William Shatner, master of the theatrical spoken-word rock cover, is tackling the Yuletide with his first-ever holiday LP, Shatner Claus – The Christmas Album, out October 26th via Clepoatra Records. Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Brad Paisley, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins and former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman all appear on the record, among other guests.
King Crimson woodwind specialist Mel Collins, former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle and the Cars guitarist Elliot Easton also appear on the album, which includes Shatner-ish spins on holiday staples like”Blue Christmas,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Silent Night.”
The iconic Star Trek actor previewed the LP with his wild, Rollins-featured take on “Jingle Bells.” Shatner adopts his reliably campy spoken-word approach over digital strings and percussion, firing off new lyrics (“Oh, forget it – I had too much eggnog!”) between the punk legend’s shouted choruses. The duo also recorded a “Punk Rock Version” of the tune as a bonus track.
While primarily recognized for his acting, Shatner has recorded several albums, often collaborating with veterans of hard-rock and prog-rock. (Yes bassist Billy Sherwood produced his fifth LP, 2013’s Ponder the Mystery, which also features guest spots from Wakeman, Steve Vai and the Doors’ Robby Krieger, among others.) Shatner Claus is his second release of 2018, following the August-issued Why Not Me?, a country collaboration with Alabama’s Jeff Cook.
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Shatner Claus – The Christmas Album Track List
1. “Jingle Bells” (featuring Henry Rollins)
2. “Blue Christmas (featuring Brad Paisley)
3. “Little Drummer Boy (featuring Joe Louis Walker)
4. “Winter Wonderland (featuring Todd Rundgren, Artimus Pyle)
5. “Twas The Night Before Christmas (featuring Mel Collins)
6. “Run Rudolph Run (featuring Elliot Easton)
7. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel (featuring Rick Wakeman)
8. “Silver Bells (featuring Ian Anderson)
9. “One for You, One For Me
10. “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (featuring Billy Gibbons)
11. “Silent Night (featuring Iggy Pop)
12. “White Christmas (featuring Judy Collins)
13. “Feliz Navidad (featuring Dani Bander)
14. Jingle Bells (featuring Henry Rollins) (Punk Rock Version) (Bonus Track)