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Best Christmas EverVirgin's The Best Christmas Ever (1996) is very similar to an earlier album, Even Santa Gets The Blues (1995) on Point Blank Records, which mixed new recordings from the Point Blank roster (Hadda Brooks, Johnny Winter, Isaac Hayes) with rhythm 'n' blues classics from labels like Kent (B.B. King, Lowell Fulson, Charles Brown) and Modern (Jesse Belvin, Hadda Brooks again). Dropping most of the new stuff and beefing up the running time, Best Christmas Ever has a lower blues quotient (Dean Martin? Doris Day?) but a higher overall quality rating. Though it's a musical potpourri - mixing easy listening with rhythm and blues, old and classic with new and mediocre - it collects a few songs rarely seen on Christmas anthologies, including King's incendiary waxing of "Christmas Celebration" (recorded in 1960, released in 1962) and Jesse Belvin's impossibly smooth "I Want You With Me For Christmas." On the whole, both discs are necessary purchases for record collectors, but I can't recommended them for normal people with normal lives (a group which, sadly, excludes me).

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • Baby It's Cold Outside (Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton, 1957)
  • Christmas Celebration (B.B. King, 1962)
  • I Want You With Me At Christmas (Jesse Belvin, 1956)
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Dean Martin, 1959)
  • I Wanna Spend Christmas With You (Lowell Fulson, 1967)
  • Merry Christmas Baby (Kent version) (Charles Brown, 1968)
  • Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt, 1953)
  • White Christmas (Hadda Brooks, 1950)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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