Twisted Sister are just one of many renowned rock groups to embrace the holiday season.
It’s safe to admit that while the classic Christmas songs that you can’t seem to escape from during this time of year, whether that’s in the shopping centers or on the radio, are good in their own right, they do tend to wear on you after a while. So for those of you who are having a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit, or want to hear artists of the same caliber as Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister give their own takes on Christmas favorites, then our list of the Top 10 Christmas Songs should undoubtedly place you in the right mood this season!
“Christmas All Over Again”
Tom Petty commemorates the holidays with this original piece from 1992. Punching electric guitar and Petty’s instantly recognizable vocal melodies allow “Christmas All Over Again” to sit comfortably amongst fans of his earlier efforts, while also providing an enjoyable holiday mood with a memorable chorus to sing along to.
“All I Want”
Styx introduce their own original Christmas song with “All I Want.” The song features guitarist Tommy Shaw on lead vocals, and shows the classic rock group making the proper use of dueling lead guitars, a hefty rhythm section, bold synthesizer playing and their signature vocal harmonies.
“Get Into the Spirit”
Rob Halford singing Christmas songs? You’d better believe it. Judas Priest lead vocalist Rob Halford screams his way into the holiday season on “Get Into the Spirit,” a song very much in the vein of “Painkiller” which shows Halford being backed by bombarding cascades of heavy metal guitars and soaring solos.
“Run Rudolph Run”
Lemmy, Billy Gibbons & Dave Grohl
On this cover of the Christmas classic “Run Rudolph Run,” Motorhead‘s Lemmy is paired with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame and Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters and Nirvana. Gibbons and Lemmy both share vocal duties when the song hits the chorus, creating some gritty vocal melodies.
The blues has always been widely apparent in Cinderella’s music, especially in such later efforts as ‘Long Cold Winter’ and ‘Heartbreak Station.’ So it seems only fitting that lead vocalist Tom Keifer give an emotion-fueled take on the classic “Blue Christmas.” Tom is accompanied by a full brass section on this Detroit-style jam, and even emits a few wild screams for good measure.
“Heavy Metal Christmas”
Twisted Sister went a step further than just your one-off Christmas cover, when in 2006 they issued their full length holiday album, the appropriately titled ‘A Twisted Christmas.’ This effort included eleven striking takes on a proud collection of Christmas favorites, with a live album soon following suit. “Heavy Metal Christmas” is a creative take on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and has Dee Snider supplementing such lyrics as “One the first day of Christmas/ my true love gave to me/ a tattoo of Ozzy!”
“This isn’t gonna work guys, come on!” Michael Sweet exclaims, encouraging the rest of Stryper to engage in their own take on “Winter Wonderland.” Piercing guitar melodies and traditional vocal melodies decorate this bold cover, before finally concluding with a slow jazz-style breakdown.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
The well known hair band style of Firehouse is proudly showcased on their cover of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. The applaudable vocal range of CJ Snare and Bill Leverty’s formidable guitar styling constantly competes for the listener’s attention, while staying as true to the original as possible. As an extra touch, the final line is changed to “Bang your head right with the beat in the heavy metal way“.
“Santa Claws is Coming to Town”
Alice Cooper, Billy Sheehan, John 5 & Vinny Appice
The King of Shock Rock recruits a proud list of talent to help him conquer another holiday favorite. Alice Cooper manages to take a beloved classic and turn it into an eerie anthem on “Santa Claws is Coming to Town.” Seeing that he’s backed by John 5, Black Sabbath‘s Vinny Appice and Billy Sheehan from Mr. Big and The Winery Dogs, it’s no surprise that the outcome is standout.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Ronnie James Dio, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright & Tony Iommi
The late Ronnie James Dio once again unites with Tony Iommi on this menacing take on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Crunching, distortion-fueled guitar work and powerhouse vocals transform this holiday classic into a sludgy heavy metal juggernaut. AC/DC‘s Simon Wright and bassist Rudy Sarzo from Quiet Riot provide a solid backbone on this hard hitting cover.