We at the Weekly have been having a ball this Christmas season. Stringing up the lights, hanging up the tree, putting It's A Wonderful Life, Love Actually and Christmas Evil on a non-stop loop around the office. But as much as we love Bing Crosby's White Christmas, Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas and the approximately 3,700 Mannheim Steamroller CDs we've collected over the years, sometimes it's refreshing to dig in the crates and pull out some often overlooked Christmas gems to get holly AND jolly on. So, if you and the family are planning on simply having a wonderful Christmastime this year, he's some more obscure cuts for the sugarplum fairies to dance in your head to. Here's The Five Best Christmas Albums You Never Knew Existed.
Mojo Nixon – Horny Holidays 1992
Cowpunk icon Mojo Nixon has been a renegade rabble-rouser ever since he first stepped in-front of a microphone. Nixon holds Jesus Christ in the same regard, as his Christmas album Horny Holidays opens with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” that refers to him as a “Renegade rabbi rebel rouser from Bethlehem.” Nixon once declared “Elvis is Everywhere,” and Horny Holidays is no exception as both Christmas standards and obscure gems gain some swingin' pelvic thrusts through Nixon's retooling.
Tiny Tim – Tiny Tim's Christmas Album 1996
Posthumously released shortly following his death, Tiny Tim's finally official album was Tiny Tim's Christmas Album which Rounder Records put out in December 1996. It's existence is not a cause for mourning, however, as Tim brings his signature falsetto to Christmas standards both religious and traditional alike. The childlike wonder he brings to tracks such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” are among the most spellbinding ever recorded.
A John Waters Christmas 2004
Along with directing some of the most gleefully stomach-churning films ever to hit the silver screen, cult icon John Waters' "Pope of Trash” nickname also stems from being a scholar of art oddities through several different mediums. Along with touring his one-man show in celebration of the season, in 2004 he released a compilation of his favorite holiday jams called A John Waters Christmas. Along with favorites like The Chipmunks' rendition of "Sleigh Ride,” there's regional hits like Akim's "Santa Claus is a Black Man” and Stormy Weather's "Christmas Time is Here (A Street Carol.)” For a collection of songs that deserve every right to be called classics, it can't be beat.
Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas 2006
The King of Indie Christmas, Sufjan Stevens has made more than the average artist's share of holiday releases. In 2006, he compiled his several Christmas EPs for the mammoth five disc set Songs For Christmas. From solumn takes on the more serious standards to fun originals like "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance,” there's plenty here for everyone wanting a piece of the Christmas spirit to get excited about.
Ying Yang Twinz – The Ying and the Yang of the Holidays 2008
Yes Virginia, there really is a Ying Yang Twinz Christmas album. 2008's The Ying and the Yang of the Holidays fully captures the feeling of two hard partiers having an absolute blast in the name of the Christmas season. While the production isn't quite as bombastic as the Lil Jon windows-to-the-walls-of-sound we're used to hearing the Twinz behind, there's something endearing about the Casio-sounding holiday renditions that the two get crunk over.