Okay, so it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but we’ve already got our eye (or should that be ear?) on Christmas, thanks, in no small part, to Sia.
Today (November 17) marks the release of Everyday is Christmas by the “Chandelier” chanteuse, featuring a tracklisting of 10 original soon-to-be Christmas classics like “Snowman,” “Underneath the Christmas Lights,” “Candy Cane Lane,” “Puppies are Forever” and lead single “Santa’s Coming for Us.”
It’s certainly a surprise to see a singer more readily associated with songs about heartbreak, suicide and alcoholism record an album of heartwarming cheer. She’s not the first to fall for the charms of the festive period, however; below is a list of some of the other artists who’ve surprised us with a carol or two.
No-one was expecting 2009’s Christmas in the Heart, but the folk king’s grizzled baritone added a surprisingly tender frailty to some old classics. All proceeds from the album went to the charity Feeding America, meaning not only do you get to enjoy Christmas with ol’ Bob, but you’re supporting a good cause too.
The comedian and talk show host may not be known for her singing ability, but that didn’t stop her from releasing a Christmas album in 1999. A Rosie Christmas features Rosie singing holiday songs with special guests, including Elton John, Celine Dion and, er, Elmo.
In 1996, Death Row Records carried on the long tradition of record companies releasing Christmas albums featuring their roster of talent. Suge Knight‘s label then featured Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Danny Boy and J-Flexx, all of whom pop up on this surprisingly spiritual album.
The dear-departed Saruman from the Lord of the Rings trilogy began a new career as a heavy metal singer in his 90s, proving it’s never too late to do what you love. A penchant for high-volume Christmas carols led to 2012 EP A Heavy Metal Christmas, which featured amped-up renditions of “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Silent Night,” and 2013’s A Heavy Metal Christmas Too, which contained the single “Jingle Hell.”
The Jackson 5 released the imaginatively titled Christmas Album in 1970, their fourth studio album for Motown in less than a year. Featuring standards such “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” the album included festive messages from the brothers, made all the more surprising given they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Brooklyn indie-pop songster didn’t just record one Christmas EP, he recorded five. In 2006, he released them all in the Songs for Christmas set, featuring original songs alongside some charmingly dog-eared and banjo-ified takes on the classics.
1993’s “Supermodel (You Better Work)” would be enough of a pop pinnacle for most people, but everyone’s favorite drag queen followed it up in 1997 with this album of festive corkers. And she followed THAT up eighteen years later with 2015’s Slay Belles.
Yep, that Scott Weiland — lead singer of grunge rockers Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland — released an album of festive cheer called The Most Wonderful Time of the Year in 2014, reinventing himself as a 1950s style crooner in the process.
Punk is nothing if not anti: anti-consumerism, anti-religion and anti-sentiment. So it was a bit of a surprise in 2013 when one of America’s best-known punk bands embraced Christmas, putting out an album dedicated to that most sacred of seasons and one that’s recently become a consumerist heaven.
What’s your all-time favorite Christmas album?