So Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver) left rehab long enough to record a Christmas album. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year finds the much maligned vocalist doing his best Michael Bublé /Harry Connick shtick. And no, it doesn’t work for him. He looks and sounds like a drug-addled wino singing for spare change. But it got us here at Metalholic thinking about some heavy holiday wares worthy of a listen if not a giggle and a Jägernog.
Face it, country stars can’t help but record Christmas albums (or at least singles) but few self-respecting metalheads have the balls to rock the halls. That’s why we put Rob Halford at the top of our Christmas card list. Stuff that in your stocking and smoke it!
Halford III ~ Winter Songs (2009)
The Metal God lays it down like nobody’s business on his third solo effort, the first in years. There is no tongue-in-cheek parody here. It’s all headbanging and atmospheric glory. We’d expect nothing less from the leather clad Priest of metal. The album is a mix of re-imagined Christmas classics and unique originals, including the lead off track “Get Into The Spirit”.
We Wish You A Metal Xmas & A Headbanging New Year (2008)
Some of rock and metal’s heaviest hitters gathered for this holiday bangfest. Motörhead founder Lemmy Kilmister gives us a jamming version of “Run Run Rudolph” with ZZ Top axeter Billy Gibbons and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl. While the late Ronnie James Dio teams up with Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi for a grand and epic version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. For fun, Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy covers “Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer” with Mr. Big‘s Billy Sheehan. The heaviest among them all is the less than quiet rendering of “Silent Night” by Testament‘s Chuck Billy and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. Other vocalists to appear include Alice Cooper, Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche), Joe Lynn Turner, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Doug Pinnick (King’s X).
Twisted Sister ~ A Twisted Christmas (2006)
The flipside to Halford‘s Christmas offering, is Dee Snider and Company’s campy tongue-in-cheek (which cheeks we won’t say) romp through all our holiday favorites. Hell, you can’t take these guys seriously even when they are deliberately deadpan. Grandma got run over by a reindeer my ass. That was Dee Snider in full Twisted regalia.
We Wish You A Hairy Christmas (2003)
This one is for all those hair metal fans. Glamsters Warrant take a stab at covering The Kinks‘ “Father Christmas” while Danger Danger turns in an inspired twist on its signature song, with “Naughty Naughty Xmas”. Sunset Strip bands like Bulletboys (“Everyday Should Be Like Christmas”), Faster Pussycat (“Silent Night”), Tuff (“Jingle Bell Rock”), Pretty Boy Floyd (“Happy Family”), and L.A. Guns (“Run Run Rudolph”) all make melodically fun appearances. Enuffs Z’nuff (“Happy Holiday”) chips in, as well as former Guns N’ Roses member Gilby Clarke (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”). Fans of 80’s hard rock and hair metal should have this in their collection.
While it’s no longer available, Stryper‘s Reason For The Season EP had an incredibly fun cover of “Winter Wonderland”. The song “Reason For The Season” can be found on on the 1986 re-issue of the band’s debut EP Yellow and Black Attack. “Winter Wonderland” eventually surfaced on a re-issue of To Hell With The Devil. Good luck finding it, but it’s arguably the best rendition of the song ever. Listen below…
So we’ve told you some of our favorites. Who would you add to the list? Sound off below! \m/