Don’t panic, we’re not about to bombard you with a list of sickly sweet Christmas Music LPs. Not even a little bit. No, this is a list of real music, the kind of stuff that would make a fantastic Christmas gift, and wouldn’t sound out of place if played in the background – on your lovely real hi-fi system – during Christmas dinner. Providing the rest of your family don’t want actual Christmas music, of course. But hopefully they’ll be sick of it by then eh?
So assuming everyone is clear on the premise, let’s get to the good stuff! We don’t just sell the systems – we sell the sources too! And our massive selection of audiophile grade LPs are a very popular draw. If you fancy a few Christmas-friendly purchases, for yourself or a loved one (perhaps something for under the tree?), the following ten – in no particular order – are a very good place to start.
Remember all prices were correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to change.
1. John Mayer – Room For Squares – £21.79
The debut from the multi-platinum selling American singer songwriter is just the right combination of smile-inducing, laid back and catchy, all the while being somewhat high-brow (dare we say… educated?) in its lyrical content. Mayer is known for his clever wordplay, savvy chord progressions, and mature song writing, delivered with breathy soulfulness, and the album which propelled him to international stardom is full to the brim with exactly that.
There’s an indescribable magic about Fleetwood Mac, which few can deny. And when they are joined by a host of Chicago’s Blues legends in an iconic recording studio in the Windy City – Chess Records. Blues Jam in Chicago is a double LP featuring Otis Spann, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Buddy Guy, Walter “Shakey” Horton, J. T. Brown, Willie Dixon and S.P. Leary, all crammed in the studio for a single day. It’s rough and it’s soulful, and it’s an excellent way of introducing some true Blues into your life – or supplementing your current collection.
3. Johnny Cash – 16 Biggest Hits – £21.79
Does Johnny Cash require any sort of introduction? We doubt he does. He has rocked the world of rock’n’roll, blues, country and even gospel ever since his recorded debut in 1955, and his music resonates through the decades without any sign of age. His powerful voice and clever songwriting are on the brink of their 50th Anniversary. The only problem is – the sheer volume of releases that spanned up until his death in 2003 – means there is a great deal to chose from if you wish to expand your LP collection to include him. A selection of his biggest hits, however, is a pretty clever solution. And it’s not cheating when the music is this good.
4. Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde – 25.79
Another artist who needs no introduction – and many would argue this iconic album doesn’t need one either! Blonde on Blonde is Dylan’s 7th studio album, and the third in his trilogy of rock albums. Containing five of Dylan’s most revered recordings, this is an absolute must have for any fan of Dylan’s – or indeed any lover of music. It was listed as Rolling Stone’s 9th Greatest Album of all time (out of 500) so it’s certainly worth a consideration.
5. Toto – IV – £21.79
One of the finest examples of rock music in the 80s – Toto took the world by storm with their chart topping tracks ‘Africa’ and Roseanna’… and guess which album they appeared on? The very simply titled IV is considered to be the pinnacle of Toto’s long and esteemed career, and is just as relevent today as it was then. Laid back in places, epic in others, and always catchy, a versatile gem of an album, and a gem of an LP.
6. BBC Radiophonic – Through A Glass Darkly – £21.79
And now for something that you may not have yet heard – or even be aware of – yet! The BBC Radiophonic’s Through a Glass Darkly has been reissued – and we have it. Previously issued runs are considered ‘crate diggers gold’, and we’re sure this copy will achieve such a status too. Featuring the two members of the Radiophonic: Paddy Kingsland & Peter Howell, this LP features two essential recordings which will take the listener on a phonic journey through dimensions.
7. Journey – Greatest Hits Vol. 1 – £25.79
Thanks in part to the proliferation of a certain song in a certain American television show set in a high school – Journey have enjoyed a refresh in their being a household name. ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ is one of those types of songs which has successfully embedded itself in the tapestry of pop culture – well, it is a good song. A huge upside to their refound fame is their back catalogue has been getting some much deserved attention – hence a re-release of their greatest hits. And there are so many of those – it requires a second volume. We recommend starting with this one and working your way up.
8. Jamiroquai – Travelling Without Moving – £25.79
And now for something completely different. Jamiroquai – arguably one of the most stylisticly recognisable bands of the 20th Century, assisted in part by the front man JK (… and his many hats.) Travelling Without Moving is considered one of their best albums. Britsh acid house/jazz fusion with a social conscience, and additively creative and funky. A really good gift – and a really good album. Especially considering they made funk, jazz and fusion cool again (… not that it ever wasn’t – but the world needed reminding!).
9. Michael Jackson – Invincible – £25.79
It’s been six years since the death of the undisputed King of Pop – yeah, time flies doesn’t it? – and there have been a number of posthumous releases – but Invincible is the last to feature exclusively new material, therefore the final album Jackson released himself. It was an album fraught with label disputes – but it made it out. A double LP which is an absolute must for any MJ fan. It might not be quite as classic as Thriller or Dangerous, but it stands in memoriam to someone who rocked the world – and continues to do so long after his passing.
10. Elvis Presley – Self Titled – £21.79
And from the King of Pop to The King. In contrast to MJ’s Invincible – his last release – Elvis Presley’s Self Titled is his debut and is still considered to be one of his best. Inconic for a number of reasons, it was the first rock’n’roll album to make it to the top of the charts and it spent a massive ten weeks at #1. Not only that, but it was the first rock’n’roll album to sell over a million copies. No wonder they call him The King! This was an album that propelled rock’n’roll to the forefront and is in part responsible for the direction of music ever since – if this isn’t an album you need in your collection, we don’t know what is.
So there we have it. Some pretty iconic moments in music, touching upon pop, rock, funk, blues, progressive, country and pretty much eveything in between. Not bad for just ten albums… but these aren’t just any albums. Make them a gift, make them background music or make them the centre piece to your hi-fi this Christmas – we can assure you that they’ll fit, wherever you put them.