Sick of Slade? Bored of Band Aid? Don’t despair – we have a selection of five retro Christmas albums, packed full of great tunes to soundtrack the festive period. Any that we’ve missed? Let us now below.
1. James Brown: Funky Christmas (Polydor)
The hardest-working man in showbusiness is no longer with us, but his festive favourites are. This is a compilation of all the man’s Christmas work including tracks from his 1966 LP, Christmas Song and his ’72 recording, Hey America – a mix of self-penned tunes, covers of early 60s R&B Christmas tunes and some full-on festive funk – typified by Soulful Christmas – classic JB, but with a seasonal message (and available a couple of years back as a limited vinyl 45). Get the party started for a ridiculously cheap £3.98.
2. Various Artists: Seasonal Favourites volumes one and two (Double Crown)
Guaranteed to liven up any party are the Seasonal Favourites volumes one and two albums, available from Double Crown Records. It’s Christmas music, but with a twist – as you might expect from a surf/garage/rockabilly label. If you want to know how much of a twist, check out the two tracks below. And if you like what you hear (and want indie/garage versions of Merry Christmas (War Is Over) and Little Drummer Boy in your collection), you can order both online from Double Crown for a bargain £6.59 each.
Frigg A-Go-Go – Santa Claus Go To The Ghetto (MP3)
The Lunatics – Rocknuts (MP3)
3. Various Artists: Rhythm and Blues Christmas (Ace)
Back to the early days of soul for a collection of choice festive cuts from the Ace Records archive. Not many household names or indeed tunes here, but if you want some seasons, blues, R&B and doo wop, it could be for you. And who could resist cutting a rug to Dig That Crazy Santa Claus by Oscar McLollie & The Honey Jumpers? 20 tracks in total, selling for just £7.98. And for more of the same, check out Mark Lamarr’s Rhythm and Blues Christmas.
4. Phil Spector: A Christmas Gift For You
Still the ultimate in cool Christmas music over 40 since its release. All your Christmas standards, but with that Wall Of Sound production – White Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Silent Night – they’re all here and still as fresh as ever. You can pick it up as a double CD, coupled with a Best Of Phil Spector album – an absolute essential for £9.
5. Andy Williams: Christmas Album
A tough call for the number five slot – we were going to opt for the Motown collection, but after giving it a spin, we decided it wasn’t as good as you might think, so opted for Mr Christmas himself – Andy Williams. Yes, sip on a jumper, light that fire and kick with some crooning classics. Too many festive favourites to name here, from carols to singalongs – just think of a song and its almost certain to be here. Another bargain at £3.97 – and one you’ll play every year.