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Holiday Songs: Arena Rock Christmas

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OOOwww! Good evening Los Angeles! Wooo! How you all fee-ull?

People. You know! I don't believe the LA Forum has a chimney... so if y'all want Santa Claus to come pay us a visit you're gonna need to raise the roof off this mother!! And I think if all twenty thousand of you flick your lighters in time with the beat we can turn this place into the biggest Christmas tree in the world! Are you with me?


THE KINKS - Father Christmas
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One of the most rocking tunes from their late 70s regeneration, this holiday classic features Ray Davies in a Santa suit being attacked by the local have-nots, poignantly requesting jobs for their fathers and machine guns for themselves, and concludes with a plea for compassion for those very kids.

JETHRO TULL - Jack Frost And The Hooded Crow
Jethro Tull's best work in many years is found on their holiday album of 2003, new songs mixed with re-recordings of 70s-era material. This is the one that most resembles the brash Aqualung-era band that some some of us still crank the car radio for.

QUEEN - Thank God It's Christmas
While perhaps not as manic or overblown as you would like - one can only imagine a Queen Christmas Chorale with their trademark operatic polyphony, like the Hallelujah Chorus shot out of a cannon - here's a sweetly sentimental moment from Freddie and the gang in the Radio Ga-ga era.

BILLY SQUIER - Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You
This is kind of tough, because in the early 1980s, I absolutely HATED Billy Squier. Just, yeccch. The epitome of everything I didn't want in a rock star. And yet, this. I suppose the magic of Christmas works in mysterious ways, and I'm open to the possibility that it infected him for a brief moment, allowing him to use his powers for good for perhaps the only time in his life. Thanks to Christmas, I hate Billy Squier slightly less. Thank you, Christmas.

BOB SEGER - Sock It To Me Santa
A 1966 gem from his old band the Last Heard, considerably prior to his arena days. Cripes, who knew that Bob Seger has records dating back to 1965? Perhaps that thought will provide comfort to all you rocker types who have hit on hard times and are feeling discouraged or even washed up at a ripe old 30... your Night Moves could be only a year away.

Photo by iskanderbenamor via Flickr