Booker T. & the MG’s - "Silver Bells" (In the Christmas Spirit, 1966)
How’s about a little Hammond organ with those bells?!
Various Artists - “All We, Like Sheep” (Sleighride: The World’s Most Beautiful Christmas Carols)
Somewhere along the way my wife and I received this multi-disc compilation of mostly choral/orchestral arrangements of Christmas carols and hymns performed by famous orchestras and choirs like the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. There are a handful of good versions on here, but most of them are pretty yawn-worthy. Let’s just say this isn’t one of the good ones.
The tree is up, the lights are on, the shopping is (mostly) done, and I’m finally in the mood for an all-Christmas Friday Five shuffle. Enjoy!
Bing Crosby - "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (I Wish You a Merry Christmas, 1962 rereleased in 2006 as Bing Crosby Christmas Classics)
Few others do Christmas as well as Bing. ‘Nuff said.
Sixpence None the Richer - "Angels We Have Heard On High" (The Dawn of Grace, 2008)
We go from a crooner to the sweet, wispy voice of Leigh Nash (although her vocal style can take a bit of getting used to). Sixpence reunited after a four-year hiatus to release this set of Christmas songs.
Elvis Presley - "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" (Elvis’ Christmas Album, 1957)
I almost wish this one had been “Blue Christmas,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” or “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” from the same album. Elvis definitely injected his own style into anything he did.
Phillips, Craig & Dean - "Go Tell It on the Mountain/Amen" (Repeat the Sounding Joy, 1996)
Upbeat, blue-eyed soul version of this old gospel spiritual by a CCM trio of pastors-turned-musicians.
Frank Sinatra - "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" (A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra, 1957)
Ol’ Blue Eyes’ take on this Christmas standard popularized by Bing Crosby is quite a bit different than the King’s interpretation, starting off like “Silent Night” before taking a left turn into the classic we all know and (should) love.