As the old rock legends go, Eric Clapton may be “God,” but he’s no Santa Clause. The famous British guitarist and member of classic rock outfits like Cream, The Yardbirds, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos, will plan on releasing Happy Xmas just in time for the holiday season on Oct. 12, according to Billboard. The title of the upcoming album is, of course, some nice wordplay in relation to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous holiday anthem, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
According to the report, the 14-track holiday album will include “a mix of standards,” along with familiar songs including “White Christmas” and "Away in a Manger" set to be included. Clapton will also feature some less popular holiday jingles such as “Sentimental Moments” and “Lonesome Christmas,” in addition to his own original new track, “For Love On Christmas Day.” Happy Xmas was co-produced by Clapton alongside Simon Climie, who produced a handful of Eric’s past albums including 1998’s Pilgrim, 2000’s Riding with the King, 2001’s Reptile and 2004’s Me and Mr. Johnson, just to name a few.
Clapton also made the point to dedicate his cover of “Jingle Bells" to "the memory Avicii," as the classic rock guitarist apparently had a huge admiration for the globally famous DJ who died earlier this year.
"I had in my head that these holiday songs could be done with a slight blues tinge, and I started to figure out how to play the blues lines in between the vocals,” Clapton said about the upcoming album in a statement. “I got it down and one of the most identifiable songs on the album, the one that became the foundational style, is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’”
Clapton has never released an album full of holiday covers, although the 73-year-old guitarist and singer has made a Hall Of Fame career out of his blues covers. His last studio album was 2016’s I Still Do, which was followed up by a pause from music for Clapton to embark on a record-setting fly fishing trip to Iceland the following year. He also gave a headlining performance to his hometown fans at London's Hyde Park earlier this summer.
Happy Xmas Track Listing
1. “White Christmas”
2. “Away In A Manger (Once In Royal David’s City)”
3. “For Love On Christmas Day”
4. “Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday”
5. “Christmas Tears”
6. “Home For The Holidays”
7. “Jingle Bells” (In Memory Of Avicii)
8. “Christmas In My Hometown”
9. “It’s Christmas”
10. “Sentimental Moments”
11. “Lonesome Christmas”
12. “Silent Night”
13. “Merry Christmas Baby”
14. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”