A few of my favourite Christmas albums

There’s nothing I like more than Christmas music – I generally start listening around mid-November and try and eke it out until January. This piece in the Guardian last week suggested that there’s no such thing as a bad Christmas song and I’m tempted to agree – give me a rousing chorus, sleigh bells and a children’s chorus and I’m happy.

As well as all the usual suspects, here’s what I’ve mostly been listening to the last few weeks – with their Spotify links, as apparently all my favourite music is out of print.

El Vez – Merry MeX-mas

El Vez is a Mexican sort-of Elvis impersonator (geddit?), who is a bit bananas. His Christmas album is a raucous affair as is befitting of a singer who started life in The Zeros. This album combines a few covers with original music including such highlights as Santa Claus is Sometimes Brown and Mamacita Donde Esta Santa Clause?

Album highlight: Feliz Navidad, of course

The Border Brass – Tijuana Christmas

Sticking with the Mexican theme but with a more traditional feel than El Vez is this treat of a record. Christmas carols are amazing, it goes without saying, but they are a bit samey after a while (ie three months of non-stop listening). This album is the perfect antidote because it combines all the classic carols with a jazzy brass band twist which is relentlessly upbeat.

Album highlight: The ba-ba-ba bit of Tijuana Christmas

RuPaul – Ho Ho Ho

I’ve been banging on about RuPaul’s festive offering a great deal this year but that’s because it’s incredible. Christmas is all about camp and this is about as camp as it gets, complete with bitchy retorts and one-liners. It’s not just a comedy novelty album though, it’s genuinely a great album.

Album highlight: It’s a toss-up between All Alone on Christmas (aka the best Christmas song ever) and You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch

Bootsy Collins – Christmas is 4 Ever

I am a fully fledged funk obsessive and Bootsy’s Christmas album is always a favourite. Festive yes, tacky no – not really anyway. It’s a right old jazzy little number and half of the time you can’t even tell it’s Christmas music which is probably what you need when you’re in the midst of #partyseason fatigue.

Album highlight: Jingle Belz

Various – Happy Birthday Baby Jesus

A fun-packed double-CD containing covers and original music from the likes of Rocket From the Crypt, The Shitbirds and The Muffs. Generally novelty albums are about as funny as an episode of Two Pints of Lager but these are genuinely funny and manage to retain a wholeheartedly festive feel.

Album highlight: Nothing for Me from The Muffs

Dolly Parton – Home for Christmas

Finally, for some all-out Christmas schmaltz, you can’t beat Dolly Parton. Sadly this album doesn’t feature her best festive song (Hard Candy Christmas from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) but that’s probably for the best, as it generally leaves me sobbing like a baby. This is just good old fashioned carols, with Dolly giving it her all. Can’t beat it really.

Album highlight: Joy to the World with its talky bit in the middle


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