My collection of Christmas CDs runs from the classics (A Charlie Brown Christmas) to the oddball (an album of Yuletide tunes played on a massive Mighty Wurlitzer organ). But I've never yet found the perfect Christmas pop album; the one that includes all the most evocative songs (for me anyway) in one neatly-packed, triple-disk box.
And what would that perfect album include? For me, it would need to have glittery 1970s Yuletide classics like Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody and Wizzard's I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday. It would also need older hits like Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Frank Sinatra's version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Bing's Crosby's always-essential White Christmas.
There's always room for a ballad or two on my festive menu as well, and that means Mud with It'll Be Lonely This Christmas as well as 1980s epic The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood -- followed by the bittersweet Fairy Tale of New York, rasped out by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. It should always be followed by Wham's late-career lament Last Christmas.
There's space on my ideal festive album for a bit of weirdness as well. And it doesn't get more oddball than Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by David Bowie and Bing Crosby, with it's mesmerizingly quirky video -- seriously, look it up!
But my tastes are also traditional and the perfect Christmas record for me would also have to include some olde-worlde carols, preferably played by a brass band without words so I can sing along. And the best of these vintage songs? Deck the Halls, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and -- for some reason -- I Saw Three Ships (there must be some deep Proustian reason why I connect to this one).