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Top 10 Classic Christmas Albums

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by George Pacheco Top 10 Classic Christmas Albums Subscribe: ‪ Part of what makes Christmas so special is being with family and friends. Put on a classic Christmas album and you’ve got yourself an even more joyous occasion! In this countdown we take a look at the Top 10 Classic Christmas Albums! We’ve included albums such as, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, Elvis' Christmas Album, The Beach Boys Christmas Album, Merry Christmas, The Magic of Christmas, The Dean Martin Christmas Album, The Jackson 5 Christmas Album and A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra! MsMojo's Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat:

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Top 10 Classic Christmas Albums

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Classic Christmas Albums.

For this list, we'll be ranking the most popular and enduring albums with songs with themes connected to the celebration of Christmas. For the record, we're not presenting any ideological preference with this list, but rather discussing albums which have provided joy and inspiration for those who celebrate the holiday. We're also omitting more modern Christmas albums, as they'll be featured in a list of their very own.

#10: "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas" (1960)
Ella Fitzgerald

The vocal power of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald was put to great use on this collection of timeless Christmas classics. "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas" was released in 1960, and showcases Fitzgerald's technical abilities, while still providing plenty of fun and holiday spirit. The album primarily contains well-worn tunes, such as "Frosty the Snowman," "Jingle Bells" and "White Christmas," but Ella also delivers the goods on comparatively lesser known material, such as the absolutely beautiful, "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" giving this album a little something to suit everyone's holiday taste.

#9: "A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra" (1957)
Frank Sinatra

New Jersey's favorite son Francis Albert Sinatra may have been the King of the Crooners, but not even Ol' Blue Eyes was immune to the Christmas Spirit, as evidenced by this classic holiday LP from 1957. "A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra" was the singer's first full length collection of Christmas songs, and is a relatively contemplative listen overall, with Frank primarily choosing to sing classic Christmas ballads. It's the perfect album to accompany those late nights of peace and quiet, long after the craziness of shopping and travelling have slowed down, and a reminder to stop and enjoy the little moments along the way.

#8: "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album" (1970)
The Jackson 5

And now for something a little funky! The Jackson 5 released their Christmas album back in 1970, closing out what was an extremely successful year for the still-young band of Motown brothers. "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album" was the group's third release that year, and built upon such earlier smash successes as "ABC" and "Goin' Back to Indiana" by being the highest selling Christmas release of 1970. This reputation was largely thanks to the Jacksons' take on "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," both of which continue to be radio mainstays every holiday season.

#7: "The Dean Martin Christmas Album" (1966)
Dean Martin

Cool, collected and oh so hip. This was the sound of "The Dean Martin Christmas Album," the only full length collection of Christmas music to be released by crooner Dean Martin during his tenure with Reprise Records. Martin's son Ricci mentioned in his 2004 book "That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin" that this was the only one of his father's records to spend time on the family turntable, and it's not difficult to understand why after hearing Dean's warm and charismatic delivery on such songs as "Marshmallow World." Elsewhere, Martin's tender delivery drives home the emotional resonance on "Silver Bells" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," making this holiday album one upon which the whole family can agree.

#6: "The Magic of Christmas" (1960)
Nat King Cole

The voice of Nat King Cole touched millions over the course of his thirty-plus year career, yet the man only released one full collection of Christmas songs...but what a collection it was! "The Magic of Christmas" possesses the distinction of being the highest selling Christmas album of the 1960s, thanks largely in part to Cole's warm, engaging personality and soothing vocals. Ballads and religious themed tunes dominate much of "The Magic of Christmas," bolstered by the strong arrangements of composer and conductor Ralph Carmichael, while the album's runaway success led to its reissue in 1963 as "The Christmas Song." Over six million copies later, and the album, under either title, continues to find new audiences year after year.

#5: "Merry Christmas" (1945)
Bing Crosby It may be the oldest Christmas album on our list, but, as the old saying goes, "the classics never go out of style." Iconic singer, actor and performer Bing Crosby released the succinctly titled "Merry Christmas" back in 1945, at the same time setting a strong template for many holiday albums which would follow in its wake. The album holds numerous records, including the number one selling single of all time with "White Christmas," as well as the distinction of selling over fifteen million copies worldwide. "Merry Christmas" may not venture much further than the established holiday standards, but its place as one of the most iconic albums for the season remains solid and secure.

#4: "The Beach Boys Christmas Album" (1964)
The Beach Boys

Many of the albums featured thus far on our list have consisted primarily of time-tested Christmas classics. "The Beach Boys Christmas Album," however, gained success not only upon the back of tradition, for also for its five original tracks. This balance of moving holiday tradition, surf rock bombast and orchestral accompaniment still makes for a fresh listen today, thanks to the excellent songwriting present on such songs as "Merry Christmas, Baby" and "The Man With All the Toys." Brian Wilson's textured production style also lends "The Beach Boys Christmas Album" a style all its own, one which easily makes it one of the most unique Christmas albums on our list.

#3: "Elvis' Christmas Album" (1957)
Elvis Presley

The King of Rock 'n Roll was a force of nature, who did nothing in small measure. It makes sense, then, that Elvis Presley's first Christmas album from 1957 gained such international acclaim. "Elvis' Christmas Album" has achieved Diamond status as the best selling holiday album of all time, totaling over fifteen million copies around the world. The album itself actually contained previously released gospel material alongside eight other holiday classics, yet it was Presley's iconic take on "Blue Christmas" which may be the tune many most associate with the record. There's plenty more to love here, however, as "Elvis' Christmas Album" has thoroughly earned its bullet-proof reputation as a stone cold Christmas classic.

#2: "A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector" (1963)
Various Artists

Contrary to some other albums on this list, "A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector" actually wasn't a success when it was first released back in 1963. It wasn't until years later that fans picked up on the album as a true Christmas classic, thanks primarily to producer extraordinaire Phil Spector's famed "Wall of Sound” technique. The lush and layered production almost single handedly breathes new life into a very established holiday album medium, with tracks like Darlene Love's "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" and The Ronettes' "Sleigh Ride," which practically sparkles with bright and vibrant musical magic. This one you just gotta hear.

Before we reveal our top collection of old school Christmas jams, here are a few honorable mentions!

"Christmas Portrait" (1978)

"Give Love at Christmas" (1980)
The Temptations

#1: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)
Vince Guaraldi Trio

When is a television soundtrack also a holiday album classic? When it's "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Jazz pianist, composer and arranger Vince Guaraldi released his score to the CBS Television Special back in 1965, yet its youthful innocence and musicality continue to strike a chord within the hearts of adults and children alike. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" contains so many memorable pieces of music, from traditional holiday themes to cues Guaraldi composed specifically for the special, such as "Christmas Time is Here," "Linus and Lucy" and "Skating." Is it holiday magic which makes this album so special? Maybe. All we know is the Vince Guaraldi Trio truly crafted something special with this album for Charles Schultz and his Peanuts Gang.

Do you agree with our list? Which classic Christmas album gives you the warm and fuzzies? For more festive top ten lists, published every day, please subscribe to MsMojo!


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