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Christmas music may be associated with a few one-hit wonders, gimmicky novelty acts and leftover toss-offs from established and respected artists (could Paul McCartney have put less effort into "Wonderful Christmas Time?"), but there are some legitimately classic Yuletide-themed albums out there. To get in the holiday spirit, dust off these incredible Christmas vinyl records:
"Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas" - Ella Fitzgerald
"The First Lady of Song" has a voice that was tailor-made to liven up well-worn Christmas tunes like "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Backed by a skillful jazz ensemble, Ella Fitzgerald creates toe-tapping renditions of holiday classics that are sure to entertain.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack - Vince Guaraldi Trio
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a holiday staple, with its loveable cast of Peanuts characters, its iconically pathetic Christmas tree and, most importantly, its mind-blowing soundtrack. The Vince Guaraldi Trio masterfully takes stale holiday songs like "O Tannenbaum" and reimagines them as jazz tunes. There's plenty of amazing original material here as well, from the twinkling piano on "Christmas Time Is Here" to the more rousing "Christmas Is Coming." You'll have the family beagle up and dancing on its doghouse in no time.
"White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
Look, you have to toss your parents and grandparents a bone and put on a record that calls back to the heyday of the crooner. You really can't go wrong with either Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra Christmas albums.
Der Bingle's LP mostly covers old-fashioned standards like "Silent Night" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," but also features several songs he helped popularize, such as "White Christmas" and "Silver Bells." Be sure to stick it out for the final track, the ever-playful island ditty, "Mele Kalikimaka (White Christmas)."
A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra" - Frank Sinatra">"A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra" - Frank Sinatra
This collection features some of the biggest names in Doo-wop, including The Ronettes, The Crystals and Darlene Love. Love, of course, has a number of Christmas songs to lay claim to, but perhaps none is as ubiquitous as "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." Some of doo-wop's premier vocal groups take a crack at a number of holiday standards, from Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans' rollicking rendition of "Here Comes Santa Claus" to The Ronettes' memorable take on "Frosty the Snowman."
"A Motown Christmas" - Various Artists
Motown—a.k.a., "Hitsville, U.S.A."— had a stable of the most talented singers and songwriters in the world at its beck and call back in the day, and it shows on this collection of Christmas tracks. A who's who of '60s and '70s R&B appear on this record, including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. The Jackson 5 kick things off with a bang with their infectious and joyful version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and from there, things get even better. A particular highlight is the Stevie Wonder original "What Christmas Means to Me," which manages to capture that classic Motown vibe while also working as a holiday tune.
To fully capture the warm, analog sound of these Christmas vinyl records, you need a turntable that provides the best audio quality possible. Denon vinyl turntables, including the new DP-450USB, features premium materials and expertly crafted design principles to coax the best sound out of any record. A built-in phono equalizer creates a lush, expansive soundscape while remaining true to the sonic character of the original vinyl recording. The removable dust cover prevents unwanted vibrations and particulates from spoiling your listening experience, while also doubling as a display stand for your record sleeve, providing a unique aesthetic component that is pleasing to the eye. The DP-450USB even features an integrated USB-A port to digitize your vinyl collection and take it with you while on the go.
Vinyl turntables and Christmas vinyl records make the perfect pair of gifts for music lovers, both young and old — check off every music fan on your shopping list this season.