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Classic Rockers' Favorite Christmas Songs

Tradition meets classic rock

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Most of the classic rock artists who have recorded Christmas albums have included some original tunes, but they have also turned to some of the traditional favorites, usually with their own unique interpretations. Here are some of the holiday tunes that are most popular among classic rock artists at Christmastime.

1. "Silent Night"

UMVD Special Markets
One of the most popular songs of the season is one of the favorites of classic rockers.

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies - from the 1969 EP Merry Christmas And Happpy New Year (Compare CD Prices)
Steve Lukather - from Santamental (Compare CD Prices)
The Ventures - from Christmas Joy (Purchase CD or Download)
Joe Satriani - from Merry Axemas (Compare CD Prices)
Elvin Bishop - from A Rock 'N' Roll Christmas (Purchase CD)
• Keith Emerson - from A Classic Rock Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
Jorma Kaukonen - from Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
Chicago - from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa (Purchase CD or Download)

2. "Jingle Bells"

Varese Sarabande
It just wouldn't be Christmas, classic rock or otherwise, without a laugh-filled dash through the snow.

• Brian Setzer Orchestra - from Christmas Rocks: The Best-Of Collection (Purchase CD or Download)
• Canned Heat - from Christmas Album (Purchase CD or Download)
Booker T. & The MGs - from In The Christmas Spirit (Purchase CD or Download)
• Steve Lukather - from Santamental (Compare CD Prices)
• The Ventures - from Christmas Joy (Purchase CD or Download)

3. "We Three Kings"

Capitol Records
This traditional song is a particular favorite of artists from various genres.

Jethro Tull - from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Compare CD Prices)
Blackmore's Night - from Winter Carols (Purchase CD or Download)
• The Ventures - from Christmas Joy (Purchase CD or Download)
Beach Boys - from Christmas With The Beach Boys (Purchase CD or Download)
• Booker T. And The MGs - from In The Christmas Spirit (Purchase CD or Download)

4. "The Christmas Song"

Sony Special Products
Chestnuts roasting, Jack Frost nipping ... yeah, that one. ASCAP says it's the most performed holiday song.

• Chicago - from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa (Purchase CD or Download)
• Steve Lukather - from Merry Axemas, Vol. 2 - More Guitars For Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
• Booker T. & The MGs - from In The Christmas Spirit (Purchase CD or Download)
The Ventures - from Christmas Joy (Purchase CD or Download

5. "Joy To The World"

Sanctuary Records
This upbeat holiday tune lends itself well to a variety of classic rock sub-genres.

Steve Morse - from Southern Rock Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
• The Ventures - from Christmas Joy (Purchase CD or Download)
• Steve Lukather - from Santamental (Compare CD Prices)

6. "O Holy Night"

Locomotive Spain
It's one of the most often heard traditional carols, and it gets some interesting treatment from these artists.

Richie Sambora - from Merry Axemas - A Guitar Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
• Blackmore's Night - from Winter Carols (Compare Prices)
• Brian Setzer Orchestra - from Boogie Woogie Christmas (Compare Prices)
.38 Special - from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night (Purchase CD or Download)

7. "Little Drummer Boy"

Sanctuary Records
You're not likely to hear arrangements like these in stores or on the radio.

• Jimi Hendrix - from Merry Christmas And Happy New Year (Compare CD Prices)
Alex Lifeson - from Merry Axemas - A Guitar Christmas (Purchase CD or Download)
• .38 Special - from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night (Purchase CD or Download)
• Chicago - from Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be Santa (Purchase CD or Download)
• Elvin Bishop - from The Alligator Records Christmas Collection (Purchase CD or Download)

8. "Please Come Home For Christmas"

Capitol Records
Something about the sentiment makes this a popular pick for rockers.

• Edgar Winter - from Harlem Nocturne (Purchase CD or Download)
Pat Benatar - from Synchronistic Wanderings (Purchase CD or Download)
Eagles - from Selected Works 1972-1999 (Purchase CD or Download)

9. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Varese Saraband
Good King Wenceslas would probably approve of these arrangements.

• Blackmore's Night - from Winter Carols (Purchase CD or Download)
• Chicago - from Chicago Christmas: What's It Going To Be Santa (Purchase CD or Download)
• Jethro Tull - from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Compare CD Prices)
• .38 Special - from A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night (Purchase CD or Download)

10. "Greensleeves"

Sanctuary Records
This classical-based favorites has captured the fancy of a diverse mix of classic rock artists.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - from Christmas Time Again (Compare CD Prices)
• Jethro Tull - from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Compare CD Prices)
• Steve Lukather - from Santamental (Compare CD Prices)

11. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

Polydor Records
In its own way, this John Lennon song has become something of a modern day traditional holiday tune.

• John & Yoko And The Plastic Ono Band - from Lennon Legend (Purchase CD or Download)
Moody Blues - from December (Compare CD Prices)
Tommy Shaw, Steve Lukather, Marco Mendoza, Kenny Aronoff - from We Wish You A Metal Xmas...And A Headbanging New Year (Purchase CD or Download)
Jimmy Buffett - from Christmas Island (Purchase CD or Download)
Carly Simon - from Christmas Is Almost Here (Purchase CD or Download)
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