. DmitriKaramazov

    DmitriKaramazov Forum Resident

    Patti Austin

    buzzzx and RSteven like this.
  3. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    The Glad Singers

  4. Hiraeth

    Hiraeth Forum Resident

    Mr.Sean, DeRosa, Natural E and 6 others like this.
  5. Mr. E. Tramp

    Mr. E. Tramp Forum Resident

    This should be a classic and the rest of the album is pretty good also
  6. Obtuse1

    Obtuse1 Forum Resident

    My usual seasonal recommendations: Ramsey Lewis Trio- Sound Of Christmas and More Sounds Of Christmas (the latter is finally widely available on CD). Previously the only digital release of "More Sounds" was on a rare Japanese 2-fer.


  7. JakeKlas

    JakeKlas Impatiently waiting for an 8-track revival

    United States
    Merry Axemas Vol.1 and Vol.2

    Vai and Hotei are personal favorites on the first one. Sykes is my fav on the second.

    Overall, I appreciated the variety of guitarists and styles on these two.

    Being a Ritchie Blackmore fan, I should toss in Winter Carols by Blackmore’s Night. And while not exactly overlooked, the Winter Solstice series from Windham Hill is nice winter mood music without always being overly Christmas-y, which can wear on one after a while with the same songs we’re all used to.
  8. Safeway 1

    Safeway 1 "mad, bad, and dangerous to know"

    Manzanillo, Mexico
    A Grateful Dead theme

    musicfan37 and domesticmachine like this.
  9. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    One of the most unusual albums that I have ever come across is John Klein's A Christmas Sound Spectacular from RCA's Living Stereo imprint in 1959. It featured almost 1500 perfectly tuned bronze bells that could be played at the hands of the great carillonneur, John Klein. It also includes a full orchestra with some of the best studio based New York musicians, as well as some of the jazziest and most reverential arrangements that you have ever heard on a variety of Christmas standards. We had this iconic album remastered in 2018 from the original master tapes at Sony's Battery Studios in New York, and the sound is just stupendous. We sold right out of the initial pressing of the CD last year, but more copies were reordered for this Christmas season. I wrote the liner notes for this baby, as well as the brand new Jim Reeves Twelve Songs Of Christmas, which just came out on November 8th and features a fantastic remastering from Vic Anesni at Battery Studios as well. I cannot recommend these two holiday CD's from Real Gone Music highly enough.

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  10. domesticmachine

    domesticmachine Resident forum

    Portland, OR
    Big ups to the posts and thread as I love me some Xmas music. I make a revised mix every year and TIS THE SEASON

    Maybe not overlooked but perfect? The one I put on every year to kick it off as soon as I drag the tree in the living room. Is it the most perfect recording ever?

  11. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Forum Resident

    Parts Unknown
  12. zonka

    zonka Forum Resident

    Peoria, AZ USA
    Nick Lowe
    The Mavericks
    David Ian

    These are my new "off the beaten path" recommendations to friends.
    I've already started to listen and it is 85 degrees here in the Phoenix area.
    I'm looking forward to tips from the rest of you!
  13. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Forum Resident

  14. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Forum Resident

  15. JakeKlas

    JakeKlas Impatiently waiting for an 8-track revival

    United States
    Just remembered this one. I love Tarja's Nightwish material, but haven’t delved much into her solo material. So while I didn’t buy this album, it certainly caught my attention.

    Definitely a different take on Christmas songs, which would be expected from an album subtitled, Score for a Dark Christmas.

    If you need to clear out visiting family members who aren’t taking the hint to go home after Christmas dinner, put this one on.

    Probably the creepiest version of Deck the Halls I’ve ever heard.

    lucan_g and BiffJackson like this.

    BILLONEEG Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    "Nu tändas tusen juleljus"-Agnetha Faltskog & Linda - I have no idea what they're saying but it sure is a pretty Christmas song!

    "Man From Galilee"-Cristy Lane - I saw her doing this song in the commercial for her music collection. Years later I found it on one of her CD's. Great!
    Man From Galilee -Christmas Classics

    "Candy Cane Lane"- Sia - I bought her Christmas album last year. It's great!
    Sia - Candy Cane Lane (HQ Audio)
    John B and Larry Schmidt like this.
  17. Mr.Sean

    Mr.Sean Senior Member

    Speaking of those who haven't taken the hint as stated above....

    Dave112 likes this.
  18. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    By all means, ignore the plethora of "'Boomer-bait" artists from your past that seem to blanket your holiday with nostalgia these days, it will wear you out. If I've learned anything about Christmas, it is that it's to be celebrated every year, not just regurgitated over and over like Mom's favorite cream-of-mushroom-soup cassarole. KEEP exposing yourself to something new, and keep doing it until you can separate your latest Christmas from all your Christmases past. Current artists you haven't even discovered yet, are releasing new holiday covers and originals every year, and so long as you avoid your local Christmas-format radio station (and whoever got a promo slot at this years' Macy Parade, Ellen and lounge singers), you're bound to find something fresh to hang on your hearth. You don't have to rely on refried memories of Granpa's record collection to find quality music...you just have to keep digging.

    Do you know Echosmith? Modern band with a bit of electronica groove, they're all siblings, all look younger (and admittedly "jail-bait-y") than they really are; singers' got some real pipes, and when have you heard a cover of THIS lately:
  19. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Howabout Scala & Kolocny Brothers, the Belgian Woman's Choir that got famous covering rock songs a few years ago. This is a cover of, believe it or not, Linkin Park:
  20. GerryO

    GerryO Forum Resident

    Bodega Bay, CA
  21. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    I like to think of Aurora as "my third wife" (surprisingly, my "first wife" approves!). She's a young pop diva, but you wouldn't believe it when she goes into a pop station, and plays "Lo A Rose E'er Blooming" in her native Norwegian:
    Stone Turntable likes this.
  22. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    Here's Chris Rea's deservedly-best-'80s-holiday tune, covered by Denmark's Tina Dico (also referred to as, "my second wife")(my "first wife" never gets tired of this joke...):
    Noel Patterson and BiffJackson like this.
  23. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    From Vancouver, women's choir Aliqua does Christmas a little differently...plums, anyone?
  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    And, for those of you who just can't start Christmas without a little Solstice:

    Peter Warlock would be proud.
    chrism1971 likes this.
  25. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Two really good one’s...The Maverick’s Christmas Album with a wonderful original song called Santa Does, and the single disc (vinyl) album Gwen Steffani put out a couple years ago is really well done, and a fun album. It was released as a deluxe two album set a year later and I liked the single version so much I got that too. However, it’s just too much and the good songs were already on the single album version.
    RSteven likes this.

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