Nothing gets you in the festive spirit more than a few Christmas tunes, but with literally thousands of songs, many of which have been covered thousands of times-with varying degrees of success-it’s hard to pick the high notes from the low notes, that is, until now.
For too long, creating your own Christmas playlist was a time-consuming and complex affair (read: dual cassette decks). For many people it was not unusual to spend Christmas Day listening to the awkward Christmas-stylings of Wham!, Neil Diamond, or worse still, a store-bought Christmas compilation CD, complete with Alvin and the Chipmunks’ All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.
But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you need not suffer through Alvin or his Chipmunks ever again. We’ve put together the ultimate Christmas playlist that you can create for free using a music streaming service like Spotify or Rdio.
Our Christmas playlist looks a little like this:
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams: You want to ease people into the Christmas spirit, and this timeless classic is the way to go. With Andy’s indelible vocals, this is the perfect song to kick start your playlist.
White Christmas – The Drifters: Purists may insist that this song belongs to Bing Crosby, but The Drifters’ 1958 version is much, much cooler. By ramping the tempo up a notch or two and infusing it with their signature doo-wop sound, this tune is certain to get everyone bopping in their seat-trust us!
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Michael Bublé: Ahhh, the Bube! His always-reliable vocals, accompanied by the bass guitar and piano, give this Bing Crosby original (sorry Bing!) the modern twist it deserves, while also staying true to the original.
Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald: There have been many versions of Sleigh Ride since it was first written and recorded 64 years ago (including Neil Diamond’s in 1994!), but it’s the first lady of song’s 1960 version, replete with her impeccable vocals, that captures all of the excitement and magic of Christmas in under three minutes.
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms: We’ve never understood all of those pop versions of a song called Jingle Bell Rock. It’s meant to be rockin’! Suffice it to say, it’s the original rockabilly version from 1957 that gets it right!
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland: Many, many people have had a go at this song, and without success. The song, which was written specifically for Judy Garland’s character in the 1944 film, Meet Me In St Louis, is about putting your troubles behind you, and it’s only Garland, with her distinct, powerhouse vocals (and perhaps her own troubled history) who can pull this off.
Who Would Imagine a King – Whitney Houston: Speaking of powerhouse vocals-who could go past Whitney! It’s Whitney, enough said!
Carol of the Bells – John Williams: There is something quite haunting about John Williams’ arrangement of this old Ukrainian song, but it’s still a must-have in our Christmas collection. If you don’t recognise the title at first, you may recognise it from the Macaulay Culkin caper, Home Alone.
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt: By now you’ve had a tipple or two, and you’re feeling a little cheeky-then it’s about time for a little Eartha, singing the original and best version of Santa Baby.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee: Brenda Lee was a huge star in the 50s and 60s, yet she is best remembered for her 1958 holiday tune-which was given a second-lease on life when it also featured prominently in 1990’s Home Alone.
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey: This song! Penned by Mariah, herself, and first recorded in 1994, it has consistently reached the number-one spot on the holiday charts every year since-and why not! It’s the definitive Christmas song, and entirely deserving of heavy rotation at Christmastime-indeed, so is the whole album. Just sayin’.