Music fans across Europe and Australia awoke one day back in 2002 to find themselves up to the winter scarves around their necks in Christmas music compilations from Time-Life, with no less than six ongoing series featuring a Christmas themed disc that year. Covering several genres, the albums feature a few songs and artists you don't usually see on Christmas compilations this side of the Atlantic.
Body Talk is for lovers and pairs nicely with a cracklin' fire in the fireplace, bearskin rug on the floor by the fire and Christmas cocktails. Or chillin' on the futon. Ray Parker Jr.'s "Christmas Time Is Here" is part of the Christmas Single Class Of 1984 that includes Queen's "Thank God It's Christmas", Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas", Wham's "Last Christmas" and Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?".
Classic Rock features artists of the genre (and Air Supply) performing their own original compositions as well as songs from the Christmas canon. There's a really solid, highly listenable single disc hidden among these two discs and I'd start it just the same way with Elton John's "Step Into Christmas". Bonus points for including the dB's "Home For The Holidays".
Good Time Gold is all about the Forties and Fifties, the equivalent of Your Hit Parade series here in the States. Which is odd because it uses similar artwork to the AM Gold series in the USA that covers the Sixties and Seventies. This album also stands out among the others featured in today's post because it is the lone single disc - all the rest are double diskers. More than any disc in my collection, Good Time Gold - Christmas is one that my mother, bless her heart, would love, especially the Judy Garland, Doris Day and Dinah Shore tracks. With my sincere apologies to all the other classics on this album, the two Gene Autry tracks are my favorites.
There's no real equivalent to Sounds Of The Sixties here in the US. It covers the songs and artists featured in The Rock N Roll Era, Classic Rock and other series here in America. Like the Classic Rock album above, Sounds Of The Sixties - Christmas could be a really great single disc. The inclusion of "I Saw Her Again" is a head-scratcher for me. Does the song have some Christmas connection I am unaware of?
Sounds Of The 70s is the doppelganger of the US series Sounds Of The Seventies. Sounds Of The 70s - Christmas is probably my least favorite of the albums featured here today. I like many of the artists and their songs but the album just doesn't sit well with me. Attempts to distill the 30 tracks down to a decent single CD only yielded a solid EP including "Christmas Must Be Tonight", "This Christmas" and "I Beleive In Father Christmas".
The 80s Collection is a favorite series of mine so I was very curious how their Christmas disc was gonna turn out. Though it contains festive (for me) favorites like "Walking In The Air", "Christmas In Hollis" and "Christmas Wrapping" there is too much filler to make it a definitive Eighties Christmas collection.