Whether we want the holidays to come or not, they're on their way. But, surprisingly, much of the music being released with holiday tunes on them start selling as soon as October rolls around. More surprisingly, there are quite a few that are top selling pre-orders already. With this in mind, I thought it would be a nice thing to explore a few of the more anticipated ones.
Let's start out with Andy Williams. Most people see him as Mr Christmas. With several well-known songs in his Christmas repertoire, especially the recognizable and timeless, “It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”, Andy Williams is often one that many turn to for their holiday songs.
Legacy Recordings have an annual series called The Classic Christmas Album. These collections cull the best tunes from an artist's catalog to deliver satisfying Christmas classics in a single disc. One of those being released for 2013 is music from Andy Williams. This issue will hold sixteen tracks, and I'll bet you know them all. On this one, you'll find “Winter Wonderland”, “Silver Bells”, “O Holy Night”, and the memorable “Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells” among other essentials. This album is scheduled for October 8.
Other Classic Christmas Album sets planned for 2013 (same date, October 8) include Barbra Streisand, Alabama, Neil Diamond, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Martina McBride, and Gladys Knight & The Pips.
But what if you don't want a few essential tracks of Andy Williams? What if you want the whole thing? That's easy. Real Gone Music is releasing a collectible set, The Complete Christmas Recordings that contain all three of Williams' Columbia Records Christmas LPs plus a bonus of a rare pre-Columbia Records single issue, “Christmas Is A Feeling In Your Heart”, and its B-side, “The Wind , The Sand and The Star” recorded for Cadence Records in 1955. This 2CD, 42-song set is slated for release on October 29.
Of course, Andy Williams isn't the only one that has holiday classics on CD coming this year. The following is a brief rundown on what's hot on the pre-sale list:
Anyone that's a fan of Duck Dynasty might be surprised to know that the Robertson Family have a Christmas album coming. Set for October 29, Capitol Nashville have Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas coming. Filled with twisty variations like “Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas”, “Camouflage and Christmas Lights”, and “Hairy Christmas”, alongside of more familiar classics like “Silent Night”, “The Night Before Christmas”, “You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch”, and “”Away In A Manger” (sung with Alison Krauss), this album is one of the more desired titles of 2013.
UK singing sensation, Susan Boyle, returns with a new holiday selection of tracks called Home For Christmas, with a scheduled release date of October 29 via Columbia Records. On it, she lends her voice to old-time favorites including a “studio magic” duet with Elvis Presley on “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and others gems like “In The Bleak Midwinter”, “The Christmas Song”, “HaveYourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I Believe In Father Christmas”, and another duet, this one with Johnny Mathis of “When A Child Is Born”.
Every artist or band of note has to have a Christmas album under their belt. On October 29, RCA Records will deliver the first holiday set from Kelly Clarkson. The album, Wrapped In Red, will provide several new songs from the Grammy Award winner like “Wrapped In Red”, “Underneath The Tree”, and “4 Carats”. It will also include old reliable songs like “”Run Run Rudolph”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “White Christmas”, and “Silent Night”, a song shared with Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire.
Also on October 29, Columbia Records will release Sending You A Little Christmas, a collection of twelve songs from vocal superstar, Johnny Mathis. This 2013 release contains all classics , a few with duets from the likes of Vince Gill and Amy Grant (“I'll Be Home For Christmas/White Christmas”), Susan Boyle (“Do You Hear What I Hear”), The Jordanaires (“I'll Be Home For Christmas”), Billy Joel (“The Christmas Song”), Natalie Cole (“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”), and more. Of course, he sings solo on a few.
For the hard-core punk enthusiast, Bad Religion has recorded a set of eight holiday classics in their inimitable style. With the different but valid selections of "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Little Drummer Boy", "White Christmas", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", and ""What Child Is This?", to name a few, this album will give those that like their music on the harder edge something to call their own. The album, Christmas Songs, is on the calendar for October 29 via Epitaph Records.
Yes, it's an inescapable fact that the holidays are really not all that far away. And some of you like that. I'm hoping that this short list of soon to be available Christmas albums will help to get you in your holiday way when the right time comes.