Tis the season everybody and I wanted to share some of my favorite personal Christmas songs. There are a plethora of people jumping on the opportunity to cash in with making a Christmas album and most of them are not that great. In fact we have an article coming up shortly which highlights some of the WORST Christmas albums. Today we’re gonna keep things positive and share some great covers and unique originals that I think keep the spirit alive, without hearing the same songs over and over and over. You can check out all these great songs (and a few others) on the youtube playlist I’ve compiled. Enjoy and a merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours, or happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanza, merry Festivus (for the rest of us), and happy holidays!
Angels We Have Heard On High – Brian Setzer Orchestra
If I can fanboy out a little bit. I love Brian Setzer Orchestra. Brian Setzer was even mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine as one of the most under-rated guitarists. That aside, their cover of “Angels We Have Heard On High” is a great blend of that rockabilly guitar style with a full orchestra and a choir. It’s worth mentioning he has plenty of other fantastic songs he does for Christmas. This is just my favorite (my humble opinion.)
Oh Holy Night – August Burns Red
If you’re looking for some more hardcore Christmas songs then this might be the album for you. I just love the use of a violin, a guitar, some glockenspiel, and some DOUBLE BASS DRUMS! But it’s not needlessly hardcore, there is a great balance and even subtlety to enjoy. So put on a santa hat and head bang that ball around with this and the rest of the album!
Wish Liszt – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Most of us are familiar with TSO, but most of us have only really heard their most popular song “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo.” I feel like these guys started a trend of bands making covers of classic Christmas songs with squelching electric guitars. Since that song they have made several Christmas songs and “Wish Liszt” is a favorite of mine because it’s not exactly a Christmas song but you’d almost swear it came right out of “Babes in Toyland.”
Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
I didn’t say none of these wouldn’t be classics. I’m sure most of are familiar with this song. I only wish Queen had made more Christmas songs. They managed to create an original that just rocked in true Queen fashion. Queen composed a great song. It even has the spirit of camaraderie and fellowship for the season without feeling like a commercial ploy.
What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder
I have always loved the great groove of Stevie Wonder. He is one of the few people who has also managed to create his own original Christmas songs. This particular song is just toe-tapping fun and is great to play with your loved ones to get people up and dancing.
You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch – By Gary Hoey
Gary Hoey’s version may lack the fun lyrics of the song, but we know them anyway. Besides, his version just seems to give it that more gnarly and sinister vibe to make you realize the kind of hardcore villain Dr. Seuss created with the Grinch. In truth it’s a very simple cover, but he has a couple other great covers on his album.