Sleigh Bells Ring, What You Listening To?

Author: Adam Crohill

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few festive tunes blaring in the background. My personal favourites being Driving Home For Christmas by Chris Rea and Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. If you are looking for some last minute musical inspired presents, some alternative christmas tunes for when Wham! and Slade have outstayed their welcome, or if you fancy indulging in some sentimental songs from Christmas past then you are very much in the right place

I always seem to be in charge of music and mulled wine in my household at Christmas, I find they are two responsibilities that sit well together and you can draw a direct correlation between mulled wine consumption and music volume. If you fancy reading up on my mulled wine recipe I shared it just before Christmas last year – you can find it here. Regarding music, I like to mix it up a bit – there is nothing worse than having only one festive compilation on repeat for the entire holiday season! Streaming services have helped add variety to the Christmas mix in recent years and you can find all of these personally tried and tested Christmas albums via your music streaming provider of choice, or you can click the links in the descriptions below if you prefer to purchase a physical copy.

The One With All The Hits On…

Now That’s What I Call Christmas. You basically need this album to kick everything off. As you’d expect from the “NOW” series its a double disc collection of the 50 most popular Christmas tunes. It covers a broad range from Bing to Wham! There is something for everyone here and it’s available on Amazon for just over a tenner, thats roughly 20p per song.

The One For Fans Of Pitch Perfect…

Have yourself an Acapella Christmas with “The Pentatonix” and their album “That’s Christmas To Me.” There are some fun versions of Christmas classics to be enjoyed, all with beatbox accompaniment and killer harmonies… Some work well and others are slightly dubious but overall its pretty lighthearted and enjoyable.

The Jazzy One…

Diana Krall took the Jazz world by storm in the late ’90s and is now established as one of the biggest sellers in Jazz. Christmas Songs contains reworkings of classics like Jungle Bells, Silent Night, Winter Wonderland etc… They are all brilliantly executed, one of my favourites for a winter chill if you’ll excuse the pun. Its on Amazon for under ten pounds and would be a great CD to wrap up and put under the tree for the family to enjoy.

The Bublé One…

Now I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Michael Bublé and therefore I found this Bublé Meme to be hilarious but undoubtedly he is a popular choice to lead the Christmas Singalong. His album cunningly titled “Christmas” should get you through. Get Michael Buble “Christmas” on CD here or on vinyl here.

The Alternative One…

If you are more into Weezer than Wizard then this is the Crimbo compilation for you. An Alternative Christmas contains over 30 Christmas songs, some covers and some original compositions from the likes of Snow Patrol, The Fall, Belle & Sebastien and Rufus Wainwright to name but a few. A perfect present for the Indie kid in your life.

Musical Gifts

Christmas is a time when music sales go through the roof, which is why so many artists fancy a stab at writing a Christmas No.1 In recent years though it seems that the X Factor winner is usually a safe bet for the coveted Christmas No.1 spot… Where’s the fun in that? Thanks Simon. However, you could surprise the audiophile in your life in another way – with a super musical christmas gift.

As sales of vinyl and record players continue to rise maybe 2015 is the year to become part of the vinyl revival, I wrote a post some time ago on buying your first record player check it out here… It’s still 100% relevant and in fact there are some great deals on Crosley all in one record players online this year – check out this orange portable record player for £70.00 from John Lewis. Bargain.

One thing no music lover should be without is a set of good headphones. Although the Beats by Dre look the part they are really not great, a classic case of style over substance I’m afraid so save your money and buy the best pair of cans I have ever used for under £100.00 – the Y50 headphones by AKG. The great news is the RRP was recently reduced from £79.00 to under fifty quid. You can get them in various Beats style bright colours or opt for the stealth black (like i did).

My Final Christmas musical gift ideas are firmly in stocking filler territory – how about a stylophone for budding Jean-Michel Jarre’s everywhere or even Piano Hands which essentially is a pair of gloves that will play notes on any hard surface you touch… Or if you want to give someone a Christmas musical challenge how about a harmonica and absolute beginners book? That won’t get annoying before the Turkey’s even ready will it?


Christmas Number 1’s

1992
Whitney Houston
I Will Always Love You

1993
Mr Blobby
Mr Blobby

1994
East 17
Stay Another Day

1995
Michael Jackson
Earth Song

1996
Spice Girls
2 Become 1

1997
Spice Girls
Too Much

1998
Spice Girls
Goodbye

1999
Westlife
I Have A Dream

2000
Bob The Builder
Can We Fix It

2001
Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman
Somethin’ Stupid

2002
Girls Aloud
Sound Of The Underground

2003
Michael Andrews & Gary Jules
Mad World

2004
Band Aid 20
Do They Know It’s Christmas

2005
Shayne Ward
That’s My Goal

2006
Leona Lewis
A Moment Like This

2007
Leon Jackson
When You Believe

2008
Alexandra Burke
Hallelujah

2009
Rage Against The Machine
Killing In The Name

2010
Matt Cardle
When We Collide

2011
Military Wives
Wherever You Are

2012
The Justice Collective
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

2013
Sam Bailey
Skyscraper

2014
Ben Haenow
Something I Need

Santa Baby

Are you asking Santa for anything musical this year? I’m always looking to expand my Christmas music repertoire so please do mention your favourite Christmas songs or Christmas albums in the comments section.

It’s never too late to discover a new Christmas cracker.

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Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.
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11 thoughts on “Sleigh Bells Ring, What You Listening To?

  1. You just gave me the most genius idea for an extra present for my Dad – a harmonica! He used to play when he was a teenager, and he’s in his 80s now. He could really enjoy this. Hope my Mum can stand it! x

    1. Thanks Kate, I was actually bought a harmonica a few years back… It was a great present and certainly got plenty of use on Christmas day. Although I can still only play the introduction to Piano Man by Billy Joel… Maybe I need to dig it out again and practise a bit more.

  2. The Rat Pack Christmas album is a perennial fave in our house. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr jingling those bells – what more could you want? It’s jazzy, not schmaltzy, and keeps all generations happy!

  3. I really loved the list of Christmas number ones! I was really sad to see how many X Factor songs featured, especially when I can hardly remember their tune! I am a fan of Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album! xx

  4. I actually love East 17. Still. I sadly sold all my vinyl a few years back when we were so short of money and knew I’d really regret it. We just bought our boy a Crosley in the summer and loving digging around charity shops for old music again. He has Parklife on his Christmas list but until they’re back in more shops and a little less pricey we’re seeking out second hand ones. His best find was a Utah Saints single (amazing find as I loved them and the drummer is one of his old school friends dads so all the band got tagged on my facebook post of his little grinning face holding ‘Something Good’! Great headphones reccomendation. I seriously need to get him some. As much as we love hearing Mr Wendal on repeat and on slow speed it might be nice if we heard it a little bit less!

    1. Great story Amanda, There are a few record shops near me selling old vinyl – it’s great going digging for treasure.

      You won’t be dissapointed with the headphones, they are utterly brilliant! Merry Christmas!

      Adam.

  5. I love christmas music, I have 45 songs on my spotify playlist and it has been on shuffle for several weeks! Everything from the classics like Dean and Frank to pop classics and alternatives. Some of my fave underrated ones are the motown ones, Stevie Wonder – what christmas means to me, otis reading – white christmas, love unlimited – it may be winter outside. Julian Casablancas of the strokes also has a catchy song in ‘I wish it was christmas today’. Sorry, I’ve written so many!!

  6. We always listen to the Phil Spector Christmas album. It’s an absolute must then mix it in with a few random Christmas albums, this year it’s Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Sufjan Stevens. I am quite partial to the Charlie Brown Christmas album too, this is usually an accompaniment to gift wrapping and a snowball (with obligatory glacé cherries of course) or two. No snowball this year as I’m 35 weeks pregnant but next Christmas…..

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