40 Essential Christmas Albums

Classics and new entries worthy of your holiday bonus


Emmylou Harris, 'Light of the Stable'

Emmylou Harris, Light of the Stable
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

Harris has always sung like an angel, and on this 1979 album she played the part, a living herald of joyful Nativity tidings. Some of the other golden-throated seraphim providing backing vocals: Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and, er, Neil Young. On an album that's both rootsy and restrained, Harris is backed by a top-notch group of Nashville pros, but the prettiest track is probably the a cappella version of "The First Noel."

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