This is the most rockin’ Christmas album of all time. It doesn’t contain the best Christmas single of all time (I’d probably give that award to Elvis, the Chipmunks, Chuck Berry, Spike Jones, Run DMC, the Sonics, the Crossfires, Slade, the Beach Boys, Wizzard, or Dr. Elmo), but it is the best, most consistent album in the bunch.
It’s got all the traditional songs such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “White Christmas,” and the usual rock carols such as “Blue Christmas.” But it does it in a damned clever way–three decades ahead of the mash-up craze, each of these songs uses the riffs from one song while using the melody of another. So “Woolly Bully” becomes “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” becomes “Jingle Bell Rock,” etc.
There’s not a stinker in the bunch, except maybe for the oddly-placed original “Scrooge” which, while aptly titled for Christmas, sonically doesn’t belong in the mix. But whatever. This album will rock your holiday party like none other. I give it three mistletoe kisses and a gallon of soy nog.
The only clip I could find of a Ventures Christmas song on YouTube was some guy’s kick-ass version of it on Guitar Hero! I guess you can play the carols as well as hear them this year.
P.S. Runners up include the Beach Boys Christmas album, the Phil Spector Christmas album, and of course, Elvis! That man is still the King, and I don’t know why my music-loving friends haven’t rediscovered this fantastic vocalist and icon.
In researching this piece, I found an amazing bit of drugged-up Elvis holiday fare. Enjoy!