Eric Clapton Records First Holiday Album, ‘Happy Xmas’

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Eric Clapton is gifting his fans with an early holiday present. The classic rock legend announced on August 17 the release of his first full-length holiday album, Happy Xmas, coming Oct. 12, via the Bushbranch/Surfdog label. The collection of 14 songs includes covers of many holiday standards including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” His first studio release since 2016’s I Still Do will also feature Slowhand’s take on such favorites as “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas.”

Happy Xmas includes one original, “For Love on Christmas Day.” (See the complete track listing below.) The album also features a cover art illustration by Clapton himself. Pre-order is available in the U.S. here and the U.K. here.

“I had in my head that these holiday songs could be done with a slight blues tinge, and I started to figure out how to play the blues lines in between the vocals,” Clapton, told Billboard. “I got it down and one of the most identifiable songs on the album, the one that became the foundational style, is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’”

Clapton co-produced the album with longtime music producer Simon Climie.

Happy Xmas Track Listing

White Christmas
Away in a Manger (Once in Royal David’s City)
For Love on Christmas Day
Everyday Will Be Live a Holiday
Christmas Tears
Home For the Holidays
Jingle Bells
Christmas in My Hometown
It’s Christmas
Sentimental Moments
Lonesome Christmas
Silent Night
Merry Christmas Baby
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Though he’s said he’s no longer going to be touring, Clapton hasn’t eliminated live performances. He’s done six shows this year, although only three were truly accessible to the public, including his headlining concert in London on July 8 as part of the British Summer Time series in Hyde Park. The only dates currently on his public schedule are two October appearances at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Eric Clapton 2018 Concerts (Tickets are available here and here)

Oct 06 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Oct 07 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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