Alternative Christmas albums: From Kate Bush to Death Row

Because you've already heard heard "Wonderful Christmastime" more than one time too many...

Alternative Christmas albums: From Kate Bush to Death Row

Kate Bush, Facebook

Christmas FM has been up and running for over three weeks - and you can almost count the number of sleeps before 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town' on one hand.

If you are getting sick of the old Christmas reliables - here are a selection of albums to keep the festive spirit alive, while avoiding Mariah, Crosby and Lennon.

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

When Kate Bush returned with her first album in six years she went for an etherial concept album based around a Snowman (naturally).

The sprawling seven track collection clocks in at 65 minutes and is anchored by piano-led arrangements with occasional electronic flurries.

It even features one track where the protagonist sleeps with a snowman who subsequently melts - kind of like a grown-up lusty version of 'The Snowman.'

Ms Bush must be a fan of this time of year - she has recorded a number of Christmas covers and filmed a Christmas special in 1979.

Glasvegas - A Snowflake Fell (and It Felt Like a Kiss)

Glasvegas had a fleeting moment as UK indie rock's 'next big thing' for about 6 months after their debut album was released in 2008.

While the buzz died, the period did leave behind this underrated EP of original Christmas music which was released as a standalone record, and an add-on for a holiday deluxe edition of Glaswegian's debut album, Glasvegas.

The record is full of big arrangements, all wrapped up in bells and choirs.

Sufjan Stevens - Christmas Discography

As well as coming near the top of most critics 'Albums of the Year' lists with his 2015 meditation on his mother's death, Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens has also released over 100 Christmas songs during the last ten years.

It is a daunting body of work to dive into - mixing new compositions with his own takes on the classics. The folks at The Verge have had a go at ranking his 100 best festive offerings.

Various -  A Very Special Christmas

A Very Special Christmas is a 1987 compilation album conceived by music industry big-hitter Jimmy Iovine (who later went on to launch Eminem's career, and co-founded Beats Music with Dr Dre) - all the proceeds from the album went to the Special Olympics.

It plays like a festive late 80's mixtape, our favourite is Run DMC's 'Christmas in Hollis' - it was blared on the big screen 12 months later during John McClane's taxi ride to Nakatomi Plaza in the original Die Hard.

U2, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston and Madonna all feature on the star-studded record.

Various - Christmas on Death Row 

This album isn't what you might expect from a mid-90's Christmas compilation from Suge Knight-era Death Row, the label who launched the careers of 2 Pac and Snop Dogg - and picked up Dr Dre after NWA fell apart.

The album is sandwiched between 2 Pac's murder in September 1996, and the shooting of Notorious BIG in March of the following year - it focuses on socially conscious lyrics set against tight Rn'B production.