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10 Best Soul & Funk Christmas Albums

To celebrate, we’ve gathered the top 10 albums featured in funkmysoul.gr

1. Phil Spector – 1963 – A Christmas Gift For You

A Christmas Gift For You is probably the greatest collection of Christmas hits ever. Legendary producer Phil Spector and his “wall-of-sound” technique is perfectly suited to the music of the season, as he proves with layer upon layer of piano, sleigh bells, buoyant percussion, and, of course, those legendary Spectorsound harmonies.

The Crystals turn their sassy interplay into sheer magic on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” The Ronettes stroll sweetly through numbers like “Sleigh Ride,” while Darlene Love delivers a real knockout punch with her yearning version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).” Sure to become the soundtrack for your holidays.

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2. James Brown’s Funky Christmas

Holiday compilation featuring funky yuletide tunes by the Godfather Of Soul. At his superstar peak in the 1960s and early ’70s, Brown tried to appeal to several constituencies on his many LPs, and the Christmas market was not neglected. Indeed, for a while, he was on a regular schedule: this 17 track compilation includes selections from seasonal albums cut by J.B. in 1966, 1968, and 1970. Includes ‘Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto’, ‘Christmas In Heaven’ and ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’.

This is a CD rip of the 1995 Polydor compilation.

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3. The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection

In the 70s, Motown released a double album titled A Motown Christmas. It had a purple cover and featured 24 songs by five of Motown’s top acts, Stevie, the Supremes, the Tempts, the Miracles and the Jackson Five. This double CD has all of those and more. Marvin, the Tops, Boys II Men, Johnny Gill, Kim Weston and the Funk Brothers, to name just a few. A total of 51 tracks with songs recorded from the 60s through the 90s. Four decades of Motown holiday soul.

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4. Jackson 5 – 1970 – Christmas Album

Jackson 5 Christmas Album was the only holiday album released by Motown family quintet The Jackson 5. Released in October 1970, the album showcased the brothers’ harmonies and vocals. Lead singer Michael Jackson is prominently featured on the album tracks. Included on the Christmas Album is the Jackson 5’s hit single version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town“. Rendered with a pop-soul feel, the Jackson 5’s versions of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” remain frequent radio requests during the holiday season. The album spent all four weeks at the number one position on Billboard magazine’s special Christmas Albums chart that the magazine published in December 1970, making it the best-selling holiday album of that year. It has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide.

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5. The Original Soul Christmas

It can’t get much classier than toasting the holidays with soul music. The elegant sleigh bells and brass arrangements compliment each other almost as perfectly as presents and loved ones.

Bring SOUL CHRISTMAS to your holiday gatherings, and you’ll be sure to please. Booker T & The MGs’ jumping versions of favorites like “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “Jingle Bells” bring back the childlike joy of the holiday season. To hear Otis Redding and Ray Charles wrap themselves around “White Christmas” and “Christmas Time” makes it only better.

SOUL CHRISTMAS is the hippest, most soulful Christmas album on the market. These timeless soul renditions of holiday classics will please even after the last snowfall.

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6. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

If you only want one CHRISTMAS cd in your collection, you simply must choose this one. NAT and CHRISTMAS are linked together.This cd was beautifully remastered in 1999 and will pass the test of time forever.You may have listened to many CHRISTMAS albums in your lifetime,but very few have this overall quality of singing with a nice display of harmony behind it.What distinguished NAT is his great sensibility that always transpired in his best recordings.You’ll want to comeback to it year after year.Only FRANK SINATRA’s 1957 offering comes close in matching this classic for the ages.A big mistake for you would be to listen to it alone after many drinks.The tears just might come to you.

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7. The Temptations – 1970 – Christmas Card (flac)

The Temptations began things by taking a kid’s song and transforming it into a funked-out and rollicking Yuletide hoot — making this celebratory, but not entirely reverant, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the high point in their first holiday release, 1970’s The Temptations Christmas Card.

Also included are memorable uptempo remakes of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Little Drummer Boy ”. The album, open-hearted and direct, knows how to play it straight, too — notably on “Silver Bells”, “Let It Snow” and “White Christmas”. That was all the more remarkable since the Temps had just released an uneven head-long dive in the trendy sound of the day, Psychedelic Shack from the same year.

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Free Download AlbumThe Temptations – 1970 – Christmas Card (flac)

8. Stevie Wonder – 1967 – Someday At Christmas

Someday at Christmas is a Christmas album by Stevie Wonder, released on November 27, 1967 under Motown Records. It was his eighth studio album release. It would also be re-released in 1978 with different cover art and different catalog number (Original 1967 catalog: T-281, 1978 reissue: T7-362 R1). It would again be re-released as part of Universal Music’s Christmas Edition of their successful 20th Century Masters series in 2003 with additional tracks. The title song was previously released as a single in 1966 and reached #24 on the Billboard Christmas singles chart that year.

It is considered one of Motown’s best in the genre and features original songs, including “What Christmas Means To Me” and “Bedtime For Toys” plus the title song, by now a standard on its own, and soulful versions of “Silver Bells”m “The Little Drummer Boy” and the jazzy “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You).

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9. More Christmas Albums by The Supremes, Ray Charles, Booker T. & the MG’s

There’s no reason to believe the little drummer boy didn’t break into a danceable groove every now and again–and no cause to think that Christmas music has to be listened to from an easy chair. This legendary rhythm & blues combo spreads the spirit of the season in much the same way it did its many chart- toppers–with a greasy backbeat and a heaping helping of cool keyboards courtesy of Booker T himself. Originally issued in 1966, this disc lets the MGs strut through deftly arranged versions of Christmas standards like “Winter Wonderland” and “Silver Bells” with sass, class, and more than enough panache to keep it on your system through the New Year. (David Sprague)

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10. Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas

As if Louis Armstrong singing about “Christmas in New Orleans“, “Chistmas In Harlem” and even a “White Christmas” weren’t enough to make this album a classic, Satchmo called on a few of his friends. And when your guest list includes Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, and Eartha Kitt purring “Santa Baby“, you’ve got a serious party on your hands.

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