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Christmas albums from Rock Musicians  

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20 best Christmas albums from rock musicians

Great soundtracks for creating a festive mood and celebrating the New year.

In this collection, you will find 20-holiday albums recorded by famous rock musicians. Some of these musicians remained true to the spirit of rock music, while others switched, let's say, to a more commercial style. But the more diverse our selection turned out to be. For a real new year's mood, as for good music, genres are not important. Happy new year!

"A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector" (1963)

Various Artists


OK, we're starting with a not-so-rocker-heavy album. But according to many, this album is the best in the Christmas genre in its entire history. All the more surprising that this disk was created by a man who is currently serving time on a murder charge. Phil Spector is one of the most important egomaniacs in the history of popular music. The person who turned the previously unknown position of producer into a well-respected (or hated) profession always wanted to be the grandest and most significant of all. So he invented the wall of sound, which made pop records for teenagers sound like a Wagnerian Opera.

Of course, when Phil Spector, who loved Christmas as a child, decided to record a Christmas album with his artists, he decided that it would be the greatest Christmas album of all-and he did. Perhaps this was because" wall of sound", which Phil Spector coined, oddly enough, was best suited for this particular Christmas album.

The drums were massive and weighty, like huge snowdrifts; joyful chants, cheerful rhythms and constant bells. Hooves clatter, the cart flies, blowing furry reins, bells ring, and wooden soldiers March. But the main thing is not even in this, but in the voices of black artists-Darlene Love, The Crystals, The Ronettes, who seem very happy to take a short break from the lingering sentimental songs about unhappy love and sing songs of their childhood. (MK.)


"Crackers" (1985)


For many fans of old rock music, Slade is one of the brightest and most colorful British glam bands. The secret of the appeal of Slade's music is the combination of the real "loudmouth" vocals of the charming and artistic Noddy holder with the elegant melodies of the quiet melodic genius Jimmy Lee. Today, Slade enjoy a truly cult status among music connoisseurs, but for the mass Western audience, Slade is valuable primarily for its 1973 Christmas hit "Merry Xmas Everybody". It became a model of how a rock song about Christmas should sound. When in 1985 Slade decided to return to the Christmas theme in the format of an entire album, the result was no less impressive-merry Christmas songs, downhole rock and roll songs and choral choruses under the direction of Noddy holder will create a festive mood that will ring in your ears for a long time. (MK)

"Christmas Eve and Other Stories "(1996)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When you talk about Christmas music, it is simply impossible not to mention the work of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The project participants combine heavy rock with classical music and create conceptual rock operas, often with a holiday theme. Any work of the band sounds beautiful, majestic and gives a lot of pleasure when listening. In this compilation, we include " Christmas Eve and Other Stories”, the very first album by TSO. (AA)

"Merry Axemas" (1996)

Various Artists

The "Merry Axemas" series is a wonderful new year's gift for all fans of virtuoso guitar solos. Still: here, the masters of the six strings (as well as their fans) do not need to painfully wait for the moment when they "stop singing" to perform their sparkling solo. After all, this is a purely instrumental album. Listen to the ingenuity with which famous virtuosos beat long-familiar and seemingly predictable Christmas themes-it's worth a lot. I am also happy with the fact that guitarists from very different schools and eras are represented here. The first part is decorated with the presence of Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, Richie Sambora, Brian Setzer, Steve Morse, Joe Perry and others. (MK)

"Christmas" (1996)

Jorma Kaukonen

In 1996, ex-guitarist Jefferson Airplane released the only theme album of his career. Jorma Kaukonen took the job seriously. He did not focus on the replay of the Christmas standards. In contrast, a couple with a rhythm guitarist Michael Falzarano Kaukonen himself wrote most of the material, which is very unusual for such records. By the way, another difference from the usual releases dedicated to the great holiday is that this "Christmas album in the style of folk-rock" was released ahead of time, namely in July. Fans of Jorma's work were also interested in the fact that the musician recorded keyboard parts for him on his own for the only time in his career. And, of course, the cover of "Christmas" is worthy of all praise. (AA)


" Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album "(1998)


The famous American rock band Chicago has a rich track record, and it is not surprising that there was a place for a Christmas album, and even more than one. But we highlight the first one, which was released in 1998 and subsequently re-released a couple of times with bonus tracks. Chicago is known for the active use of wind instruments in the sound palette, so those who love festive music performed with trombones, trumpets, and saxophones will love this CD. (AA)

"I Wanna Be Santa Claus" (1999)

Ringo Starr

To date, Ringo Starr is the only member of the Beatles to have recorded a full – length album of classic Christmas songs. But this is not because Ringo Starr is not very good at songwriting (how could you even think that about him!), but because of all the Beatles, Ringo is the kindest, sweetest and most generous. Just like Santa Claus (or Santa Klaus). So on his Christmas album, Ringo exudes positivity with the intensity of a Christmas garland. You just have to listen, spread like butter on a frying pan and talk to each other: peace and love. (MK)

"Boogie Woogie Christmas" (2002)

Brian Setzer Orchestra

Brian Setzer began his journey to success with the revival of rockabilly traditions as part of the virtuoso trio Stray Cats, and then, without slowing down the rhythm, continued the revival of swing music, organizing a very energetic Brian Setzer Orchestra. Strictly speaking, BSO swing is not exactly like the classic swing of the 40s – it has too much adrenaline, rock ' n ' roll guitar and real rockabilly madness. But for a Christmas record, this is it. "Pumped up" Christmas hits from Setzer and his orchestra are the perfect soundtrack for wild fun with dancing on the table and other festive outrages. For those who require the continuation of the Banquet, a sequel is provided - " Dig That Crazy Christmas "(2005). (MK)

"Santamental "(2003)

Steve Lukather

When the bosses of Bop City Records suggested that the leader of Toto make his fourth solo album Christmas, Lukater at first even took offense. However, representatives of the company convinced the musician that he is able to produce something more than a typical holiday CD. In the end, Steve himself got the idea to turn the basic traditional Christmas songs into something new and attractive for listeners. The direction of Lukater's thoughts can be calculated from the list of guest guitarists-Steve Vai, Michael Landau, Eddie van Halen, Slash were featured on Santamental (Steve was very pleased with the collaboration with the latter and called the musician "the Keith Richards of his generation"). Fans of hard rock on a festive night-must listen! (AA)

" Christmas Album "(2003)

Jethro Tull

It's no secret that Christmas albums are often a convenient panacea for musicians who are experiencing a creative crisis – you don't need to write anything new, and the pre-holiday rush will always guarantee the necessary sales volume. It is quite possible that these motives were guided by the main flautist of all rock, Ian Anderson, who in interviews at the time honestly admitted that he "does not compose". Even so, we can't say that Our companions got into the wrong sleigh (sorry for the winter pun). After all, the music of Jethro Tull has at least one foot in traditional English folk, which means that the performance of traditional Christmas tunes is quite capable of a flautist... who, by the way, often likes to stand on one leg. Anderson's trademark sarcasm and irony saves the disc from the cloying quality of many similar works. (MK)

"What I Really Want for Christmas" (2005)

Brian Wilson

In 2005, the famous Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, who was extremely active in the mid-2000s, decided to try his hand at the field of "seasonal" holiday albums. However, for the first time on the territory of the "holiday" concept, the musician went 40 years before, as part of his team. It is on “the Beach Boys ' Christmas Album” contained the originals of a couple of songs, found in a reworked version on the modern work of Brian. For the rest, on his solo album, Wilson focused on folk compositions, adding several new tracks of his own composition to the collection. Critical response to the record was mixed, but it is unlikely that Brian was very upset. (AA)

"a Twisted Christmas "(2006)

Twisted Sister

Veterans of 80's hard metal under the leadership of the charismatic Dee Snyder never sought to reach the owners of good taste and good manners. But they always had a complete order with self-irony, a sense of humor and a critical attitude to the surrounding reality. These remarkable qualities do not change them on this album, which successfully shows that Christmas carols may well be stadium rock anthems. A rare opportunity to get into a festive mood, simultaneously feeling a sense of deep world injustice. And most importantly, thanks to the song " Heavy Metal Christmas” , we know what every self-respecting metalhead should ask Santa Claus! (For those who are really interested in, here is the full list: "12 silver crosses, 11 sets of mascara, 10 pairs bot platform, 9 tattered t-shirts, 8 pentagrams, 7 leather jackets 6 cans of hairspray 5 skull rings, four pints of Jack, three studded belts, two pairs of spandex pants and a tattoo with Osicom") (M. K.)

"A New Thought for Christmas" (2008)

Melissa Etheridge

The American rock singer, known for her fight for the rights of sexual minorities, has never been a religious person. However, Melissa also celebrated the special magic of Christmas, which has always been one of her favorite periods in the calendar year. This album, which combines the artist's original songs and well-known standards, is an attempt to understand the phenomenon of this big holiday. Melissa herself stated that A New Thought for Christmas is due to her desire to overcome previous repressive cultural paths and practices in order to move towards the future. (A. A.)


"Christmas In The Heart" (2009)

Bob Dylan

If it ever occurred to anyone to rank the artists who are least likely to ever record a Christmas album, Bob Dylan would have every chance of topping the list. But it happened anyway: in 2009, Dylan released just such an album. The unsentimental musician, of course, immediately rushed to declare that traditional Christmas songs for him are as much a part of musical folklore as the one that he has been engaged in for a significant part of his life. But we know that Bob Dylan has Christmas "in the heart"! If you prefer acrid and raspy albums to euphonious and sweet-voiced ones, then "Christmas In The Heart" is your choice! (MK)

" Halford III: Winter Songs "(2009)


"Don't Waste Your Wishes" (2016)
The Killers

For many years in a row, the Killers released charity Christmas singles. Finally, there were enough of them for the full-length edition that followed in 2016. All the money raised from the sales of "Don't Waste Your Wishes" will go as part of the Product Red campaign to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. (A. A.)

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