The Most Popular Holiday Albums of All Time

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When it’s the holiday season, you know it’s the holiday season. Not only does the winter weather help bring on the holiday joy, but so do the decorations, parties, gifts, and music. Christmas music is in itself a big category, and there’s tons of it out there. If you’re in search of something holiday-appropriate to listen to, look no further than the most popular holiday albums of all time.

“Elvis’ Christmas Album” by Elvis Presley

50 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong, especially during Christmastime. Elvis Presley’s first Christmas album, released in 1957, is the best-selling holiday album ever, having sold 15 million records worldwide. Give this album a spin if you want to hear the King’s country-tinged take on Christmas standards like “Silent Night,” and perhaps his most famous, “Blue Christmas.”

“Miracles: The Holiday Album” by Kenny G

Yes, you read that correctly. Kenny G, the smooth jazz saxophonist, has lay to the claim of creating the second-best-selling Christmas album. While “Miracles: The Holiday Album” hasn’t receive the most critical acclaim–Entertainment Weekly gave it a C+–there’s obviously something about the soothing sounds of well-known Christmas songs that make this album good background music.    

“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

You know the song that starts with “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”? That’s called “The Christmas Song,” and the way you remember it is probably the one sung by Nat King Cole. While Cole got his start in music as a jazz pianist, his “The Christmas Song” album, full of luscious string arrangements, is a stone-cold holiday classic.

“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” by Mannheim Steamroller

Some bands are rock bands. Some bands are country bands. Mannheim Steamroller, it’s safe to say, is a Christmas band. While this group has put out efforts that are more new age and less Christmas, most of their discography reflects the most wonderful time of the year. This album puts the focus on Christmas song classics of old, like “Deck the Halls” and “We Three Kings.”

“A Fresh Aire Christmas” by Mannheim Steamroller

One of the only groups to have multiple best-selling Christmas records, Mannheim Steamroller use “A Fresh Aire Christmas” to feature more of what they’re good at: holiday songs arranged with a focus on symphony strings, choirs, and electric keyboard. For this album, group leader Chip Davis surveyed fans to find the most-requested Christmas songs for the band to cover.

“Noel” by Josh Groban

All the best Christmas songs get the Josh Groban treatment on his 2007 album, “Noel.” Groban, a singer known for his deep, soaring baritone, offers his fairly traditional take on the Christmas classics, along with musical guests such as Faith Hill and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

“Merry Christmas” by Mariah Carey

When releasing a Christmas album, most musical artists are content to stick to the classics. Mariah Carey, on the other hand, offers up refreshingly original songs on her album, “Merry Christmas.” That includes the modern Christmas megahit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which currently stands as the 11th best-selling single ever.

While it’s easier than ever to load up a playlist of Christmas songs, there’s still something to be said about the holiday record. If you need something to listen to while unwrapping your presents, or you just want something to help you get into the holiday spirit, these albums will surely not disappoint.

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