Favorite Holiday Releases

Staff Picks: Favorite Holiday Releases

The Holiday season: You either can’t wait for the radio to start playing endless lists of sugary songs about snow, fire places and red-nosed reindeers, or you can’t wait for the radio to stop playing them. There seems to be nothing in between. Until now that is. Because it turns out that our list of Favorite Holiday releases actually might have something for everyone. Enjoy your Holidays!

Favorite Christmas songs: Sta Hi Brothers ‎– "Chrismas Trees"

Sta Hi Brothers ‎– “Chrismas Trees”

Hate Christmas tunes? That’s because you’ve never heard this. Second to Mariah, this gets the most Christmas play at my house. Sometimes I play it in the summer, just because. Vitamin D!

– Matt L, Front-End Developer

favorite Holiday releases: Harry Belafonte ‎– "To Wish You A Merry Christmas"

Harry Belafonte ‎– “To Wish You A Merry Christmas”

As a kid I’d know that when my dad would put this record on the player and Harry started chanting, it was the the cue for the start of the festive season! Time to decorate the house with Christmas decorations, dress the Christmas tree, bake all sorts of goodies, family time! So since forever it has been a tradition in my family and my home now to start the festive season with putting on Harry and enjoying a cuppa goodness. Traditionally on the day after Sinterklaas, 6th of December. Although I love the whole album because of the warmth, clarity and luminosity in Harry’s voice and it reminding me of my dad, my favourite song on this album must be “Jehovah The Lord Will Provide”. For most Christmas songs being cheerful and uplifting, this song embodies 3 minutes of tranquility and peace to me during festive mayhem.

– Swati, Community Support

favorite Holiday releases: Vince Guaraldi ‎– "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Vince Guaraldi ‎– “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Full confession: I haven’t made it through A Charlie Brown Christmas in one sitting since I was 5. This album, however, is on steady repeat throughout the Christmas festivities. Tree trimming, present opening, roast beast carving, eggnog drinking, this soundtrack has got you covered.

– Ron, Marketing Program Manager

favorite Holiday releases: Various, Jerry Goldsmith ‎– "Gremlins (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)"

Various, Jerry Goldsmith ‎– “Gremlins (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”

People don’t forget.. Gremlins is a Christmas movie! It is also one of the greatest movies ever! My favorite track? Whichever one is playing when the Gremlins take over the local bar. That scene is ridiculous!

– Tasha, Community Support Lead

favorite Christmas songs: Julian Casablancas ‎– "I Wish It Was Christmas Today"

Julian Casablancas ‎– “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

Ok, I admit it, I’m a total curmudgeon and I cringe when I start hearing Christmas music on the radio. Eggnog and consumerism are really the only Christmas traditions that I enjoy. That being said, I love weird music discoveries – and there are so many strange Christmas albums out there that I can’t believe exist! Like this unbelievably peppy release from Julian Casablanca of The Strokes. Looking for other Christmas strangeness? Did you know that The Kinks, The White Stripes, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes and Dr. Dog all have holiday albums?!?

– Kirsten, Community Project Manager

Favorite Christmas songs: The Flaming Lips ‎– "Clouds Taste Metallic"

The Flaming Lips ‎– “Clouds Taste Metallic”

If I’m going to listen to Christmas music (side note: thanks but no thanks), it had damn well better be one of those select few holiday ditties that isn’t offensively saccharine. Enter The Flaming Lips and “Christmas At The Zoo.” Is this a veiled critique of organized religion, or just a crazy story about getting utterly obliterated on December 25th and thinking that, whoa, the pandas deserve freedom too, man? Yeah, probably door #2. That’s the kind of seasonal greeting I can get behind.

– Tom, Community Support

Favorite Christmas songs: Nat King Cole ‎– "The Christmas Song"

Nat King Cole ‎– “The Christmas Song”

This was a tough one between Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, and Johnny Mathis (my Dad loved Johnny Mathis for some reason). “The Christmas Song” is a classic that I can listen to on a loop and “O Holy Night” brings me to tears every time I hear it, particularly when performed live by a choir.

– Alfred, People Operations

Favorite Christmas songs: Youp van 't Hek ‎– "Flappie"

Youp van ‘t Hek ‎– “Flappie”

For the sake of diversity I will choose a song that is not in English. This song by a Dutch comedian is a welcome change in the radio Christmas programming every year. It tells the story of how, as a little boy on Christmas morning in 1961, he finds his rabbit (named Flappie) missing from his cage. After looking for it all day long he finds his rabbit, served on a plate by his dad. The next year mom finds dad missing from his side of the bed… This song also reminds me of my little brother’s rabbit. That rabbit was a real asshole, but we never ate him.

– Yoram, Community Support

Favorite Christmas songs: Chris Rea ‎– "Driving Home For Christmas"

Chris Rea ‎– “Driving Home For Christmas”

I worked as a decorator in a garden center for a few years. Our Christmas fair would start early in October, so we’d be forced to listen to Christmas tunes all day for 3 solid months a year (Yep, looking back I can’t believe we made it through either). This is the one song that I never got tired of. It must be Chris’ voice: I can totally imagine sitting in the car next to him, driving through a snow covered landscape and having a good time. One of my more recent favorite holiday releases is Miss Montreal’s “Being Alone At Christmas”. The upbeat lyrics “Being alone at Christmas doesn’t have to be a bad thing” balance out the Please Come Home For Christmas & Lonely This Christmas-es of this world.

– Lilian, Content Marketing Specialist

favorite Christmas songs: The Jingle Cats ‎– "Meowy Christmas"

The Jingle Cats ‎– “Meowy Christmas”

Specifically the cassette on either high or low speed dubbing. Amazing.

– Jeremy, Lead Developer

Favorite Christmas songs: Archers Of Loaf ‎– "All The Nations Airports"

Archers Of Loaf ‎– “All The Nations Airports”

“Assassination on X-mas Eve” is the only Christmas song I’ll listen to when it’s not Christmas.

– Jason, Lead Developer

Favorite Christmas songs: The Boy Least Likely To ‎– "Christmas Special"

The Boy Least Likely To ‎– “Christmas Special”

I must say the truth: Christmas songs bother me since I was a teenager, when I wanted to listen to “normal” music instead of stuff like Wham!. 25 years after, this is the ironic answer to my requests (see track “George and Andrew”)

– Luca, Community Support

Favorite Christmas songs: Various ‎– "Christmas Rap"

Various ‎– “Christmas Rap”

Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas In Hollis” is my all time favorite Christmas jam. Throw it in with a bunch of other great Christmas related raps and you’ve got a pretty slammin’ stocking stuffer!

– Jim, Community Support

favorite Christmas songs: Vince Guaraldi Trio ‎– "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Vince Guaraldi Trio ‎– “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Usually I want to run out of the room if there’s Christmas music playing, but this record is great. Plus I’m a softy for the Charlie Brown cartoons.

– Jon, Systems Administrator

favorite Christmas songs: Residents, Uninc. ‎– "Santa Dog"

Residents, Uninc. ‎– “Santa Dog”

I don’t really like Christmas music, I don’t think the Residents did either. This double 7″ was designed to look like an insurance agency’s Christmas Card. Some of the records were poorly pressed making the music sound even worse. The group sent it out numerous people & radio stations, getting no response until a program director at KBOO-FM in Portland, OR started playing it in 1973. I can’t even imagine hearing something like this on the radio.

– Andy, Developer

Favorite Christmas songs: Eric Idle ‎– "Fuck Christmas"

Eric Idle ‎– “Fuck Christmas”

My favorite Christmas song was criminally not in the database, so I added it myself. Eric Idle sums it up perfectly here.

– Matt F., Community Support

favorite Christmas songs: Tom Waits ‎– "Blue Valentine"

Tom Waits ‎– “Blue Valentine”

I’m also in the curmudgeon / scrooge camp, so the peppy / perky / schmaltzy stuff just doesn’t do it for me! I like my holiday music tinged with regret and failure, with a whiff of nostalgia and a thick coating of weary optimism that “next year, things will be different.” Tom Waits’ “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis,” from 1978’s Blue Valentine, gets the job done nicely.

– Josh, Community Support Manager

favorite Christmas songs: Boston Camerata, The, Joel Cohen (3) ‎– "Sing We Noel: Christmas Music From England & Early America"

Boston Camerata, The, Joel Cohen (3) ‎– “Sing We Noel: Christmas Music From England & Early America”

For whatever reason, my folks were really big into Medieval and Renaissance music. Now I can’t not associate madrigals with Christmas-time.

– Josiah, Developer

favorite Christmas songs: Nilsson ‎– "Son Of Schmilsson"

Nilsson ‎– “Son Of Schmilsson”

“Remember (Christmas)” is one of the most beautiful pop songs ever written, and it perfectly captures the melancholy of memory and nostalgia that’s pervasive around the holidays. Perfect for sipping bourbon around the fireplace and reflecting on old times.

– Mark, Front-End Developer

Favorite Christmas song: The Waitresses ‎– "Christmas Wrapping"

The Waitresses ‎– “Christmas Wrapping”

By far my favorite Christmas song! It always reminds me of growing up in New Jersey. I challenge anyone to find a better bass line in a Christmas song. RIP A&P – you’ll have to find your “world’s smallest turkey” elsewhere, folks!

– Jon F., Product Owner

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  • Dec 22,2015 at 06:45

    The only Christmas song that I like is “The Junky’s Christmas” from [m=42442] (“Legs!” he muttered…) :)

  • Dec 21,2015 at 10:12

    [u=raydium] Heh, that’s funny, I had never even heard of that Fear track. Other than the title, though, I’m not hearing any similarities — I’m sticking to the Idle song! Thanks for pointing that out, that Fear track is solid.

  • Dec 21,2015 at 05:55

    No xmas music is bleaker than some of the tracks here [r1143193]. The Suicide/Vega cuts have the most wrist-slitting vibe possible for “holiday music.” And “Christmas Time In Motor City” is even more relevant 34 years later!

  • Dec 21,2015 at 05:49

    Looks like Eric Idle was copping some of Fear’s moves [r1016564]. I’d take Fear any day.

  • Dec 21,2015 at 01:24

    @vinylscore We went for Holiday releases as there are also New Year’s releases that could be included in the list, but nobody picked one. So it ended up being more of a Christmas list indeed!

  • Dec 20,2015 at 08:06

    Most of these mostly American records have Christmas in the title, yet The Holiday is now the usual phrase used to describe this time of year. When & why did this change? Serious question.

    Joni Mitchell – River

  • Dec 19,2015 at 23:52

    In Jamaica they use a different kind of christmas tree!

  • Dec 19,2015 at 20:32

    [r5314713] this one

  • Dec 19,2015 at 15:58

    Humbug…. [r1694753] ;)

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