I love listening to Christmas music, especially pop hits from the 70s-90s, but also a few songs from later years as well.
So below you’ll find a long list of the festive albums and songs that I own in my collection. I’ve also added many of the tracks to my Christmas music playlist, along with other delights that from elsewhere that I’ve enjoyed.
ABC – Christmas… With Love
This is a 4-track download-only EP with a nice Christmas song – A Christmas We Deserve – plus lovely acoustic versions of 3 of their hits with ‘Love’ in the title, including The Look Of Love.
Air Supply – The Christmas Album
Alan Jackson – Let It Be Christmas
Annie Lennox – A Christmas Cornucopia
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
There have been multiple versions of this song, so I’ve combined them all into one album in my collection.
The original Band Aid version from 1984 is by far the best, of course, and needs no introduction. It was much later, however, that I discovered the extended version online from the 12” single, which has slightly different instrumentation from the start. It includes a lengthy middle section, featuring spoken Christmas greetings from many of the artists involved, over a percussion backing. David Bowie & Bob Geldof get the most prominence towards the end of this section, before it segues into an extended version of the “Feed The World” ending, with additional echo on the vocals.
I’ve also got an extra track from the 1985 re-issue called Feed The World. Here you get an instrumental version of the song, overlaid with the spoken greetings from the extended mix, along with extracts from a phonecall with Bob Geldof, before the “Feed The World” ending kicks in, and Bob Geldof’s words finish the track. It’s not a version you’d listen to repeatedly necessarily, but it’s an interesting addition. And from that same year, I’ve also got the 2 versions performed at Live Aid – a very brief and slow rendition of one section of the song by Paul Young during his set, and then the finale performance with everybody that closed the Wembley part of the show. The latter is messy in places (unsurprisingly, as they were all knackered by that point!), but still sounds cool, especially with the huge crowd singing along.
I’ve then got the subsequent versions from later years for the sake of completion, because it’s a worthwhile cause I’m happy to donate to. But none of them match up to the original. If anything they get worse each time in my opinion. I appreciate they have to put a different spin on it each time, and fair play to the artists involved, but they just don’t work as well for me. The Band Aid 2 version wasn’t too bad, though it did lack much of the original’s sound and charm somehow. The Band Aid 20 version had voices that didn’t feel as strong as the original, and a rap section that felt completely out of place. And the Band Aid 30 version for the Ebola crisis rewrote some of the lyrics and again didn’t sound as powerful.
Bryan Adams – Christmas
Cliff Richard – Christmas With Cliff
I got this album free with the Daily Mail newspaper, and it contains some of Cliff’s big Christmas hits, including Mistletoe & Wine of course. But the other tracks on here are lovely as well. The opening track, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, is fun and catchy, while Saviours Day is another well-known hit, and I like his versions of The Christmas Song and Let It Snow.
Frank Sinatra – The Ultimate Christmas
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love
I’ve created my own little album containing a few different versions of this classic song (for which you can also see the music video online). In addition to the original version, I’ve also got the original extended & instrumental mixes, plus additional extended singlette and instrumental singlette versions from a Power Of Love Singlette EP he produced.
The Horne Section – Christmas Family Album
Taskmaster assistant Alex Horne and his band have produced another album of silly songs, with references to board games and other random things. It includes their track Fiddly Christmas, which they released to raise money for the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity.
John Williams – Home Alone & Home Alone 2
How you can not own the soundtracks to these classic Christmas films? John’s music is sublime, with memorable pieces including the title theme Somewhere In My Memory, the melody from which reappears regularly, plus compositions like Holiday Flight & Setting The Trap, and lovely choral versions of festive carols. There are also a few nice songs by other artists included, as featured in the films, such as White Christmas by The Drifters & Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Mel Tormé.
Kylie Minogue – Kylie Christmas
I have the expanded Snow Queen Deluxe Edition of this album. It’s a great mixture of covers and original songs, with joyfully festive tracks like It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, At Christmas, Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here & Santa Baby. She’s joined by a variety of guest stars as well, including her sister Dannii on 100 Degrees, Frank Sinatra on Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Iggy Pop on Christmas Wrapping & James Corden on a cover of Only You.
LadBaby – Sausage Rolls For Everyone
- 2018 – We Built This City… On Sausage Rolls
- 2019 – I Love Sausage Rolls, plus a Swing Version.
- 2020 – Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, plus a Duet Version by Roxanne with Ronan Keating.
- 2021 – Sausage Rolls For Everyone, with Elton John & Ed Sheeran, plus a Choral Version with The Food Bank Choir. This is an adaptation of Elton & Ed’s own song Merry Christmas, which got to Number 2 in the same chart – and I’ve also bought their song, but LadBaby’s version is better.
Yes, the songs are silly, and to some even irritating, but they’re harmless and amusing fun, and all the profits have gone to a vitally important cause. It’s not a cause that should exist in the first place, as nobody should be living in poverty and requiring food banks to live, but while it continues to be an issue it’s wonderful that LadBaby are making such an effort to support it.
On top of that, they’ve also set a record by having 4 consecutive Christmas Number 1 hits, beating The Beatles and The Spice Girls who each got 3, and matching The Beatles for the most Christmas Number 1’s overall. So it’s a really big deal all in all, as you can see from Mark and Roxanne’s live reactions to reaching number 1 in 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again
It came as quite a surprise when I discovered that this iconic American rock band had done a Christmas album. But I’m glad I found it, because it’s brilliant, kicking off with the very bluesy Santa’s Messin’ With The Kid, a fun version of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the album’s powerful ballad title track, Christmas Time Again. And it has many other great songs, including Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ and Hallelujah It’s Christmas, plus a couple of nice instrumentals as well.
Mrs Mills – Glad Tidings (Mrs Mills’ Christmas Party)
This is a vinyl LP I inherited and converted to MP3. Mrs Mills was a famous pianist who produced many albums of piano instrumentals that people could sing-along to. So this is a fun collection, beginning with a very catchy performance of Jingle Bells, and taking in lots of other well-known Christmas songs along the way.
Pet Shop Boys – Christmas
This was a short EP released by the duo, although the first track – a new version of It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas – is the only festive song on it. It was originally a fan club single, so I only heard it for the first time on this EP. It’s quite catchy too. The EP also includes an interesting cover of My Girl by Madness.
REO Speedwagon – Not So Silent Night
This is a great rock album, introduced by a very relaxing version of The First Noel, before it kicks in properly with great covers of Winter Wonderland, Silent Night and Deck The Halls. And it carries on like that, with a wonderful mixture of slow tracks (like The White Snows Of Winter) and fast ones (such as Children Go Where I Send Thee).
Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
I also have the expanded edition of his album of the same name. Apart from the title track, it also includes Rockin’ Little Christmas, White Christmas, I’ll Be Home This Christmas, It’s Gonna Be A Lonely Christmas, Blue Christmas and The Best Christmas Of Them All. And the bonus tracks consist of extended and instrumental versions of the title song, plus an extended version of True Love.
At the end of the album I’ve also tagged on the new version of the title track that he recorded with The Salvation Army in 2015, called Echoes Of Merry Christmas Everyone. It has a very different musical arrangement to the original, and a few slightly altered lyrics, but it’s up there with the original version in my opinion, it’s really catchy.
Slade – Crackers
This is a fantastic festive album, with a mixture of party songs (e.g. Let’s Dance and Okey Cokey) and festive tracks (e.g. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Here’s To… (The New Year) and the medley of Auld Lang Syne & You’ll Never Walk Alone. You always hear their version of Auld Lang Syne after London’s New Year Fireworks, it works perfectly there.
You also get a storming live version of Merry Xmas Everybody, which is faster and heavier, and in my mind superior to, the original studio version – although that’s still great as well, of course, and I’ve moved the original version from a festive compilation to their Christmas album in my collection, as it belongs there really. I have the lesser-known extended remix as well, which is fun too. There is also another live version on their compilation Slave Alive! – The Live Anthology, but it’s just the audience belting out the chorus under Noddy’s instruction, the band don’t actually perform it. You can also see the band doing an interview and a mimed performance of the song on TV.
Status Quo – Quofestive 2011 & 2012
These are live concerts recorded at the O2 Arena in London by a company called Live Here Now. They’re standard Quo concerts for the most part, but each contains a Christmas medley as well. The 2011 Medley features guest stars Roy Wood (from Wizzard) and Kim Wilde, while the 2012 Medley is just the band on their own and includes It’s Christmas Time.
The Ventures – Christmas Album
The Ventures were an instrumental guitar band who were big in the 60s, in a similar way to The Shadows. Sometimes the trackson this album start with riffs that sound like another famous track, but then go into a Christmas number that you recognise. So here you’ve got cool guitar versions of Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Silver Bells, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and White Christmas for instance, among many others.
The Wurzels – Holy Cow! It’s The Wurzels Christmas Album
Yes, you read that right. The lads from Somerset, best known for their hit Combine Harvester, did indeed release their own Christmas album! And it’s really good, with great covers of festive hits including White Christmas, Merry Xmas Everybody, Sleigh Ride, Fairytale Of New York and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer as just a few examples. I’ve also added another song on to the end of the album that I discovered – a single they released 10 years previously called Come On Santa, which is really fun and silly, and gets quite crazy towards the end. Plus there’s the X-Rated Version where you can hear what was bleeped out, which isn’t that rude really, but it was enough for radio stations to reject it.
This is a great rock and blues collection from America, featuring lots of alternative and rare festive tracks, some of which are by well known artists, including Run Rudolph Run by Keith Richards, Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) by The Ramones, All Alone On Christmas by Darlene Love and Father Christmas by The Kinks.
But the most notable track is I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard, which for those of us in the UK is far from obscure, but in America it was a relative rarity in comparison.
This was a series of compilations produced to raise money for the Special Olympics organisation. They feature many tracks in a variety of genres by well known artists, mostly cover versions – e.g. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by The Pointer Sisters, Winter Wonderland by Eurythmics, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2, Run Rudolph Run by Bryan Adams, and a live version of Merry Christmas Baby by Bruce Springsteen to name just a few. Most of them you won’t find on any other Christmas compilations either, so it’s a pretty unique collection. Not every track is great, of course, but there’s a very good selection here.
As the title suggests, this is an album of heavy metal covers. Each track is performed by a combination of heavy metal stars who don’t normally get together, so they’re like one-off supergroups. And it sounds pretty awesome. The opening version of We Wish You A Merry Christmas is a perfect heavy metal delivery of the song, Motorhead’s Lemmy features with Dave Grohl on a great rock version of Run Rudolph Run, and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer is a fun song that I’d not heard anywhere else before.
These are the other songs I own that aren’t included on the albums above. I’ve bundled many of them together into a single Christmas Hits album on my computer, in order to remove duplicates acquired from festive compilations. But in other cases they’re part of (or I’ve added them to) relevant albums that I own by the artists in question, a few of which I’ve mentioned in notable cases below. And they’re all tagged under the Christmas genre, allowing me to find all my festive tracks at once.
- Adam Faith:
- Aled Jones:
- Andy Williams:
- Bad News:
- This was a spoof heavy metal band from Channel 4’s comedy series The Comic Strip Presents, featuring Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planer & Peter Richardson.
- Cashing In On Christmas – Queen guitarist Brian May, who produced the album, also features on this track. I also have the Dub Version, featuring the band giving a funny audio commentary (with strong language), plus the extended Let’s Bank Mix, and a live version from the Hammersmith Odeon on 5 November 1986 on their album F**k Off Bad News.
- The Beach Boys:
- Bing Crosby:
- Bobby Sherman:
- Boney M:
- Brenda Lee:
- Bruce Springsteen:
- Charlotte Church & Billy Gilman:
- Chris De Burgh:
- Chris Rea:
- Cyndi Lauper:
- David Essex:
- Dean Martin:
- Dennis Waterman & George Cole:
- What Are We Gonna Get ‘Er Indoors? – A very funny song, performed as their characters Terry & Arthur from the TV show Minder, with Arthur fretting about what to get his wife, and Terry not really caring!
- Quids & Quavers – This B-side to the above song is also good, with Terry trying to write and play a song while Arthur interferes.
- Dickie Valentine:
- Eartha Kitt:
- Eddie Cochran & The Holly Twins:
- Elton John:
- Elvis Presley:
- Gene Autry:
- George Michael:
- Gloria Estefan:
- Greg Lake:
- Hot Chocolate:
- The Jackson 5:
- Jethro Tull:
- Jona Lewie:
- John Lennon & Yoko Ono:
- Kerry Ellis & Brian May:
- Los Del Rio:
- Macarena [Joy Mix] – Yes, believe it or not, they did a seasonal version of this, replacing the verses with Christmas songs. It’s silly and stupidly cheesy, but somehow still quite catchy.
- Mel Smith & Kim Wilde:
- Michael Bolton:
- Mike Oldfield:
- In Dulci Jubilo – We used to dance around the pool table to this in the common room of our boarding house at school, with Stop The Cavalry afterwards!
- Tubular Bells / Far Above The Clouds / In Dulci Jubilo – A wonderful medley featuring the above song, used for the NHS segment of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
- Monty Python:
- Christmas In Heaven -The lavish song and dance number welcoming people to their new spiritual home, from their film The Meaning Of Life. The deluxe edition of the soundtrack also features an alternate Version, which is twice as long as the original, with lots of additional lyrics, and is orchestrated completely differently.
- Nat King Cole:
- Paul McCartney
- Perry Como:
- Peter Auty:
- The Platters:
- The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl:
- Fairytale Of New York – One of the best Christmas songs ever without a doubt, although I acknowledge it’s controversial for some. I also have the instrumental version, which is lovely in itself. Online you can also hear demo versions that sound completely different to the final record (demo 1, demo 2 and demo 3, with Pogues bass player Cait O’Riordian singing the female part), and a live performance by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl on St Patrick’s Day 1988 (a wonderful and rare chance to see them live together).
- The Pretenders:
- Robson & Jerome:
- The Ronettes:
- Roy Orbison:
- The Shadows:
- Walking In The Air – A nice instrumental version.
- The Spinners:
- The Twelve Days Of Christmas – This is a fun live performance.
- State Of The Heart:
- Last Christmas – A nice instrumental version of the Wham! classic that I got on a Christmas compilation.
- Status Quo:
- T. Rex:
- These tracks are rarities from their box set 20th Century Superstar.
- Christmas Bop – This never got properly released as a single.
- Xmas Flexi Message – Originally from the 1972 Fan Club Flexidisc, here you get to hear Marc Bolan and his bandmates passing on their Christmas wishes, followed by a nice festive song.
- The Waitresses:
- Last Christmas – Every year a lot of people play Whamageddon, just for fun, where you have to try and avoid hearing this song for as long as possible in the lead up to Christmas. Some radio stations even join in, by not playing the tune on certain shows or between certain hours, or warning listeners when they’re about to play it.
- The Wombles:
- ZOAK & Roger Taylor:
- 2020 Covid Charity Singles:
- Christmas Again (The Show Must Go On) – By the Theatre Support Fund & West End Singers, in aid of Acting For Others, The Fleabag Support Fund & NHS Charities Together.
- Christmas Of Hope – By Musicians Together & Sweet Charity Choir in aid of Help Musicians.
- Keeping The Dream Alive – By Rock Choir in aid of the Mental Health Foundation.
And that’s it! Well done if you decided to look through all of that, I hope you found some interesting songs in there. Do feel free to recommend other festive tracks for me to check out too. Merry Christmas! 🙂