THE SCHMIDT FAMILY CHRISTMAS ALBUM A list of the best versions of the greatest Christmas songs of all time

 
While listening to several Christmas CDs one year I noticed that there were only two or three songs on each one that hit the mark as far as being the best versions of the greatest songs. Many of the others suffered from the performer trying too hard to put his or her own flavor on the song or not being in the top list of the best songs. Even skipping through several albums, an awkward business during a family gathering, failed to provide the full range of desired tunes. Searching through several music stores failed to produce a single CD with all the right versions of the best songs.

My solution was to spend a week checking out thousands of Christmas tracks on Napster to put together the ultimate Christmas CD. I listened to an average of 50 tracks for each song to locate the best version in each case. While tastes vary, I'm confident most people will like them. The following list of 28 songs is what came out of this work and have been arranged in the optimum listening order:

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...........Andy Williams
Jingle Bell Rock................................................Bobby Helms
White Christmas..............................................Bing Crosby
Winter Wonderland...........................................Dean Martin
Sleigh Ride......................................................Jack Jones
Do You Hear What I Hear?.................................Bing Crosby
Carol Of The Bells.............................................The Harry Simeone Choir
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.................Judy Garland
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town..........................Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
Joy To The World.............................................The Singers Unlimited
Silent Night......................................................Bing Crosby (1942 version)
Caroling Caroling..............................................The Singers Unlimited
Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly.....................The Outback Singers
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...................Eileen Sharkey
Silver Bells.......................................................Bing Crosby and Carol Richards
The First Noel..................................................The Outback Singers
O Come All Ye Faithful........................................Bing Crosby (1942 version)
Hark! The Harold Angels Sing!..............................The Complete Christmas Singers
We Wish You A Merry Christmas...........................In The Style Of The Traditional
Rudoph The Red Nosed Reindeer..........................The Outback Singers
The Christmas Song...........................................Nat King Cole
The Little Drummer Boy.....................................The Harry Simeone Choir
Jingle Bells.......................................................St. Finian's Choir
Here Comes Santa Claus....................................The Crescent City Carolers
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas............Johnny Mathis
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.............................Bobby Vinton
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree.......................Brenda Lee
Feliz Navidad....................................................Jose' Feliciano

 
This collection provides 70 minutes of great Christmas listening and fits on a single CD. They are available from Napster for only $.99 each. I found using Napster gave me cleaner versions than copying them standard Christmas CDs. Two good examples are Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and Bing Crosby's O Come All Ye Faithful, which sounded buzzy when copied from inexpensive CDs but were much clearer when purchased from Napster.

I hope you found this list useful and wish you a very Merry Christmas!


 
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