40 Essential Christmas Albums

Classics and new entries worthy of your holiday bonus

36

B.B. King, 'A Christmas Celebration of Hope'

Courtesy MCA

"Back Door Santa" isn't a song choice you'd expect in an album that touts itself as a celebration of hope, unless you're really hoping for some back-door loving this December. This 2001 blues album is cheerfully crass and slightly overproduced (by King himself!). But his guitar playing is as great as ever and the disc is has a warm-hearted spirit, like your gruff uncle who secretly loves to dress up as Santa for the kids.

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