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

16

Carpenters, 'Christmas Collection' (1984)

carpenters christmas collection
A&M

The Carpenters moved a million copies of 1978's Christmas Portrait. It's been doing pitched battle with Anne Murray's Christmas Album for suburban white-bread dominance in "Honey, a new Volvo! You shouldn't have!" Land ever since. The expanded, two-disc 1984 version is a veritable schmaltz blizzard of vaguely terrifying good cheer. It's almost like Christmas was invented for Karen Carpenter to sing about; her milk-bath vocals fit "Sleigh Ride" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" like a reindeer sweater. Richard's soft-rock production and gloppy orchestral arrangements aren't bad either – a kind of warmed-over, sunken-den-Seventies version of Forties merriment.

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