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Music / A Very Special Christmas

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A Very Special Christmas is a successful series of Christmas albums created in support of Special Olympics. It brings together a number of artists from many genres performing Christmas songs, many of which were recorded especially for these albums. Its cover art was drawn by Keith Haring.

As of 2015, a total of 10 albums have been released under the A Very Special Christmas name, with the most recent, a Greatest Hits Album called ICON: A Very Special Christmas, being released on October 15, 2013.


Its official website can be found here.

Albums in the series and songs featured

    A Very Special Christmas (1987) 
  1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - The Pointer Sisters
  2. Winter Wonderland - Eurythmics
  3. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Whitney Houston
  4. Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Pretenders
  6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - John Cougar Mellencamp
  7. Gabriel's Message - Sting
  8. Christmas In Hollis - Run–D.M.C.
  9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - U2
  10. Santa Baby - Madonna
  11. The Little Drummer Boy - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  12. Run Rudolph Run - Bryan Adams
  13. Back-Door Santa - Bon Jovi (original release)/I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi (later release)
  14. The Coventry Carol - Alison Moyet
  15. Silent Night - Stevie Nicks

    A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992) 
  1. Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
  2. Jingle Bell Rock - Randy Travis
  3. The Christmas Song - Luther Vandross
  4. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper
  5. The Birth Of Christ - Boyz II Men
  6. Please Come Home For Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
  7. What Christmas Means To Me - Paul Young
  8. O Christmas Tree - Aretha Franklin
  9. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love
  10. White Christmas - Michael Bolton
  11. Christmas Is - Run–D.M.C.
  12. Christmas Time Again - Extreme
  13. Merry Christmas Baby - Bonnie Raitt and Charles Brown
  14. O Holy Night - Tevin Campbell
  15. Sleigh Ride - Debbie Gibson
  16. What Child Is This - Vanessa Williams
  17. Blue Christmas - Ann & Nancy Wilson
  18. Silent Night - Wilson Phillips
  19. I Believe In You - Sinéad O'Connor

    A Very Special Christmas 3 (1997) 
  1. I Saw Three Ships - Sting
  2. Christmas Time - The Smashing Pumpkins
  3. Children Go Where I Send Thee - Natalie Merchant
  4. Santa Baby - Reverend Run and The Christmas All Stars
  5. Oi To The World - No Doubt
  6. Blue Christmas - Sheryl Crow
  7. Christmas - Blues Traveler
  8. Oíche Chiún (Silent Night) - Enya
  9. The Christmas Song - Hootie & the Blowfish
  10. Ave Maria - Chris Cornell and Eleven
  11. Christmas In The City - Mary J. Blige and Angie Martinez
  12. Santa Claus Is Back In Town - Johnny Lang
  13. Christmas Song - Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
  14. Christmas Is Now Drawing Near At Hand - Steve Winwood
  15. O Holy Night - Tracy Chapman
  16. We Three Kings - Patti Smith

    A Very Special Christmas Live from Washington, D.C. (1999) 
  1. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow
  2. Christmas In Hollis - Run–D.M.C.
  3. Please Come Home For Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
  4. Christmas Blues - John Popper and Eric Clapton
  5. What Child Is This? - Vanessa Williams
  6. Christmas Tears - Eric Clapton
  7. O Holy Night - Tracy Chapman
  8. Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman and Eric Clapton
  9. Merry Christmas Baby - Sheryl Crow and Eric Clapton
  10. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Jon Bon Jovi
  11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - All artists

    A Very Special Christmas 5 (2001) 
  1. This Christmas - Macy Gray
  2. Little Drummer Boy/Hot Hot Hot - Wyclef Jean
  3. Noel! Noel! - Eve 6
  4. Blue Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
  5. Merry Christmas Baby - Stevie Wonder and Wyclef Jean
  6. O Come All Ye Faithful - City High
  7. Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You - SR-71
  8. Christmas Day - Dido
  9. Run Rudolph Run - Sheryl Crow
  10. Back Door Santa - B.B. King and John Popper
  11. Little Red Rooster - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
  12. Christmas Don't Be Late (Chipmunk Song) - Powder
  13. Silent Night - Stevie Nicks
  14. I Love You More - Stevie Wonder and Kimberly Brewer
  15. White Christmas - Darlene Love

    A Very Special Acoustic Christmas (2003) 
  1. Silent Night - Reba McEntire
  2. Frosty The Snowman - Dan Tyminski
  3. Please Come Home For Christmas - Willie Nelson
  4. Just Put A Ribbon In Your Hair - Alan Jackson
  5. Only You Can Bring Me Cheer (Gentleman's Lady) - Alison Krauss
  6. Even Santa Claus Gets The Blues - Marty Stuart
  7. Jingle Bells - Earl Scruggs
  8. Christmas Is Near - Ralph Stanley
  9. O Come All Ye Faithful - Patty Loveless
  10. O Holy Night - Wynonna
  11. Winter Wonderland - Pat Green
  12. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Sam Bush
  13. Away In A Manger - Ricky Skaggs
  14. Christmas Time At Home - Rhonda Vincent
  15. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Tift Merritt
  16. Peace - Norah Jones

    A Very Special Christmas 7 (2009) 
  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Colbie Caillat
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - The Carter Twins
  3. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Miley Cyrus
  4. Winter Wonderland - Vanessa Hudgens
  5. The Little Drummer Boy - Sean Kingston
  6. The Christmas Song - Charice
  7. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Kristinia DeBarge
  8. Jingle Bell Rock - Mitchel Musso
  9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Leighton Meester
  10. Santa Baby - Kellie Pickler
  11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Carrie Underwood
  12. Last Christmas - Ashley Tisdale
  13. Silent Night - Gloriana

    A Very Special Christmas: 25 Years Bringing Joy To The World (2012) 
  1. Joy To The World - Train
  2. Something In The Air - Lauriana Mae, Jono, and Grayson Sanders
  3. Angels We Have Heard On High - Jewel
  4. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Michael Bublé
  5. Do You Hear What I Hear - Jordin Sparks
  6. I Want You For Christmas - Cheap Trick
  7. Mary, Did You Know - Rascal Flatts
  8. Best Christmas Ever - Wonder Girls
  9. Tennessee Christmas - Amy Grant
  10. Christmas Without You - OneRepublic
  11. Breath Of Heaven (Mary's Song) - Vince Gill
  12. Please Come Home For Christmas - Martina McBride
  13. Winter Wonderland - Jason Mraz
  14. December 25 - Francesca Battistelli
  15. The Christmas Song - Dave Matthews
  16. Oh Holy Night - Christina Aguilera

    A Very Special Christmas: Today's Top Christian Artists Bringing Peace On Earth 
  1. Because It's Christmas - Sidewalk Prophets
  2. Gloria (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / Angels We Have Heard On High) - Jason Castro
  3. Baby Boy - For KING & COUNTRY
  4. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Francesca Battistelli
  5. O Holy Night - Group 1 Crew
  6. Bethlehem Skies - Dara Maclean and Dave Barnes
  7. Jesus, Savior - Chris August
  8. Christmas Together - Jamie Grace
  9. Go Tell It On A Mountain - NEEDTOBREATHE
  10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (He Has Come For Us) - Meredith Andrews
  11. O Come, All Ye Faithful - Big Daddy Weave
  12. I Believe - Natalie Grant
  13. For The Beauty Of The Earth (Nativity Version) - BarlowGirl
  14. We Three Kings - Building 429
  15. Labor Of Love - Point Of Grace
  16. When Love Was Born - Mark Schultz

    ICON: A Very Special Christmas 
  1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Rod Stewart
  3. I Saw Three Ships - Sting
  4. Winter Wonderland - Aretha Franklin
  5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Josh Groban
  6. Please Come Home For Christmas - Jon Bon Jovi
  7. Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
  8. Run Rudolph Run - Sheryl Crow
  9. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
  10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Carrie Underwood
  11. Last Christmas - Wham
  12. Oh Holy Night (international and iTunes bonus track) - Nicole Scherzinger

Tropes found in these albums include:

  • All-Star Cast: They've gathered up a surprisingly diverse range of artists for the 10 albums (11 if you count The Story And The Music) released so far.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Happened to the first album in The New '10s, where it was reissued under the name A Very Special Christmas: The Story And The Music. It had the exact same track listing as the original but had a backstory for the album attached with the liner notes.
  • Christian Rock: Bringing Peace On Earth is focused on this.
  • Christmas Songs: Obviously.
  • Greatest Hits Album: ICON is this with a few new tracks that were never on any VSC album, such as the original recordings of "Happy Xmas" and "Last Christmas", and the Rod Stewart version of "Let It Snow".
  • Live Album: The fourth album was recorded live from Washington, D.C..
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • Joy To The World and to a lesser extent Bringing Peace On Earth commemorate the series' 25th anniversary.
    • Though it wasn't explicitly stated, ICON was the tenth album in the Very Special Christmas series.
  • Schedule Slip: New albums in the series tend to come out every four or five years.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Appears to be the case as of ICON.
  • Word Sequel: Happened to the first four albums. There's A Very Special Christmas, A Very Special Christmas 2, A Very Special Christmas 3 and A Very Special Christmas Live.
    • The acoustic album also qualifies, as well as everything released after 7.

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