'Tis the season to be jolly

Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas features one of her biggest hits – and one of the most recognisable modern Christmas tracks – All I Want For Christmas

Top 10 Christmas albums you might have missed.

As much as I love listening to Nat King Cole and Vince Guaraldi, I simply need a break every so often from the standard shopping mall musical mix.

Here are some dynamite and different options, listed in chronological order:

A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, various artistes (1963) – Christmas standards get the “Wall of Sound” treatment on this set featuring the Ronettes, Darlene Love and others from the Phil Spector camp. It’s considered an absolute classic by basically everyone who’s ever heard it. Yet, it’s amazing how many people still haven’t heard it.

The Christmas Album, The Ventures (1965) – Yuletide offering from Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame instrumental act The Ventures, best known for crafting the Hawaii Five-O theme.

Goin’ Home For Christmas, Merle Haggard (1982) – The country legend croons mainly from the regular Christmas songbook, but the album’s best track is Hag’s own If We Make It Through December.

Blue Yule (1991) – Roy Milton, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy McCracklin and other talents are featured on this blues/R&B set.

Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas, various artistes (2005) – Would you like some riffs to go with that eggnog? Then check out this Christmas compilation featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson and other guitar heroes.

Christmas Songs, Diana Krall (2005) – This might well be my all-time favourite holiday recording, as well as arguably the jazz star’s overall best album.

It’s Christmas Of Course, Darlene Love (2007) – Need more Love? Then search out this holiday offering from the great vocalist, who was featured in the recent documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.

A Twisted Christmas, Twisted Sister (2010) – Finally, a Christmas album that mum and dad will hate! If you dig this one, also check out the concert companion, A Twisted Christmas: Live In Las Vegas.

Not So Silent Christmas With REO Speedwagon, REO Speedwagon (2010) – The band once made a fortune on pop-rock power ballads and feel-good anthems, so it’s no surprise that REO is a natural fit for I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Winter Wonderland and other seasonal fare.

A Very She & Him Christmas, She & Him (2011) – Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward provide a suitable soundtrack for a hipster holiday party. — San Jose Mercury News/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Here are some of our favourites at Star2:

Ming Teoh — PTXmas (deluxe edition) by Pentatonix. Favourites on the album include Little Drummer Boy and The Christmas Song.

Dinesh Kumar Maganathan — Noel by Josh Groban.

Josh Groban's album, Noel, was released in 2007 and is still a very popular album during Christmas each year. 

Nadine Fernandez — Once Upon A Christmas by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. While growing up, every first day of December and every day after that till Christmas, my mum would blast that CD out loud and we would all sing the songs together while putting up the Christmas tree, baking pineapple jam tarts, helping to make her vegetable pickle, baking next year’s Christmas fruitcake (because it tastes THAT much better after soaking in liquor a whole year!), wrapping Christmas presents and just spending quality time together.

Davin Arul — The sountrack to Home Alone. No, really!

The Home Alone movies have always been set during the Christmas season, so it is no surprise that the soundtracks are ... Christmassy, too! 

Gayathri Nair — Home For Christmas by N’sync (don’t laugh!).  

Melody L. Goh — The soundtrack to Elf. Love the movie, too!

Gordon Kho — Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas features one of her biggest hits – and one of the most recognisable modern Christmas tracks – All I Want For Christmas

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'Tis the season to be jolly


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