I did not own a large number of cassette tapes as a kid listening to music, and it’s actually because I thought that the format was already dead. It was prone to a number of obvious errors, such as damaging the tape with the tape head and of course pulling out the tape when it caught funny. I was fortunate to be buying my first music in an era when CDs were beginning to fully impose their dominance on the long-dead format, so I opted for CDs in most cases. However, it didn’t stop one or two tapes from making its way into my music collection (I now have exactly thirty). One of my favorites was Boyz II Men’s Christmas Interpretations, which was a Christmas gift, if I recall correctly, from a friend of mine (ECC) who also got me a Vanessa Williams holiday CD that I no longer have. I’ve since completely lost the ability to play cassettes in any reasonable way, but I bought a couple of the songs on iTunes — my favorites by this group are “Let it Snow” and the a cappella “Silent Night.” I also grew up with Mariah Carey’s album, Merry Christmas, and like so many others, I freely admit that I like the song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” In its 15 years, that song has now become part of many holiday traditions in pop culture, and I’m now convinced that Mariah Carey will be remembered as much for this song as she will for her R&B pop hits in the 90s.
While these remain staples of my Christmas musical tradition, since then I’ve added a few Christmas jazz albums like Oscar Peterson, Vince Guaraldi, and Diana Krall. Most recently, since going to the Boston Pops Holiday Concerts, I’ve been looking for an album of orchestral Christmas music, which reminds me that the Boston Pops have released their very popular arrangement of Twelve Days of Christmas on mp3. Of course I’ve yet to find a full orchestral recording that reminds me of the Pops performances that I enjoyed so much, but it’s a high bar to set.
Anyway, It’s kind of a fun time of year that comes and goes so quickly, but listening to holiday music always just seems to make sense.