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What's New?This has been an active year for hip new holiday records - especially in the realm of reissues. These are my Top 10 - five by individual artists and five by various artists. In addition, look for hot tracks by The Darkness (an imported CD single), Jet (MP3 download), and The Raveonettes (the non-LP b-side of "Heartbreak Stroll"). What are your favorites? Drop me a line...

Randy Anthony

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash, Christmas With Johnny Cash (Sony)
The Man In Black released a bunch of holiday albums throughout his career, though none measure up against his best work (read more). This smartly mastered collection cherry picks the best tracks from 1959 to 1980. [purchase]
Gary Hoey Gary Hoey, Ho Ho Hoey! The Complete Collection (Surfdog)
Hoey's possesses an unparalleled ability to shred along with a rare enthusiasm for Christmas music. This package combines his three holiday albums, plus new recordings. [purchase]
Jackson 5 Jackson 5, Best Of The Jackson 5: The Christmas Collection (Motown)
This is about as good as Christmas reissues get: a great album remastered (Christmas Album, 1970) plus a bonus track - Michael Jackson's "Little Christmas Tree" from A Motown Christmas (1973). [purchase]
Lonely Hearts Band Lonely Hearts Band, St. Nick's Christmas: Classic Christmas Songs With A Dash Of Pepper (Not Lame)
One of the most unusual (and rockin') offerings this year - holiday favorites in the style of the Beatles, pseudonymously waxed by power popper Tommy Marolda (The Toms). [purchase]
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robinson Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Happy Holidays (Boars Nest)
The "It" couple of Austin, Texas graces us with a minor, lo-fi masterpiece in between crankin' out the babies. Seven songs, all covers, ranging from Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" to Charlie Louvin's "A Shut-In At Christmas." [purchase]
Chris Isaak Papa Ain't No Santa Claus, Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree (Viper)
A sackful of frightfully rare rock 'n roll, jazz, R&B, doo wop, and blues holiday tracks from the 20's through the 60's. The title track (by Butterbeans & Susie) must be heard to be believed, and it's just the beginning. [purchase]
A Santa Cause A Santa Cause: It's A Punk Rock Christmas (Immortal)
This jam-packed disc of new and gently used punk and emo benefits the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Artists include Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, and MxPx. Be sure to check out the hidden track: Nerf Herder's hilarious "Santa's Got A Mullet." [purchase]
Trojan Christmas Box Set Trojan Christmas Box Set (Trojan)
This is just one of dozens of retrospective boxes from this longstanding, UK-based reggae label, and it culls holiday tracks from a variety of sources spanning three decades. Santa, it turns out, is a Rastaman. Irie! [purchase]
Very Special Acoustic Christmas Very Special Acoustic Christmas (Lost Highway)
The latest installment of this venerable series benefiting the Special Olympics features folk and country. Some of the best cuts come from some of the least popular artists - including Dan Tyminski, Tift Merritt, and Sam Bush. [purchase]
Yule Be Miserable Yule Be Miserable (Verve)
I am such a sucker for albums like this - vintage jazz, blues, and novelties about how horrible Christmas can be. Includes Ella Fitzgerald's unintentionally racy "Santa Claus Got Stuck (In My Chimney)." [purchase]

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