10 Best Rock Christmas Songs

Enliven your holiday party by playing one of these 10 best rock Christmas songs. Traditional Christmas carols are great for going door to door or for singing at church, but a party calls for rock Christmas songs. Fortunately, a number of rock artists, both classic and contemporary, have recorded rock Christmas songs to get your party started.

  1. "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Perhaps the only rock Christmas song to begin life as a war protest song, Lennon's "Happy Christmas" features a child's choir and soaring sounds, thanks to producer Phil Spector. It was first released as a single in 1971 and has become a holiday standard since.
  2. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" Bruce Springsteen. You better watch out indeed. Springsteen's version of the popular rock Christmas song gives the tune a frantic, frenetic quality.
  3. "Run, Rudolph Run" Chuck Berry. Though you can find covers of this rock Christmas song from artists such as Billy Idol and Brian Setzer, it's best to stick with the 1958 original from one of the grandfathers of rock and roll.
  4. "It's Christmas Baby (Please Come Home)" U2. Bono's vocals fit this popular 1960's Christmas song perfectly. The band keeps the song's sonic qualities similar to the original, only substituting Bono's voice for the original female voice.
  5. "Blue Christmas" Elvis Presley. "Blue Christmas" is the perfect song for a slow dance at a party or for when you're mourning the loss of your love during the holidays. No one can quite deliver sadness like Elvis.
  6. "Jingle Bell Rock" Billy Idol. Idol's version of "Jingle Bell Rock" is a departure from his usual fare. The bluesy riff pairs well with his expressive voice.
  7. "Wonderful Christmastime" Paul McCartney. It isn't Christmastime until someone breaks out the synthesizer and that's just what this 1979 McCartney song does. Along with Lennon's "Happy Christmas," "Wonderful Christmastime" is one of the most popular rock Christmas songs each year.
  8. "Little Saint Nick" Beach Boys. "Little Saint Nick" is a great showcase for the pop melodies and vocal harmonies the Beach Boys are known for. It's a great upbeat Christmas song, perfect for getting a party going.
  9. "Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy" David Bowie and Bing Crosby. While not as rocking as some of the other rock Christmas songs, this song deserves a spot on the list simply for its oddity factor. David Bowie's tenor provides an excellent contrast to Crosby's bass-baritone.
  10. "Last Christmas" George Michael/WHAM. Full of 80's synth and hooks, "Last Christmas" is another heart-broken Christmas song. It's a great one for when you're getting over a break up around the holidays.
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