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Various Artists

Rock N Roll Christmas

Review by Gary Hill

If you are looking for a CD that combines solid rock with Christmas themes to augment your holiday festivities, this is a good choice. The CD features 2 progressive rock oriented cuts, one all-time classic Christmas rocker, and several other strong songs. Although some of the pieces feel much more like novelty tracks, the majority of the material here really does rise above that limitation.

Highlight cuts include Elton John`s-Step Into Christmas, ELP doing I Believe in Father Christmas, The Waitresses quirky new wave number Christmas Wrappings and The Kinks classic Father Christmas.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Elton John-Step Into Christmas
Starting in an almost Doobie Brothersish mode, this cut is very definitely `70`s era Elton John, quite in the fashion of Yellow Brick Road. This is a considerably strong and natural sounding Christmas rocker.
Jon Bon Jovi-I Wish Everyday Could Be Christmas
Featuring a homey Christmas texture, this is a solid rock and roll number.
Bob Seger (And the Last Heard)-Sock It To Me Santa
In a decided novelty song fashion, this is a `60`s rock based tune (a bit similar to Devil With The Blue Dress On).
Moody Blues-What Child Is This?
The Blues turn in a very traditional and orchestrated rendition of this lovely holiday song.
George Thorogood and The Destroyers-Rock and Roll Christmas
A typical Thorogood rocker with Christmas themes, this is another which feels more like a novelty number than a genuine song.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer-I Believe in Father Christmas
A very beautiful and haunting Yuletide composition, this one is solidly prog, and one of the tracks that makes this disc such a must have compilation. Although this tune is available on an ELP album, having it nestled here (amongst other Christmas oriented tracks) is a nice bonus.
Elvin Bishop-Silent Night
A blues rock rendition of a Christmas standard, this cut is a bit strained in concept, but quite good.
The Waitresses-Christmas Wrapping
This is a very strong original new wave cut. "Bah humbug, but that`s too strong, cause it is my favorite holiday", that bit of lyrics pretty well sums up the theme of the song. This quirky number is very strong and one of the best numbers on the album.
Billy Squier-Christmas Is the Time To Say I Love You
This is another novelty oriented rocker.
Chuck Berry-Merry Christmas Baby
A bluesy rock piece, from the master, this one works quite well.
The Kinks-Father Christmas
A Christmas rock classic, Father Christmas is a very strong number, and quite a good way to end the album.
 
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