Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us. Can you believe it? Christmas is almost here and I’ve barely had time to get the Halloween decorations put away.
At least there’s Christmas music to help us get in the mood. Oh, I know what you’re thinking…no I’m not talking those cheesy holiday tunes you hear in the stores – I’m not talking turkey either.
On this Christmas music list you’ll only find the best of the best, and there’s definitely something for everyone from Grandma to little Suzie.
After this top 40 list you’ll find another list of the best Christmas albums that are still hot sellers to this day, along with the Christmas music albums that are the best deals out there where you get the best bang for your buck. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, and snuggle up to these:
Top 40 Christmas Albums of 2012
- Merry Christmas, Baby by Rod Stewart (2012) – Classics by an uber-classic songster, includes collaborations with: David Foster, Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige, and Chris Botti.
- Cheers, it’s Christmas. by Blake Shelton (2012) – Country singer and winner of 2012 CMA’s Entertainer of the Year, Blake Shelton (on TV show “The Voice”) croons holiday tunes, and makes a great addition to your Christmas collection.
- A Very Special Christmas – 25 Years by Various Artists (2012)- One of my favorite holiday collections, (I’ve got all of them, the first one is my very fave!) and always make their way into my player, but this year a very special collection of the best of the best over 25 years. Don’t pass this one up. Including artists: Train, Grayson Sanders and Jono, Featuring Lauriana Mae, Jewel, Michael Buble, Jordin Sparks, Cheap Trick, Rascal Flatts, Wonder Girls, Amy Grant, One Republic, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Jason Mraz, Francesca Battistelli, Dave Matthews Band, and Christina Aguilera.
- Holidays Rule by Holidays Rule with, Fun., The Shins, Paul McCartney and The Civil Wars (2012)- A rockin’ good time by both new and old rockers, traditionalists, bluegrass, choral revival, alt-pop , gospel and more. A super fun and diverse Christmas album. Editorial Review: “The set boasts 17 all-new recordings, including pop phenoms; Fun., the legendary Paul McCartney, indie-pop luminaries The Shins, Americana favorites The Civil Wars, adored singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (with Sharon Van Etten), playful popsters Fruit Bats, bluegrass revisionists Punch Brothers, soul icon Irma Thomas (with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band), cinematic rockers Calexico, eclectic troubadour Andrew Bird, Latin neo-traditionalists Y La Bamba, Texas twang-rock troupe Heartless Bastards, alterna-folk standard-bearer Holly Golightly, roots quintet Black Prairie (featuring Sallie Ford), choral revival collective AgesAndAges, Fiery Furnaces alumna Eleanor Friedberger and Seattle Americana outfit The Head and the Heart. Holidays Rule delves into an unusually rich assemblage of Americana, alt-pop, folk, electronica, country, American standards, singer-songwriter, New Orleans gospel, garage rock and more. Holidays Rule is the most exciting, and highly anticipated, all-new holiday album of the year!”
- The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection by Taylor Swift (2012) – Taylor, even at her young age, has made quite a name for herself, already winning tons of grammys, Entertainer of the Year (2011), and selling more copies of her new album “Red” in a week than any other artist ever. Nice Christmas album to be sure.
- Christmas In The Sand by Colbie Caillat (2012) – Colbie’s pop radio hits “Bubbly” and “Brighter Than the Sun” rocketed her into the charts, and this lovely Christmas album is one you’ll enjoy year after year.
- Cee Lo’s Magic Moment by CeeLo Green (2012)- CeeLo and friends definitely create a fun and “soulful” spirited Christmas atmosphere with this one. Also features help from Christina Aguilera and Rod Stewart.
- Home for Christmas by Celtic Woman (2012)- Lovely Celtic Christmas classics done exceptionally well, a gorgeous addition to your Christmas collection.
- This Christmas by Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and James Taylor (2012) – What? Is this Grease all over again? No, just a good Christmas album you’ll be sure to enjoy…cheesy and cornball some have said, but fun none-the-less, and pretty well done, with an array of big name guest artists including Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Kenny G, Cliff Richard & Chick Corea.
- Silver & Gold by Sufjan Stevens (2012) – Box set – Beautiful songs sure to become a classic, and a great deal too, with over 58 songs on 5 discs. I loved this Editorial Review from Amazon: “Who can save us from the infidels of Christmas commodity? Look no further, tired shopper, for your hero arrives as the diligent songwriter Sufjan Stevens, army of one, banjo in one hand, drum machine in the other, holed up in his room, surrounded by hymnals, oratorios, music charts, sacred harp books, paper-clipped-photo-copied Readers Digest Christmas catalogs – singing his barbaric yawp above the snow-capped rooftops. His song is love; his song is hope; his song is peace, conjuring the fruitcake world of his own imagination with steadfast affection for the unattainable bliss of Christmas promises summoning the company of angels, the helper elves, the shepherds keeping flock, the coupon-clippers, the marathon runners, the grocery store baggers, the bridge and tunnel drivers, the construction workers, the street sweepers, the single mothers, the rich and the poor, the walking dead, the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, the Prince of Persia, and all the invisible hosts of heaven to participate in this absurd cosmic adventure, pursuing holly-jolly songs of hope and redemption with a sacred heart for the enduring love for the holiness of Christmas, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
- A Very Merry Perri Christmas by Christina Perri (2012) – Christina’s debut performance on Fox’s TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” became an instant hit with “Jar of Hearts” and catapulted her into pop culture, and her sweet renditions of a few classics along with a new holiday song on this Christmas album is one you’ll play again and again.
- Now That’s What I Call Today’s Christmas! by Now Today’s Christmas, Justin Bieber, Train, Coldplay and Norah Jones (2012)- If you love pop radio, you’ll love this one.
- On This Winter’s Night by Lady Antebellum (2012)
- What Christmas Means by Kem (2012)
- Christmas with Scotty McCreery by Scotty McCreery (2012) – American Idol’s deep bass country crooner sets out to make his mark in the Christmas category.
- Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (2012)- Another sure-to-be classic by the Christmas-specialists.
- Christmas by Francesca Battistelli (2012) – Francesca was inspired by legendary jazz greats and current contemporaries like John Mayer and Sara Bareilles, and writes pop, soul-infused music. This one includes classics and newly-penned holiday tunes.
- The Classic Christmas Album by Barry Manilow (2012)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas [2012 Remastered & Expanded Edition] by Vince Guaraldi (2012)
- This Is Christmas by Katherine Jenkins (2012) – Bombshell blonde with a gorgeous voice to match; Katherine Jenkins, (“The young woman from the little place with the huge voice”) belts out and whispers traditional holiday tunes from around the world as well as a number of contemporary favorites including “Away In A Manger, ” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing, ” “Deck The Halls, ” and “Come What May, ” featuring Placido Domingo.
- A Laurie Berkner Christmas by Laurie Berkner (2012)- Laurie Berkner has been a professional musician since 1992, but her success as a children’s recording artist was a surprise to her. This is a great children’s Christmas music album with many favorites, and even ends with a reading of “The Night Before Christmas”.
- 10 Great Christmas Songs by Ella Fitzgerald (2012)
- Chicago Ultimate Christmas Collection by Chicago (2012)- Just as you’d think-this one mixes Chicago’s best Christmas songs all together in one album; a must have if you’re a Chicago fan.
- Disney Channel Holiday Playlist (2012)-Another Disney pop Christmas album sure to please the younger set.
- Candlelight Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller (2012)- Another great one by a holiday classic band.
- A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace On Earth by Various Artists (2012) – Today’s Christian artists singing their renditions of classics and new Christmas-meaningful-songs.
- Tinsel and Lights by Tracey Thorn (2012)-Tracey is best known for her collaboration in the best-selling alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982-2000) puts out a great holiday album.
- The Classic Christmas Album by Elvis Presley (2012)- You can never go wrong with Elvis. (Also see list below of Still Hot Christmas albums, he’s got an even better one (White Christmas) there.
- Christmas Harmonies (Stereo Remaster) by The Beach Boys (2012)
- Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols by Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury (2012)-Amazing choir backed by gorgeous orchestral arrangements, a yearly U.K. special.
- 10 Great R&B Christmas Songs by 10 Great R & B Christmas Songs (2012)
- Christmas Spirit by Richard Marx (2012)
- Andre Rieu: Home For The Holidays by Andre Rieu and Lida Volleberg-Huver (2012) – Classical Christmas music.
- The Classic Christmas Album by Willie Nelson (2012)
- The Classic Christmas Album by John Denver (2012)
- A Very Merry Golden Records Christmas by Golden Records (2012)- Oldies made new again, with timeless classics and stories from earlier days, including stories and songs by Didi Conn, Ed Asner, Wallace Shawn, Missi Pyle, John O’Hurley, Malin Akerman, Dermot Mulroney, Cheryl Hines, and many more.
- Joy by Steven Curtis Chapman (2012)
- Christmas Time’s A-Coming by The Oak Ridge Boys (2012)
- My Christmas by Katherine Jenkins (2012)- Another beautiful Christmas album by the gorgeous songstress.
- Complete Christmas Collection by Doris Day (2012)- A 22-track collection containing Doris’ complete, holiday-themed recordings, plus some real rarities.
Best album deals for Christmas music:
Silver & Gold by Sufjan Stevens (2012) – Box set with over 58 songs on 5 discs!
Big Christmas Box by Various artists (2012) – From the Bach Guild, with 13 hours of music and 280 songs, (classical) for only $0.99, this one is definitely a uber-great deal.
The 99 Most Essential Christmas Masterpieces (Amazon Exclusive) by Various artists (2012) – Great deal for beautiful classical Christmas atmosphere.
Elvis’ Christmas Album, originally released in 1957, has sold more than 12 million copies, allowing it to beat out Kenny G’s 1994 smash Miracles-A Holiday Album. See this great post by Paul Grein; Top 40 Christmas Albums (written 2008). But if you are an Elvis fan, I’d recommend “White Christmas” which includes holiday greats (that RCA repackaged and reshuffled) from 1957’s stunning Elvis’ Christmas Album and 1971’s lesser Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas.
Noel by Josh Groban (2007) – Josh’s voice is angelic to say the least; a tried and true Christmas classic.
A Very Special Christmas with classics from: Sting, Stevie Nicks, U2, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Bob Segar, The Pretenders, John Cougar Mellencamp, Eurythmics, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, and more (1990). One of my all-time favorites! Sting’s “Gabriel’s Message” has got to be one of the greatest Christmas songs ever.
100% Christmas – The Greatest Artists 100 Hits by Various artists (2011) – You can never go wrong with the greats like; Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, Perry Como, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr., Eartha Kitt, Gene Autry, Peggy Lee, Brenda Lee, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and more!
Christmas Celebration by Celtic Woman (2006)
And Winter Came by Enya (2008) – Enya is another one of my favorite artists, and with this album in your player you’ll be sure to get comments. Editorial Review of this album says, “‘And Winter Came’ continues a phenomenally successful career that has included more than 70 million albums sold worldwide. ‘And Winter Came’ is an enchanting evocation of the changing landscape of winter as well as the festive cheer of the holidays. One of the most successful female artists of all-time, and second only to U2 as the biggest selling Irish artist in history, Enya brings her beguiling and ethereal music to bear on the darkest and yet most hopeful season.
Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection by Frank Sinatra (2004)
Christmas by Michael Bublé (2011)- Bublé croons Christmas classics and more, sure to please almost anyone.
Ultimate Classical Christmas Album of All Time by Ultimate Classical Christmas Record of All Time (2002)
Christmas All-Time Greatest, Vol. 01 by Christmas All-Time Greatest Re (2011) With: Bing Crosby, Glen Campbell, Nat “King” Cole, Lena Horne, Beach Boys, Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, and The Andrews Sisters.
Christmas All-Time Greatest, Vol. 02 by Various Artist (2010)
James Taylor at Christmas by James Taylor (2006)
Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2 by Glee Cast (2011)
WOW Christmas by Various Artists (2011)
Now That’s What I Call Christmas 4 by Various Artists, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker (2010)
The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album by Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album (2002)
Time-Life Music: Treasury of Christmas – Holiday Memories by Various Artists (2002)
The Polar Express by Various Artists (2004)
Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails, Part One by Various Artists (1996)
Ultimate Classical Christmas Album of All Time by Ultimate Classical Christmas Record of All Time (2002)
Christmas Collection by Carpenters (1998)
Top 40 Christmas Albums article by Paul Grein
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