Christmas Playlist



Hello, good evening and welcome ! @dralanwilson here with my BTM Christmas Playlist. Come and listen to some of these tracks. Most of them you’ll know, but some may be new and, of course, feel free to comment and add your own favourites. We're all about inclusion here.

This grew out of a Spotify playlist I started some years ago with the express aim of tormenting my ever-suffering family with some tunes that they may not have heard before – previously only ever being exposed to endless repeats of Mariah Carey and Band Aid via the usual media outlets, i.e. the shopping centres. Anyway, enough rambling. Let’s get started.

You’ve got to have some Vaughan Williams at Christmas - the archetypal English composer, a master at working and re-working traditional folk songs and carols. Fantasia on Christmas Carols is a great way to start any day, but even better if that is December 25th.

Next up, a strong contender for the number one best-ever Christmas song. It's Low. Christmas in an indie nutshell.

Graham Terris

Saw them supporting Slowdive very recently (apparently they were in town and had never played the Roundhouse & asked Slowdive if they could support, so the booked support were kicked) and I'm not sure I've seen a venue as busy for a support act before. They didn't play any of their Christmas songs though. A great inclusion here.

Alan Wilson

Brilliant - I've yet to come across a song of theirs that I didn't like, would love to see them live.

OK, here’s a more recent one – a decent attempt at a Christmas song by Chris Martin and co. Always good to start with a piano and avoids most of the usual schmaltz. Plus it’s got Elvis and Latin in it so can’t be all bad.

This probably gets my vote (today at least) as the best piece of Christmas music ever. If you only know Schoenberg from his atonal period this might come as a surprise – a beautiful rendition for chamber ensemble of the traditional hymn “Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen”, showing that he could write music in the traditional tonal style as well as anyone. He just chose not to.

From the sublime to the glamtastic sublime. There are times when only a bit of Wizzard will do and this is one of them. “All right you lot, take it !”

If memory serves, this came out the same year. Not to mention Mott the Hoople's Roll Away the Stone and Roxy Music's Street Life both in the top 10 in the run-up to Christmas at the same time. What a time to be alive and 13 years of age.

A change of pace as we head over to the brilliant Sufjan Stevens, who has released a whole lot of mini-Christmas songs over the years. I’ve got them all in a handy box set and I heartily recommend the whole damned lot of them. Plus anyone who releases an album called “Come on Feel the Illinoise” is alright in my book.

This version of Little Drummer Boy is also one of my favourites More from him later.