The Vinyl Of Christmas Past

A collection of festive recordings from the golden age of the LP.

Regular Reprobate readers will know just how much we love a ‘unique’ record cover and outside the world of the Christian music LP, nothing quite reaches the astonishing level of the Christmas album. Once (and, arguably, still) a staple of the easy listening artist, the children’s entertainer and the pop star desperate to squeeze a bit more mileage out of a waning career, a collection of festive tunes – traditional or new – was often seen as a guaranteed money-spinner, and every record collection seemed to have a few Christmas albums that had clearly been bought under the influence of too much mulled wine and would never be played – not even during the festive season. While a few Christmas records are bona fide classics, a lot more are instantly forgettable.

Obviously, whatever we can share here will be the tip of the iceberg and so we’ve tried to go for a sampling of vintage recordings, from the sublime to the ridiculous. These days, a lot of Christmas albums seem a bit too knowing – as if the recording artist is trying to wink at us and say, yes, this is a bit tacky isn’t it while still hoping to profit from seasonal sales. We’ve avoided those because smug insincerity is never interesting. The albums here are, at the very least, honest. Some are genuinely great while others will possibly make you spit your drink out with their outrageous tastelessness and clueless lack of artistry. There are, of course, plenty more where these came from and as ever, we welcome additions.

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