Today is the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday for all you retail folks out there, I've been there, I understand) - the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. It is also the day that Christmas music is acceptable to be listened to in large quantities. The Brave Astronaut clan is returning from Thanksgiving celebrations with Mrs. BA's family and there will be Christmas music in the car on the way home.
Here, from BuzzFeed, is a ranking of the 30 Best Christmas recordings in the 20th Century. Comment away.
30. The Royal Guardsmen, "Snoopy's Christmas" (Christmas Bells) - one of my favorites (and a particular favorite of my brother).
29. Elton John, "Step into Christmas" - the Holiday Party for the professional organization at work is having a "British Invasion" themed party. Here's one option.
28. Alvin and the Chipmunks, "The Christmas Song (Don't Be Late)" - LBA and SoBA's exposure to the Chipmunks is confined to the newer version of the Chipmunks.
27. Jose Feliciano, "Feliz Navidad" - hey, it's catchy. In a former life, I used to be able to give someone the perpetual ear worm by mentioning this song to her. For several years, I used to give her the "Feliz Navidad" Hallmark ornament that would come out every year.
26. Carnie and Wendy Wilson, "Hey Santa" - bringing sexy to the Yuletide season.
25. Gene Autry, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Still one of the best Christmas specials out there.
24. Andy Williams, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - the crooners got a lot of play in the Brave Astronaut home growing up and Mr. Williams was very well represented. Him, along with the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Sinatra - are very high on my list of Christmas standard singers. The song of course enjoyed a rebirth in the 1990s when Staples opted to use it for Back to School shopping.
23. John Denver and the Muppets, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - also found on the Brave Astronaut iPod, I am particularly fond of Beaker's lines and the heartily delivered "BA DA BUM BUM" by Miss Piggy and finally, the entire group on the twelfth day.
22. Charles Brown, “Merry Christmas, Baby/Please Come Home For Christmas” - not really on my radar (though I've heard it before, primarily as it has been covered by many artists since Brown's original recording.
21. WHAM!, "Last Christmas" - talk about your earworms.
20. George S. Irving and Dick Shawn, “Snow Miser and Heat Miser” - from the best, IMHO, Christmas Special out there.
19. Perry Como, "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays" - this one is hard, for as most of you know, Christmas was my mother's favorite holiday, so "Home for the Holidays" isn't the same anymore.
18. The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick" - sometimes it's hard to listen to a group so closely associated with summer sing about Christmas.
17. Frank Sinatra, "Jingle Bells" - although I like some of his others (particularly his version of Adeste Fideles), this one's fine.
16. ‘N Sync, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” - As the songs started to come out when I was alive, I began to lose interest in those seeking to cash in on the holiday music gravy train.
15. Harry Belafonte, "Mary's Boy Child" - A little Calypso Christmas music, anyone?
14. Dean Martin, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - I mean, really, who wouldn't want to stay inside with Dino?
13. Thurl Ravenscroft, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” - how many sizes will your heart grow this Christmas?
12. Elvis Presley, "Blue Christmas" - The King gets in on the Christmas music band wagon.
11. Vince Guaraldi Trio, “O Tannenbaum” - Linus's reading of the Christmas story from Bible still moves me.
10. Bobby Helms, "Jingle Bell Rock" - the original version of the song that has been covered many, many, many times.
9. John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” - An always timely piece of Christmas music.
8. Stevie Wonder, “Someday At Christmas” - another different tack on Christmas music.
7. Jackson 5, “Frosty The Snowman” - I prefer the Jackson boys singing about Mommy kissing Santa Claus.
6. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” - Clarence, you keep practicing, maybe Santa will bring you a new saxophone.
5. The Drifters, “White Christmas” - the list makers feel this is a better version that Bing's.
4. Brenda Lee, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” - not one of my favorites, but here it is on the list, anyway.
3. Bing Crosby & David Bowie, “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth” - yes, it's totally cheesy and a little staged, but it's pretty good singin'.
2. Nat King Cole, “The Christmas Song” - who doesn't love roasting chestnuts?
1. Mariah Carey, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” - OK, OK, don't shoot the messenger. I would have expected Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" but perhaps they didn't realize that was in the 20th Century. I mean, isn't that the biggest selling song of all time?
Well at least this song didn't make the list. What are your favorites?