The 25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time

From Bing Crosby to Bob Dylan, Motown to Death Row, we rank the best Yuletide listens ever

7

Beach Boys, 'Beach Boys' Christmas Album' (1964)

the beach boys
Capitol

The early Beach Boys could turn National Podiatrist Recognition Day into a party, so you know they're gonna knock Christmas out of the park. Their smiles 'n' sweaters playfulness is all over this 1964 collection. The best of the album's six originals is the darkly funny "Santa's Beard," in which Mike Love takes his five-year-old brother to meet Santa and the kid pulls the cotton falsie off Saint Nick's face in a life-altering moment of mall-bought demystification. The rest of the record mixes sunny tunes like "Little Saint Nick," a rewiring of "Little Deuce Coupe," with fun experiments like the jazzy "Frosty the Snowman." And the orchestra-backed versions of "White Christmas" and "Blue Christmas," both poignantly sung by Brian Wilson, hint toward Pet Sounds majesty.

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