Cheap Trick : Christmas Christmas

Christmas Christmas is gold and goes straight to the top of the list as a new Yule-time classic.

 Don’t sneer, even Pavement love Cheap Trick, and you can see why: this is a goddamn festive party right here, and not a sedate one with your neighbours and Coles’ shitty mince pies. 
Let’s start with Cheap Trick’s original ‘Merry Christmas Darlings’, a glam-rock kicker, replete with sounds of partying right down to the “ckkshhhhhsss” of cracking open a tinny. The ‘la la la la’ refrain is victorious and glorious. 
Thereafter, the album kicks between rock, blues and punk. ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day' is one of those instances where a cover surpasses the original. This reimagining is a brasher, bolder, brassier and all-round gutsier version than Wizzard’s ‘70s golden oldie.
Hard pressed to pick a fave on Christmas Christmas, because they’re all corkers, but ‘I Wish It Was Christmas Today’ takes the plum pud. The tune is an Iggy-ish punk-Christmas anthem and, by rights, should be as popular as ‘Silent Night’. 
‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is a pretty straight-down-the-line cover of Slade’s classic, but no less fun for it. ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ becomes dirtier blues than any prior version and ‘Run Rudolph Run’ is a joyous bit of big rock’n’roll, AC/DC style.
‘Our Father of Life’ – another original – takes it down a notch. It’s a pretty choral ballad, but my least fave, lacking the balls-to-wall verve.
This is an album for folks who like their Christmas with a side serve of Slade, T-Rex, hints of the Clash and big hooks. Also, it pushed me to revisit Cheap Trick’s breakthrough album, Live At Budokan and play ‘I Want You To Want Me’ on repeat. Merry Christmas.