Two years ago, I posted up a short playlist of a half dozen rock n’ roll Christmas songs. Since rock n’ rollers and metalheads have been banging out holiday jams aplenty in the past decade or so, here are 10 more.
Cheap Trick- Christmas Christmas. Cheap Trick are no stranger to Christmas tunes, with holiday-themed singles and appearances on various “hip” Christmas albums over the years. Last year, though, they gifted us an entire Christmas album. It contains covers of standard tunes, rockin’ tunes and originals. This song was penned by the band and really takes Christmas cheer up to 11.
Warrant – Father Christmas. I included the original version of The Kinks’ holiday staple on my last playlist. It’s one of my absolute favorites for this time of year. I also dig all the various cover versions, and this one by Warrant leads the charge. I came across this initially on the 2003 album We Wish You a Hairy Christmas, which is a spotty collection of old sleaze metal bands doing Christmas songs. There are some standouts though, like this and Danger Danger’s “Naught Naughty Xmas”.
T. Rextasy – White Christmas. Okay, look, I have been listening to this song every December, and I still don’t exactly know the details and haven’t come up with a lot. T. Rextasy is a T. Rex cover band with a couple of albums worth of stuff. Dino Dines, who played drums for the last half of T. Rex’s albums before Marc Bolan died, apparently played drums for this band (or another tribute band called T. Rextasy, which is also possible). Either way, if you want to know what “White Christmas” would sound like by way of classic T. Rex, look no further. This shit is so spot on.
Tom Petty – Christmas All Over Again. Tom Petty can do no wrong and this classic comes from one of the ubiquitous A Very Special Christmas albums (volume 2) and is notably played in Home Alone 2 and Jingle All the Way.
Pointed Sticks – Power Pop Santa. This is a fun one. Pointed Sticks were a power pop band who released some great singles in the late 70s and an album in 1980. Looking at Discogs, they appear to have released a couple albums in the 21st century here and there. This tune was released as a single in 2012, with the B-side “Xmas Time Again”. “Power Pop Santa” details a rockin’ dude who bring goodies to all the power pop kids, and proceeds to name drop a bunch of new and old power pop bands and describe what they got for Christmas.
Twisted Sister – Oh Come All Ye Faithful. It’s weird that Twisted Sister’s final studio album (to date) is a Christmas record. But it’s a good one. The holidays and rock n’ roll are blended spectacularly for a smokin’ platter of reworked classic guitar solos and riffs (both Twister Sister’s and other bands), holiday standards, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and all the shit that made Twisted Sister work in the first place.
Diamond Dogs – Sweethearts for Christmas. I don’t know anything about this band. I came across the song a few years ago, listened to it based on the David Bowie reference in the band name and added it to a Christmas playlist on Spotify, and that was that. Looking at Wiki, they appear to be a long-running 70s-styled Swedish band, who only recently broke up. I’ve never listened to a note outside of this song though.
Rick Springfield – Santa is an Anagram. Not only did Rick Springfield include a new novelty Christmas tune on his latest album, it was seemingly released as the lead single. The song is very Chuck Berry (Very Berry). A new holiday standard, to be sure.
Cheap Trick – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight). I wouldn’t normally double dip on a playlist like this, but that Cheap Trick Christmas album is hard to resist. Chances are, the Ramones’ original classic is already on your holiday playlist, or even Joey Ramone’s later “cover”, if you can call redoing a song he wrote a cover. Cheap Trick do the song and Joey’s memory justice and deserve a spot on your turntable.
Lemmy – Run Rudolph Run. Lots of artists have turned out killer versions of this yuletide classic (it appears on the above-mentioned Cheap Trick album too!), but in the end, there’s no way I’m not closing out this playlist with Lemmy.
Psssst… Click here to listen to this playlist on Spotify!