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Christmas Music Playlists with Roger Whittaker Songs
Festive Tidings Offering Both Comfort and Joy
British singer Roger Whittaker is best known for his easy listening style, soft baritone voice and whistling ability. He is very much an artist from another time having started out in the middle part of the last century. Quite how a contemporary audience would view his releases is open to question but for many his jovial output is something that is akin to a staple home comfort. More than most artists Whittaker has taken the season to his heart releasing a succession of Christmas albums over his long career.
Roger's Christmas love-in began in 1978 with his simply titled 'The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album'. With artwork that depicted Roger covered in fake snow and in the throes of festive rhapsody there is plenty of old and new on this LP to get the season off on a good footing. While a fair portion of the 12 tracks don't snugly fit under the Christmas umbrella ('Darcy The Dragon', 'Mighty Like A Rose') there are plenty of others that will recreate the warm feeling of Christmas past. Whittaker is a true troubadour and the warmth in his singing is evident on little known but never less than pleasant numbers such as 'Hallelujah It's Christmas', 'Country Christmas' and 'Momma Mary'. It might seem like old fashioned compared to the glossy excess of modern recordings but there is a depth to Whittaker's act that is so often missing nowadays. This album's undoubted highlight is 'Christmas Is Here Again' (not the Vince Guaraldi Trio song) which is as close to a perfect Christmas love song that you are likely to get. If you can pick up this album on vinyl the crackle and hiss might just be a perfect match for the wood fire doing the same at the other side of the room.
Whereas 'The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album' was awash with little heard Christmas songs Roger's follow-up in 1989 called 'The World's Most Beautiful Christmas Songs' was made up of well known religious and secular songs. That does not mean this 10-track collection is anything less than a gem however as Whittaker puts every effort into ensuring that tracks like 'O Tannenbaum', 'Silent Night' and 'Winter Wonderland'. The focus as ever is on Roger's welcoming baritone but you'll find plenty of warmth emanating from the music even if at times the synths sound a little dated.
Like quite a few of Roger's Christmas releases 1992's 'I Wish You A Merry Christmas' is quite hard to track down. Not that it can't be picked up online but in many cases you'll have to make do with old formats like cassette. Whether this ancient format adds to or takes away from your experience there is no denying that Roger Whittaker giving it Christmas socks on 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' and 'O Come All Ye Faithful' could only be a good thing. 1992 also saw the reissue of Roger debut Christmas album with the primary difference being it's renaming from 'Christmas With Roger Whittaker' to 'The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album'.
After his fluffy of festive activity in the early nineties Roger would return to the season in 1995 with another seasonal effort named 'The Christmas Song'. This was an epic 17-track collection of well known standards that reprised many of the songs that were present on his previous Christmas releases. To that end it is the definitive yuletide recording from the easy-listening master with songs like 'The Holly and The Ivy' mixing shoulders with the relatively lesser known 'Sussex Carol'. For the most part however Roger choose his tracks as if reading from the tracklisting of 'The Best Christmas Album In The World...Ever!' but for his countless fans it matters not a jot such is his welcoming style and the addition of both adult and children's choirs.
With the advent of Roger's next Christmas album in 1997 called 'Happy Holidays' there was an undeniable expectation as to what was in store. That didn't make for a lesser package though and with the veteran performer giving tracks such as 'Ding Dong! Merrily on High' his all it is hard not to be positively swayed by the easy going good time vibes. 'Happy Holidays' would appear again in 2002 when it was retitled to the more traditional sounding 'The Holly and the Ivy'. With his success spreading across Europe George has recorded many of his favourite Christmas songs in German with 1983’s ‘Weihnachten Mit Roger Whittaker’ perhaps being the most popular.Author: Kevin