This project is a result of my personal observations in the USA as an international student:
Once the Thanksgiving Day is over; everywhere and everything that I can think of converts into the theme of Christmas. This theme is not only visual or behavioral but it is also audial. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, you start being subjected Christmas songs. Suddenly, from advertisements to elevators, everything starts singing Christmas songs. Every newly released album is a Christmas compilation or a cover of Christmas songs and carols that have been re-played, re-recorded, re-covered and re-compiled various times.
I am well aware that I can not change the marketing tactics, yet at least as a person involved in music, I decided that I should take measures to stop this recycling of music. My aim is to create the ultimate Christmas album once and for all!
Ultimate Christmas Album: A Superposed-Collection of Most Popular Christmas Songs is my attempt to carry out this deed. The album is created by collecting one chart-topping Christmas song from a year and superposing the songs that belong to a decade to form a single song that represents the best Christmas songs of that decade. Finally, an album, consisting of these decade-songs, is created.
The list of songs of the album is:
The work progress can be explained by Ben Fry’s process of data representation. The process has seven steps that starts with the collection of data and ends with the resulting product.
- Acquire: The collection of data is mainly investigating various websites and Christmas compilation albums for songs. The websites investigated are Amazon.com, Wikipedia.com, Billboard.com, Youtube.com and many minor sites.
- Parse: The idea was having a single song that will represent the year. Thus songs are ordered by year and by charts success. Even though, according to my rules, any song that was either written or recorded or performed or became famous was eligible for that year, I preferred the earliest date I was able to find that the song was created.
- Filter: The main problem was the amount of songs that are recycled and that are covered. It was possible to cover ten years with a single song. However, to get the most variety recycled and covered songs were not using, unless they are obviously the most famous version. Another aim was to have a good variety of songs thus songs from same band and/or same style are avoided unless it was unavoidable. In the end, I did not want to end up with five songs covering the whole time since 1930’s.
- Mine: The songs required some tweaks before they were mixed. The simple editing was made on the loudness level. The average loudness level of the songs are calibrated to -12dB in order to give all the songs a similar chance to shine.
- Represent: The songs are simply layered over each other with 10 songs from a decade forming the song of the decade. The end product is an album, which covers 2000’s, 1990’s, 1980’s, 1970’s, 1960’s, 1950’s, 1940’s and partially 1930’s. Thus the data, the best Christmas songs, is represented in the medium of the original sources.
- Refine: Fine-tuning of the sound levels was done after the initial calibration.
- Interact: The output is a music CD, which gives you all the interaction you can get from a music CD.
List of Songs
The copyright for each song below belongs to their own copyrighted owners.
- 2010 - Coldplay - Christmas Lights
- 2009 - Neil Diamond - Cherry Cherry Christmas
- 2008 - Enya - Trains and Winter Rains
- 2007 - Richie McDonald Jim Brickman - Coming Home for Christmas
- 2006 - Sarah McLachlan - River
- 2005 - Anne Cochran - Someone is Missing at Christmas
- 2004 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Wizards in Winter
- 2003 - Jim Brickman - Sending You A Little Christmas Music Video
- 2002 - Josh Groban - O Holy Night
- 2001 - Toni Braxton - Snowflakes of Love
- 2000 - Faith Hill - Where Are You Christmas
- 1999 - Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews - Baby Its Cold Outside
- 1998 - Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- 1997 - Vanessa Williams - Do You Hear What I Hear
- 1996 - Alabama - The Blessings
- 1995 - Luther Vandross - Every Year Every Christmas
- 1994 - Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
- 1993 - Alabama - Angels Among Us
- 1992 - Darlene Love - All Alone for Christmas
- 1991 - Barry Manilow - Because It’s Christmas For All The Children
- 1990 - Natalie Cole and David Foster - My Grown-Up Christmas List
- 1989 - Vince Vance & The Valiants - All I Want For Christmas Is You
- 1988 - Cliff Richards - Christmas time Mistletoe and Wine
- 1987 - RUN-DMC - Christmas In Hollis
- 1986 - Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
- 1985 - Shakin Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
- 1984 - Wham! - Last Christmas
- 1983 - Pretenders - 2000 Miles
- 1982 - Bing Crosby and David Bowie - The Little Drummer Boy Peace On Earth
- 1981 - Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You
- 1980 - The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir & Chorale - What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)
- 1979 - Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmas Time
- 1978 - Root Boy Slim and Sex Change Band – Christmas at K-Mart
- 1977 - Angel - The Christmas Song
- 1976 - Johnny Mathis - When A Child Is Born
- 1975 - Frank Sinatra - Christmas Memories
- 1974 - Lonely This Christmas- Mud
- 1973 - Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
- 1972 - Leon Russell - Slipping into Christmas
- 1971 - Plastic Ono Band - Happy Xmas War Is Over
- 1970 - Charley Pride - Christmas in My Home Town
- 1969 - The O’Jays - Christmas Ain’t Christmas New Years Ain’t New Years Without The One You Love
- 1968 - Canned Heat - Christmas Blues
- 1967 - Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy’s Christmas
- 1966 - Elvis Presley - If Every Day Was Like Christmas
- 1965 - Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here
- 1964 - B. B. King - Merry Christmas Baby
- 1963 - Bing Crosby - Do You Hear What I Hear
- 1962 - Bobby Boris Pickett - Monster’s Holiday
- 1961 - Connie Francis – Baby’s First Christmas
- 1960 - Peggy Lee - I Like a Sleigh Ride (Jingle Bells)
- 1959 - Brook Benton - This Time of the Year When Christmas is Near
- 1958 - The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song Christmas Don’t Be Late
- 1957 - Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
- 1956 - Bing Crosby - I Heard The Bells On Christmas
- 1955 - Louis Armstrong With The Benny Carter Orchestra - Christmas In New Orleans
- 1954 - Eddy Arnold - Christmas Can't Be Far Away
- 1953 - Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby!
- 1952 - Jimmy Boyd- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- 1951 - Perry Como and The Fontaine Sisters - It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
- 1950 - Ella Fitzgerald - Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney
- 1949 - Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer - Baby Its Cold Outside
- 1948 - Leroy Anderson - Sleigh Ride
- 1947 - Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby
- 1946 - Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
- 1945 - Let It Snow - Vaughn Monroe
- 1944 - Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- 1943 - Bing Crosby - I'll Be Home For Christmas
- 1942 - Bing Crosby - Happy Holidays
- 1941 - Claude Thornhill and His Orchestra - Snowfall
- 1940 - White Christmas - Bing Crosby
- 1939 - Victor Herbert - March of the Toys Babes in Toyland
- 1938 - Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra - Don’t Wait ‘Till The Night Before Christmas
- 1937 - Vera Lynn - The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
- 1936 - Louis Prima - What Will Santa Claus Say When He Finds Everybody Swingin
- 1935 - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra - Jingle Bells
- 1934 - Winter Wonderland - Ted Weems
- 1933 - George Hall and the Hotel Taft Orchestra - Santa Claus is Coming to Town