It has been a while since I have posted a CCM Backbeat. As some of you know, I was raised listening to Christian music in the 80s and 90s. It was the soundtrack for my growth in the faith, and it still holds a special place in my life. With that in mind, I thought I would post the top ten CCM Christmas albums I am listening to this season. Typically, I stick to the 70s-90s, but I will be violating that rule for this post. It will include a few recent albums. This list is in no way a definitive list of any kind. It is merely the albums hitting the spot for me this year. Hopefully, you will find at least one new album to add to your playlist below.
10. A Seed, A Sunrise, Caroline Cobb – 2020
Caroline Cobb is a favorite of mine, and this album is no exception. If you are looking for biblically rich Christmas music that skips the standard carols, this album is for you. These seven original songs are sure to move your heart to worship.
9. December, Mac Powell and the Family Reunion – 2019
If you enjoyed Third Day’s Christmas Offerings, you will enjoy this album. With a country feel, it contains some original songs and several covers.
8. Christmas: The Season of Love, 4 Him – 1993
Playing basketball in college, I was always the odd man out. While riding the bus to games, we were all trying to keep our Discmans from skipping, but while most of my teammates were listening to Snoop Dogg, I listened to music ranging from D.C. Talk’s Free at Last to 4 Him’s The Basics of life. For some reason, this album is working for me this year. Their sound brings me back to those days while keeping me in the Christmas Spirit.
7. A Christmas Song, Russ Taff – 1992
If you are looking for a traditional Christmas album in the vein of Bing, Andy, and Nat, from one of Christian music’s most recognizable voices, this album is for you. It has been a family favorite of ours since it was released.
6. A Christmas Album, Amy Grant – 1983
Before you roll your eyes on this one, hear me out. Yes, we have all heard Tennessee Christmas way too many times, and you may need to skip that song, but there is a reason this album is a classic. All of the other songs are well worth your time. I enjoyed rediscovering this album this year.
5. Come On, Ring Those Bells, Evie – 1977
Listening to this brings back memories of Christmas as a kid. Evie was a household name in the Christian subculture of the late 70s and early 80s. If you were familiar with her back then, this album will remind you why.
4. Merry Christmas to You, Sidewalk Prophets – 2013
This is probably one of the most underrated CCM Christmas albums. If you have never heard this album, do yourself a favor and take a listen. It contains both originals and classics.
3. An Evening in December, First Call – 1987
This entry is an acapella album with some of the tightest harmonies in CCM music of the 80s. You will also hear David Meece and Wayne Watson on this one.
2. Behold the Lamb of God, Andrew Peterson (Various) – 2004, 2019
Originally recorded in 2004 and re-recorded in 2019, this album tells the true tale of the coming of Christ. Settle in and listen to the story unfold as written by one of the best songwriters around. You will be edified.
1. Christmas Time Again, Smalltown Poets – 2014
The winner of my favorite Christmas album to listen to this year goes to the Smalltown Poets’ second Christmas recording. The Poets were a favorite of mine in the 90s, and in the 2010s they began to release new music. Too many people have missed this album. Be prepared for a variety of sounds, from distorted guitars to an acapella piece. Every song on this album brings me joy.
What are some of your favorite Christmas albums? I am always looking for new music to listen to, especially if it is older and I missed it growing up.