After a smattering of Christmas singles and curios over the years legendary Cheap Trick have just now got around to releasing their first ever full length Christmas album, aptly titled Christmas Christmas. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Blackbird Studios, their 19th studio album in 40 years (and second 2017 release after the We’re All Alright album from earlier in the year) is a dizzying trip through rock ‘n’ rolls storied Christmas past not unlike like the Dickensian ghosts of Christmases past, present and perhaps even Christmases yet to come. The lineage of rock ‘n’ rolls finest is all here, from the early days of its rhythm and blues beginnings in Charles Brown’s Please Come Home For Christmas through to the riff king himself Chuck Berry and his Run Rudolph Run. Christmas Christmas bravely marches to the beat of its own drummer through the flash glam scene of early ‘70s post-Beatles England with Roy Wood’s Wizard track I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and on to Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody. The punk rock roots of Ray Davies’ Kinks classic Father Christmas as well as The Ramones Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) are both served well here. Beyond aping the classics Cheap Trick keep these evergreens fresh with altogether new and interesting middle 8ths for most of the tracks (including an entirely unexpected and utterly pleasing Beatles mash up amidst the Brown classic Please Come Home For Christmas). Add to that three originals, a traditional piece and one odd little SNL sketch bit and there you have it, the 12 songs of Christmas Christmas (get it? 12? Yup, they went there). For a band poised to celebrate their 45th anniversary with a showman guitarist on the verge of turning 70, Christmas Christmas is nothing short of inspiring. Robin Zander’s ever-powerful boisterous pipes and Rick Nielsen’s relentless guitar chops betray both their actual ages. Brimming with youthful exuberance and celebration, Cheap Trick’s Christmas Christmas is one of the finest rock ‘n’ roll Christmas albums ever made.
Editor’s Note: Cheap Trick’s Christmas version of their classic track “I Want You To Want Me” IS NOT included as part of their latest Christmas album Christmas Christmas, however, it is simply too good to not include as part of this article. You’re welcome. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!