Eric Clapton has announced his first Christmas album Happy Xmas, a collection of seasonal songs that arrives this October.
“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.'”
The 14-track album boasts popular seasonal favorites like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” alongside lesser-known Christmas songs and one Clapton-penned original, “For Love on Christmas Day.” Clapton’s rendition of the standard “Jingle Bells” also carries the parenthetical “In Memory of Avicii.”
Clapton co-produced Happy Xmas alongside Simon Climie, with the guitarist also contributing the hand-drawn album cover featuring Clapton dressed as Santa Claus.
Happy Xmas, due out October 12th, is Clapton’s first official album since 2016’s I Still Do. The guitarist last released his Life in 12 Bars documentary’s soundtrack, featuring his career highlights and unreleased songs, in July.
Happy Xmas Track List
1. White Christmas
2. Away In A Manger (Once In Royal David’s City)
3. For Love On Christmas Day
4. Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
5. Christmas Tears
6. Home For The Holidays
7. Jingle Bells (In Memory Of Avicii)
8. Christmas In My Hometown
9. It’s Christmas
10. Sentimental Moments
11. Lonesome Christmas
12. Silent Night
13. Merry Christmas Baby
14. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas