If you’re tired of traditional Christmas music, why not try a joke CD like “Dr. Demento’s Twisted Christmas Carols,” which features “Wreck the Malls” (instead of “Deck the Halls”), “We Wish You Weren’t Living With Us” (instead of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”) and “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” (instead of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”). For those difficult adolescents who perhaps haven’t fully grasped the concept of family time and tradition just yet, these songs will get them in the merry yuletide spirit at least. There are many other sensible selections for mature audiences as well.
For millions of Americans, Elvis Presley still perfectly embodies the spirit of Christmas. The “Elvis Christmas Album” from 1957 still tops the charts with 9 million in sales. Elvis sings tracks like “Blue Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Silent Night” on this two-disc compilation.
Johnny Mathis is another popular voice of the Christmas season, who released his album “Merry Christmas” in 1958, garnering 5 million in sales. He sings “Winter Wonderland,” “The Christmas Song,” “White Christmas,” “O Holy Night” and “Silver Bells,” to name a few. At Christmas, various artists can be bought on a massive two-disc compilation titled “Now That’s What I Call Christmas,” which includes classic favorites from Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Johnny Mathis, as well as modern favorites from Bruce Springsteen, Gloria Estefan, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears and Harry Connick Jr. Separate Christmas season albums can be purchased for Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Perry Como as well.
For fans of more instrumental Christmas music, a popular choice is jazz saxaphonist Kenny G’s “Miracles: the Holiday Album,” which was released in 1994 and sold 8 million copies. Not everyone is in the mood for singing all the time, so it’s nice to have that one CD that can comfortably play in the background and appeal to everyone at the family gathering with soft saxaphone notes of “Greensleeves,” “Away in a Manger” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” playing.
New age progressive rock group Mannheim Steamroller uses guitars, synthesizers and jazzy interludes to flesh out their rendition of “Greensleeves,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Hark the Herald” and others in their “A Fresh Aire Christmas” album, which sold 6 million copies. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra provides a metal-meets-classical rock orchestra interpretation of Christmas music, which is bound to captivate both young listeners and their parents.
Over the years, modern Christmas music has gained widespread popularity among young people. For instance, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra sold out performances across the country and topped the #14 Christmas season album of 2007 with their sixty-piece “Rock Orchestra” and choir.
These long-haired musicians were assembled by Paul O’Neill, who managed bands like Aerosmith and The Scorpions. Blending classical music with progressive rock and symphonic heavy metal, they play classics like “O Come All Ye Faithful,” as well as modern marvels like “Wizards in Winter.”