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Lynyrd Skynyrd, Twisted Sister Lead Rockin' Christmas Album List

12/02/2014
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(Gibson) Going back to Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" and Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run," rock and rollers have tried to put a modern spin on the spirit of Christmas. Vying against crooners like Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, and Johnny Mathis is never easy this time of year, but a handful of more raucous artists have acquitted themselves well. Below are ten albums that would fit nicely in any rock lover's stocking.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Christmas Time Again: Deciding a southern rock Christmas was in order, Skynyrd recruited guests 38 Special and the Charlie Daniels Band to help fashion this inspired collection. Skynyrd gives Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run" a Stones-like, garage band treatment, and tosses in a bit of Yuletide lasciviousness with the original tune "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'." The Daniel Band's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is basically a rewrite of "Devil Went Down to Georgia."
Beach Boys - Christmas with the Beach Boys: Originally released in 1964, this album mixes holiday standards with original songs penned by Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson. The group's trademark vocal harmonies are in full bloom on "Frosty the Snowman," and their a cappella version of "Auld Lang Syne" is pure magic.

Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas: Here we have Dee Snider delivering "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" in his own inimitable way. Actually, this 10-song collection comes off as reverent in spite of itself. True, "Deck the Halls" sounds like a Ramones outtake, and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (sung by guest Lita Ford) is pure arena rock, but the disc has a goofy charm. On "Twelve Days of Christmas" (rechristened "Heavy Metal Christmas"), Snider replaces the refrain "partridge in a pear tree" with the words "a tattoo of Ozzy."

Elvis Presley - Christmas: Recorded in 1957, when the King ( was in full rock and roll flight, this disc rates just a tad below the Spector album on the classic scale. "Blue Christmas" is embedded in the national consciousness, but Presley's magnificent takes on "White Christmas" and the Leiber/Stoller original "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" are nearly as good.

Jethro Tull - Christmas Album: Tull frontman Ian Anderson's goal on this 2003 disc was "to find some uplifting traditional Christmas carols, some new songs, and to re-record some old Tull pieces on the Christmas topic." The eccentric minstrel was obviously inspired by the process, as he and his Tull 'mates delivered their finest folk-prog album since the '70s. Guitarist Martin Barre's acoustic work is especially dazzling.

Read the rest of the list here.

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