Adult Contemporary

Christmas super-producer David Foster reveals the one thing artists shouldn’t put on their holiday album

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Morelli Brothers

Christmas Songs, the 2022 EP David Foster and his wife, Katharine McPhee, released this year, includes holiday favorites like “Jingle Bell Rock” and one modern classic, “Grown Up Christmas List,” which Foster wrote in 1992. But get ready, ’cause the couple’s already planning a deluxe version for Christmas 2023.

“We’re gonna add to this, because there’s only seven songs on this record, so we’re gonna add five more,” David told ABC Audio. “And we’re really gonna think about these five, because as we travel around, I like to ask people what their favorite Christmas song is.”

Foster’s a pro at making successful holiday albums: He produced some of the biggest ones, like Celine Dion‘s These Are Special Times, Josh Groban‘s Noël and Michael Bublé‘s Christmas. Foster says hearing Michael’s version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is what marks the start of the holiday season for him.

“That album is so good, if I do say so myself,” Foster laughs, adding, “Bublé reeks of Christmas … he’s built for it.”

But the thing he says will ruin a Christmas album is the inclusion of new, original holiday songs.

“I don’t think people want to hear [them],” he insists. “They said it best 50, 60, 70, 80 years ago. And we can’t do any better.”

Mariah [Carey] obviously is the exception,” he admits. “I would say that I’m a slight exception with ‘Grown Up Christmas List,’ because it’s been around for 30 years and a lot of people have recorded it, but it’s not really a standard.”

He adds, “The old songs are the ones that even the younger people want to hear, because they’re great, great songs. I don’t wanna hear some new artist do some new song. I just don’t.”

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