Bitter, cynical, and borderline misanthropic for most of the year, I reform for the holiday season and from mid-November to the last minute of Epiphany I’m all about the season. Readers of Old Road Apples will find themselves under a constant barrage of holiday fare this season–from themed essays to book reviews to a countdown of my very favorite Christmas recordings.
Elvis Presley: If Every Day Was Like Christmas
Okay, now we’re getting into the meat of the order. I owned this on vinyl when I was in college, along with albums by Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Big Crosby, and The Chipmunks. (Alvin? Alvin!) That’s why I was so popular with the ladies, know what I mean?
Neither do I–but it was a better, more extensive Christmas collection than most undergraduates, circa 1986. The Elvis album is a blast–some classics here, including the title song (try not to sing along with the refrain really, really loudly!), Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me, and one of my all time favorites, Blue Christmas–listen to The King in full on growl, the dude is bringing it. Big time. Not a bad performance on the album, and this is another one you can pick up for a dollar or two if you keep your eyes open. Just make sure you get the one with all 24 songs–there’s at least one version out there that mimics the vinyl record and only has about half as many cuts.
It’s also an example of why this list is a big of a crock–Elvis could very well be in the top 5, but I’ve had this album in one form or another for over 30 years and some things just sound fresher. It’s a sure thing though.
1. If Every Day Was Like Christmas
2. Blue Christmas
3. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
4. White Christmas
5. Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
9. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)
10. If I Get Home On Christmas Day
11. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees
12. Merry Christmas Baby
13. Silver Bells
14. I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (Alternate Version)
15. On A Snowy Christmas Night
16. Winter Wonderland
17. The Wonderful World Of Christmas
18. O Come All Ye Faithful
19. The First Noel
20. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You ….)
21. Silver Bells (Alternate Take 1)
22. Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees (Unreleased Alternate Take 8)
23. I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day
24. Christmas Message From Elvis/Silent Night