The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 collects more pop and rock holiday tunes, this time venturing further into the '70s and '80s with songs like Paul McCartney & Wings' "Wonderful Christmastime," Hall & Oates' "Jingle Bell Rock," and Barry Manilow's "It's Just Another New Year's Eve." The collection still features traditional pop chestnuts, including Dean Martin's "A Marshmallow World," Johnny Mathis' "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)," and Andy Williams' "Sleigh Ride," but this volume's overall feel is more contemporary than classic. Other highlights include Manhattan Transfer's "A Christmas Love Song," the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping," the Tokens' "Little Drummer Boy," and the Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." If The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 isn't necessarily the most coherent volume in the series, it's certainly one of the most interesting.
Emmylou Harris is an artist with the rare sort of voice that communicates an honest and firmly grounded humanity while possessing a crystalline purity that verges on the angelic. In short, she was a singer born to make a great Christmas album, and in 1979 she did just that with Light of the Stable, in which she fused the high-lonesome traditional sound she'd been exploring on Roses in the Snow and Blue Kentucky Girl with songs that honored the spiritual and emotional roots of the holiday season…
Air Supply is known worldwide for swooning the ladies off their feet. This time, Hitchcock and Russell are taking the festive route, recording some of the most beloved holiday classics of all time. The production standards and performances are polished and no less than what you'd expect from the duo, but of course this will not appeal to some. It's an easily accessible and enjoyable album for both casual listeners and die-hard fans of the group's output.
Collectables presents 24 more of the greatest holiday hits of all time. All songs are the original hits by the original artists that made them great. Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, Bing Cosby, Brian Wilson, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow, Luther Vandross, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Buster Poindexter, Englebert Humperdinck, Donny Osmond, John Denver, The Manhattan Transfer, Gladys Knight, Kenny Vance, Bobby Vinton and Aretha Franklin.
Christmas probably sounded a lot like this in Hoboken, circa the late 1930s: A skinny kid with a huge voice leading friends through favorite carols like "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Greensleeves." Fast forward and that skinny kid is no longer just another voice in the crowd. All ears are turned his way as he croons through a whole new set of Christmas standards, from "The Christmas Waltz" to "I Wouldn't Trade Christmas." Sinatra is in fine voice on this 13-song set, which boasts some of the better arrangements you'll hear on a seasonal album.
The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 6: WCBS FM 101.1 is another eclectic collection of pop holiday tunes from the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s, including Wham!'s "Last Christmas," the Beach Boys' "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and Andy Williams' "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!." Aretha Franklin's "Winter Wonderland," America's "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and Connie Francis' "White Christmas" are some of the other highlights from this scattered compilation, which somehow mixes different sounds and eras into a festive celebration.