Johnny Cash, 'Christmas With Johnny Cash' (2003)
Cash recorded Christmas albums throughout his career. In 2003, the year he died, Sony Legacy released this excellent collection of songs cut between 1962 and 1980. He adds depth to selections like "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," giving them a rough honesty that adds to their redemptive power. The best cuts are heart-rending, plainspoken song-poems that offer lessons on love, community and charity. Every spoiled little pisspants in America should have to listen to "Christmas as We Knew It," about Cash's poor family in rural Arkansas being thankful for what they were able to give, not what they might get.