David Bowie and Bing Crosby – 'Little Drummer Boy'
Crosby had, by all accounts, barely heard of Bowie, then at the height of his early fame. Despite the age and cultural gap however they bonded. This version of the 1940s staple may be on the quirky side, but it crackles with chemistry. The recording was made in 1977, just a month before Crosby passed away.
Low – 'Just Like Christmas'
The cult Minnesota band Low enjoyed their defining hit with a 1999 Christmas-themed EP.
Tori Amos – 'A Silent Night With You'
The best song from the Christmas-themed EP Amos put out three years ago is, 'A Silent Night With You', a gorgeous evocation of a quintessential 21st-century Christmas – when the thing we relish the most isn't the turkey or the tinsel, it's the opportunity to take it easy.
Sufjan Stevens – 'Once In Royal David's City'
The American folk artist Sufjan Stevens (pictured) specialises in a metaphysical, shiver-inducing whimsy – of which there is plenty in this 2006 cover of the 19th-Century carol.