Holiday
5:11 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Anne Deck's Hall Of Favorites: Holiday Tunes

FAVORITE NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY RECORDINGS (random order):

“Christmas” – The Who

“Father Christmas” – The Kinks

“Holiday Road” – Matt Pond PA (an ethereal, slower version than the original one by the great Lindsey Buckingham)

“Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time!” – Sufjan Stevens

“Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” – Joey Ramone

“Ring Out Solstice Bells” – Jethro Tull (the original recording found on “Songs From the Wood” is far superior to the dynamically “flat” remixed version that came out some 25 years later)

“Come on Christmas” – Cheap Trick (a holiday reworking of “Come On, Come On” – a classic from the band’s groundbreaking “At Budokan” live LP)

“Christmas Christmas” – Cheap Trick

“(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presents, Dear” – Syd Straw (a perfect holiday

twist on Blondie’s “(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear”)

“2000 Miles” – The Pretenders

“The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” – David Bowie & Bing Crosby

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over” / John Lennon & Yoko Ono

“Maybe This Christmas” / Ron Sexsmith

“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses

“In the Quiet of Christmas Morning” – The Moody Blues (based on Bach’s “Joy”)

“Light of the Stable” – Emmylou Harris (truly gorgeous harmonies during the song’s uplifting chorus)

“Mary Had A Baby” – Bruce Cockburn (great take on this standard Southern spiritual)

“Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas” – E (a.k.a. Mark Oliver Everett in the years before forming The Eels)

“Spotlight on Christmas” – Rufus Wainwright

“Children Go Where I Send Thee” – Natalie Merchant

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – all-star Band Aid collective

“Fairytale of New York” / The Pogues & (the late, great) Kirsty MacColl (I recall this is one of Heather Svokos’ all-time favorites, too, but that’s no surprise given her terrific taste in tunes)

FAVORITE TRADITIONAL SONGS PERFORMED BY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS (random order):

“The Coventry Carol” / Alison Moyet

“The Little Drummer Boy” / Ringo Starr (not only is the drumming a real treat, but so is the unique addition of Scottish bagpipes on what is easily one of my all-time favorite holiday songs)

“The Huron Carol” / Crash Test Dummies

“Silent Night” / Stevie Nicks

“O Holy Night” / Tracy Chapman

“Oiche Chiun (Silent Night)” / Enya

“Adeste Fidelis” / The Roches

“The First Noel” / Emmylou Harris

“The Little Drummer Boy” / Josè Feliciano

“Jingle Bells” / Eastern Bloc (***this version rocks while remaining ever so timeless!!***)

….AND CLASSIC ARTISTS (random order):

“Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella (Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella)” /

Marilyn Horne w/the Columbia Symphony Orchestra & Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“The Little Drummer Boy” / Brenda Lee

“Ding! Dong! Merrily on High” / The Canadian Brass

“Lullay My Liking” / Eileen Farrell

“Carol of the Bells”/ any reputable chorus (by P. J. Wilhousky; adapted from “Shchedryk” by Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych)

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS (random order):

Sufjan Stevens / “Songs for Christmas: Vols. 1-1V Singalong” 5-CD box set (SUPERB!)

The DB’s & Friends / “Christmas Time Again” (originally released in ‘86 as “Christmas Time” by Chris Stamey & Friends, but has since been expanded and released under his old band’s name)

Jethro Tull / “Songs From the Wood”

Vince Guaraldi / “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (the re-mastered version is worth every penny)

“Christmas Remixed” / Verve Records v.a. compilation

Squirrel Nut Zippers / “Christmas Caravan”

The Classical Jazz Quartet / “The Nutcracker” (Stefon Harris, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lewis Nash; arranged by Bob Belden)

Ringo Starr / “The Christmas Collection”

The Beatmus (Beatles tribute band) / “Xmas! Rubber Band”

Dwight Twilley / “A Twilley Christmas”

Bobby Timmons / “Holiday Soul”

George Winston / “December”

“A Feast of Songs: Holiday Music from the Middle Ages” / Barry & Beth Hall

“A Real Irish Christmas” (1999 v.a. compilation)

Rhino’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (1989 v.a. compilation)

…along with Christmas albums by Ramsey Lewis, Eartha Kitt, Chet Atkins, Booker T & The MGs, The Ventures, Jimmy Smith, Josè Feliciano, Eileen Farrell, Bruce Cockburn, The Moody Blues, Sarah McLaughlin…

FAVORITE CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS SONGS:

“Gesu Bambino” by Pietro Yon

“Christmas Symphony” by Friebert

Hallelujah” by Handel

“Ave Maria” by Schubert

FAVORITE HUMOROUS CHRISTMAS ALBUMS (random order)

John Waters / “A John Waters Christmas” v.a. compilation (for when you’re feeling quirky)

Christine Lavin & The Mistletones / “The Runaway Christmas Tree” (includes great narratives)

David Sedaris / “Holidays on Ice” (it’s not Christmas without his classic “Santaland Diaries”)

FAVORITE LOCAL CHRISTMAS ALBUM (a.k.a. an easy way for a board member to engage in plugola):

Laura Bell Bundy w/Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors + Wayne Bell / “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST… MY SONIC CHRISTMAS WISH:

If only Chicago recorded a Christmas album during the band’s late ‘60s and early ‘70s brass-heavy heyday—long before recording 1998’s over-produced holiday collection that sounds more akin to Peter Cetera’s soulless pop material from the ‘80s…

A Bryan Ferry / Roxy Music Christmas album… just imagine how uniquely beautiful it would be!!

‘Nog, anyone?

~Anne