BY: FRANCISCO FLORES
There’s nothing better to get you into the holiday spirit than hearing all your favorite musicians’ versions of classic Christmas tunes. Holiday albums range from modern-day standards to cheesy classics that keep the holidays near year-round. Here’s a list of Christmas albums that many love as guilty pleasures during the holidays. Elvis’ Christmas Album - In 1957, Elvis Presley released his first holiday EP titled Elvis’ Christmas Album. His drastic change from a rugged image to a classic Christmas caroler was confusing, but accepted nonetheless. Presley explored different sounds throughout the album going from a Rock ’n’ Roll version of “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me),” to a blues-y “Blue Christmas.” He took a risk by changing his image so soon into his career, but it worked and his holiday album was a success.
Christmas Portrait - Karen and Richard Carpenter made up the famous sibling duo, The Carpenters. The 1978 release of Christmas Portrait continues to be praised today. It consisted of usual Christmas songs along with “Merry Christmas Darling,” a vintage Carpenter’s Christmas song released as a single and co-written by former CSULB music professor Frank Pooler. The album keeps the signature sound of the duo while also bringing in a corny holiday vibe to the cheerful songs.
Merry Christmas - Mariah Carey released Merry Christmas in 1994. The album is filled with covers of classic Christmas songs along with a few songs she penned herself. “All I Want for Christmas is You,” became one of the biggest holiday songs to date. Carey’s five-octave vocal range takes her holiday albums to new heights as she belts out the tunes with one of the most recognizable voices in pop.
Christmas - Michael Bublé released his holiday album in 2011 with huge success. The EP, titled Christmas, was the second highest-selling album of that year with more than 2 million copies sold. The combination of his voice with mellowed-out Christmas songs fits like a glove. Bublé’s rendition of “Silent Night” could put a baby to sleep, much like the rest of the soothing album.
This Christmas - Sandy and Danny are back at it again. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunited to record one of the cheesiest Christmas albums of all time. Released in 2012, the album is full of covers that channel the original chemistry seen in “Grease.” The album cover shows the duo posing for a seemingly forced photo while holding full cups of hot chocolate. Though the intentions for their album were probably for fun and to give people a sense of nostalgia, this album won’t have anyone singing “You’re the One That I Want.”