For the velvet-voiced Canadian singer Michael Bublé, recording a Christmas album was the realisation of a long-held dream that had begun back in the early 80s when, as a young boy, he heard Bing Crosby’s iconic 1945 holiday album, Merry Christmas, piping out of the family stereo. Entranced by the deep-voiced jazz crooner’s vocals, which oozed like warm treacle over snowy seasonal songs, the young Bublé kept demanding to hear the album, even during the summer months. “I just thought it was the coolest stuff in the world,” he told Malaysia’s New Straits Times in 2009.
Listen to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album here.
A chance to emulate his heroes
Crosby’s Merry Christmas album undoubtedly helped to ignite Bublé’s interest in being a jazz vocalist, and so it was perhaps no surprise when, as his own was career was taking off, he recorded its Irving Berlin-penned standout, White Christmas, for his very first seasonal release: a five-song EP called Let It Snow, released in 2003. By that time, Bublé was gaining worldwide recognition on the strength of the three studio albums he had so far delivered, and was seen as keeping the flame alight for the easy-listening music that Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had made their own in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
But it wasn’t until 2011 when Bublé devoted an entire album to Christmas-themed material. Simply titled Christmas, it came on the back of his sixth – and, at that point, highest-grossing studio album – 2009’s multi-platinum Crazy Love, which had helped cement the singer’s status as a pop A-lister. For a singer like Bublé, brought up on artists whose Christmas albums set the gold standard for seasonal musical fare, it was a chance to emulate his heroes.