40 Essential Christmas Albums

Classics and new entries worthy of your holiday bonus

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Emmylou Harris, 'Light of the Stable'
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records19/40

19. Emmylou Harris, 'Light of the Stable'

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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