Music For a Cool Yule

BB King

Without music, you can't fully set an environment. But don't despair! With a few of the right purchases, you can move you beyond the jangle of the high street into some totally cool Christmas music. Music that's as fabulous as you are.

For the record, we're ignoring Christmas Number Ones and the obvious tracks you already own (like David Bowie & Bing Crosby's "Little Drummer Boy" and Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?").

Low - Little Drummer Boy
This low-fi version of the beautiful classic is fuzzy, haunting and absolutely beautiful. Listen to it in the dark with someone you love.
Buy on iTunes

Alvin & The Chipmunks - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

OK, admittedly this is so totally not cool that it's hilarious and must be owned. But there is a new Alvin & The Chipmunks movie coming out in January, so maybe it is cool after all...
Buy on iTunes

BB King - Auld Lang Syne
Ah, BB. Bone up for New Year's Eve with this bluesy rendition of the classic.
Buy on iTunes

Beach Boys - We Three Kings of Orient Are
Who knew the Beach Boys could be so elegant and restrained? A lovely picture of harmony, with nary a surfboard in sight.
Buy on iTunes

Barenaked Ladies - God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

Just off-beat enough, this folksy version is made even better by the addition of Sarah McLachlan's vocals.
Buy on iTunes

Eagles - Please Come Home For Christmas
Who doesn't love The Eagles? (Based on the number of copies their Greatest Hits still sells every year, apparently no one). Don Henley's reassuring vocals do this sad song more than justice.
Buy on iTunes

Ella Fitzgerald - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Her languid style matches this simple song perfectly.
Buy on iTunes

Enya - Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night)
The holiest of Christmas songs can't be done by just anyone, and new age goddess Enya (singing in Gaelic) is the one for the job.
Buy on iTunes

And the very best...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24

TSO is probably the most successful follow-up project by former metal gods. The group was founded in 1996 by three guys who initially worked together on Savatage's acclaimed 1987 release, Hall of the Mountain King - a singer, a producer, and a composer. Imagine a rock opera without a cheesy plot, interweaving Christmas carols, classical music and electric guitars. Check out their site for videos of the most popular tracks, "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" and "The Christmas Attic".

You'll need to buy the full albums from the U.S. (and can order through Amazon UK), although "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" is available on iTunes.

Happy Christmas listening!

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