You aren’t going to believe this, but here goes anyway.
One of this decade’s best Christmas albums is “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night” by .38 Special.
I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way .38 Special — a Southern rock band — could do a decent Christmas record. How can that be?
Let me try to explain. If you’re a regular reader of AM, Then FM, you know I dig Lynyrd Skynyrd. And, yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd has done a Christmas album. And, no, it is not anywhere near as good as “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night.” Not even close. No contest.
“A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night” is a terrific mix of originals and covers. Some of it rocks. Some of it is heartfelt and touching. Some of it is reverent. The performances, vocal and instrumental, are outstanding. All this despite an unfortunate album cover that in no way conveys the quality of this album.
Those wild-eyed Southern boys can be gracious, too.
“Halleujah! It’s Christmas.” A joyous, upbeat original that rocks, yet has a sing-along, clap-along feel to it. It’s written by guitarists Don Barnes and Danny Chauncey and lead singer Donnie Van Zant.
“It’s Christmas and I Miss You.” This is one of two fine original songs about longing for lost loved ones at Christmas. This one is written by Barnes and Jim Peterik. The other, “That Old Rockin’ Chair,” is written by Van Zant and Chauncey, and is dedicated to Van Zant’s mother.
“O Holy Night.” An elegant, reverent, piano-driven treatment for this Christmas classic.
All by .38 Special, from “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night,” 2001.
Enjoy. More to come.