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

Carpenters, 'Christmas Collection' (1984)
A&M16/25

16. Carpenters, 'Christmas Collection' (1984)

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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