Sunday, November 27, 2005

Let The Christmas CDing Begin!

Originally uploaded by Phil Steiger.
Every year, my lovely wife and I have our own little tradition of buying a new Christmas-themed CD. Some years are a hit, and others are, well, disappointments of a ginormous (to use a Ferrell neologism) proportion. This year’s selection is a kick in the pants. Dig That Crazy Christmas by The Brian Setzer Orchestra is a fun and upbeat rock-a-billy take on a lot of Christmas classics.

Inspired by Strong Bad’s “Bottom Ten,” I am inclined to list the top 6 Christmas CDs we own and the bottom two major disappointments.

Top 6:
1. When My Heart Finds Christmas, by Harry Connick Jr. Several numbers on this CD are making their way into the category of contemporary Christmas standards.
2. A Charlie Brown Christmas, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Good, simple combo work. This contains the original recording of “Linus and Lucy.” I have to admit my nostalgia probably pushes this up the rankings a bit.
3. A Dave Brubeck Christmas, by Dave Brubeck. Just a man and his piano.
4. Christmas Peace, by Elvis Presley. This is a 2-CD set of many of Elvis’ early gospel-style recordings of traditional Christmas hymns, as well as plenty of others. Some might find it a bit “campy,” but I enjoy it.
5. Harry for the Holidays, by Harry Connick Jr. Not as complete a CD as #1, but still a great addition to the collection.
6. Dig That Crazy Christmas, by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. It looks like this year was a hit!

Bottom 2:
2. Christmas With The Rat Pack. My overall reaction to this CD can be summed up with, “eh.” I had high hopes for this one, and very little of the CD lived up to them.
1. Celebrates A Gospel Christmas, by Ray Charles. Stay away-stay very far away. We bought this, again with high hopes, during the recent Ray Charles craze and were laughing all the way home. The recording is amateur, the choir is amateur, the drummer is really, really bad, and Ray sings on only a few of the tracks. Ouch!


Anonymous said...

Next year you should try to get your hands on Bruce Cockburn's Christmas album. It's truly a work of art. Some of the carols are obscure, some traditional, and his recording of It Came Upon The Midnight Clear in a minor key is haunting. I listen to this CD all year round.


Phil Steiger said...

Kris-Thanks for the recommendation. I am always on the look-out for good CDs.