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Top 12 Classic Rock Christmas Albums

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There’s only so much goopy seasonal music you can listen to, right? That’s where this list of Top 12 classic rock Christmas albums comes in. We’ve dug up the best song cycles from guys who set the old cardigan-wearing holiday-music model aflame.

You’ll find modern-era classics from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Canned Heat and the Moody Blues, along with timeless favorites from the Beach Boys, Ventures and Elvis Presley. There are entries that frankly surprised us, for one reason or another, from Bob Dylan, Chicago and Twisted Sister, too.

What you won’t find here are compilations – great though they may be – like 1987’s A Very Special Christmas, 2003’s We Wish You a Hairy Christmas or 2008’s We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Head-banging New Year. Also, we were looking for full-length albums, so Jimi Hendrix‘s very cool EP didn’t make the cut either.

We’re sad to report, however, that making Christmas music can apparently be hazardous to your recording career. You see that not one, not two, but three of these albums somehow represents the final recorded output from a well-known rock outfit – and, ironically, concluding Yuletide projects from Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues both arrived in 2003. Canned Heat haven’t reentered the studio since 2007’s Christmas Album, either.

As we wait for new material from those great bands – and for Santa, of course – scroll through the gallery below to find out how we ranked the Top 12 classic rock Christmas albums of all time.

Next: The Worst Christmas Songs ... Ever

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