1)WHAT I REALLY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS (Brian Wilson): The title track of Brian Wilson's great 2005 seasonal effort. Yes, he still has it!
2)CHRISTMASEY (Brian Wilson): When Brian Wilson and Jimmy Webb get together, only good things can happen! Also from What I Really Want For Christmas, and another instant Christmas classic.
3)WALKING DOWN THE PATH OF LIFE/LOVE AND MERCY(Brian Wilson): A third new Brian tune for the 2005 season, this wasn't on the Christmas album, but was performed in some of his 2005 concerts and released as a Katrina benefit single. Not strictly a Christmas song, but does have a strong spiritual theme, and shows Brian can master the gospel idiom. Segues into Love And Mercy, Brian's 1988 classic.
4)SNOWFLAKES (American Spring) Officially released only on an obscure Swedish collection, this is by Brian's first wife and her sister. I think Brian co-wrote though can't confirm this for sure. Either way, it is a simple, great pop tune. Lucky Swedes!
5)MORNING CHRISTMAS (Dennis Wilson/Beach Boys): As we all know, Dennis had considerable talent as well. This was either for a solo album, or the Beach Boys aborted 1977 Christmas album, but only got released in 1998 on an extended version of the Beach Boys' original Christmas album. Amazingly spiritual for a hard-living guy like Dennis.
6)THE CREATURES OF THE FIELD (Art Garfunkel/Amy Grant): From Jimmy Webb's Animal Christmas, which has some very beautiful sections, including this one.
7)CAROL OF THE BIRDS (Art Garfunkel/Amy Grant): Another very seasonal and beautiful part of Animal's Christmas.
8)CHRISTMAS DAY (Promises Promises Soundtrack): Written by Bacharach and David, this is an obscure soundtrack song that I think is really beautiful, with some nice harmony singing.
9)THE BELL THAT COULDN'T JINGLE (Burt Bacharach): Released by Bacharach himself as a seasonal single in the sixties (ooh alliteration!) in his classic style.
10)LOST WINTER'S DREAM (Lisa Mychols): This might be the best seasonal rock song ever. From the obscure gem of an album of the same name. You won't be surprised to see the great Darian Sahanaja (Wondermints/Brian Wilson band) there as co-writer and producer. Should be the #1 hit every Christmas.
11)ONLY AT CHRISTMAS TIME (Sufjan Stevens): Sufjan's Christmas albums are unreleased but seem to be fairly accessible on the internet. This is a nice, relevant tune.
12)THE FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK (Pogues and Kirsty MacColl): A modern classic from the British Isles. Written by the Pogues but with vocals from the very wonderful and sadly missed Kirsty MacColl.
13)THE LAST ONE TO BE LOVED(Lou Johnson): Away from the seasonal stuff, but going back to Bacharach. One of his less known songs, but utterly brilliant, with the crashing piano as an instrument of mass emotion....
14)I CRY ALONE (Maxine Brown): Another Bacharach obscurity, and another tear-jerker..so much for facile easy listening!
15)MY HEART AT THY SWEET VOICE (Saint-Saens): My classical collection is mostly limited the Readers Digest 150 favorite tunes plus some other odds and ends. I know that isn' a traditional entry into the genre but there are quite a few tunes on this collection that do grab me, and this is one.
16)CLAIRE DE LUNE (Debussy): Another one from my classics collection. Even the title seems romantic.
17)EBB TIDE (Righteous Brothers): One of those deep romantic ballads that I really like- like the imagery of the ebb tide as well!
18)THEME FROM "A SUMMER PLACE" (Percy Faith Orchestra): No, I don't know the movie -yes, you could class this as very easy listening, but there is something affecting and deep about this instumental.
19)SOUND OF MUSIC (Sound Of Music soundtrack): We end off with some show tunes from musicals that I listened to a lot when I was very little - didn't have a great selection then, but these have stood up. I really like this tune, which appears twice on the soundtrack, but I marginally prefer the version with the whole family singing.
20)CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN (Sound Of Music soundtrack): Another tune and lyric that has stood the test of time.
21)EDELWEISS (Sound Of Music soundtrack): Third entry from the great musical. I know my late dad really liked this one too.
22)ON THE STREE WHERE YOU LIVE (My Fair Lady soundtrack): The big romantic number from this soundtrack.
23)I'VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO HER FACE (My Fair Lady soundtrack):A mixture of romance, wistfulness and even anger, but overall a great tune. There is "something in the air" indeed.