Hear New Holiday Albums from Eric Clapton, the Monkees and Michael McDonald (New Music Friday)

Hear New Holiday Albums from Eric Clapton, the Monkees and Michael McDonald (New Music Friday)

It may barely be October, but it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. Before you know it, they’ll be here, so with that in mind some legendary entertainers released a new holiday album of their own today — more than two months before Christmas.

eric clapton happy xmas

Happy Xmas is Eric Clapton‘s 24th studio album to date and the first since 2016 — and also the very first holiday record of his heralded, iconic career. Featuring Slowhand’s take on some classic standards and one original song (“For Love on Christmas Day”), it’s a festive and varied collection of holiday tunes. Clapton’s spin on “Jingle Bells” has a slightly electronic feel, and that’s entirely by design as it’s a tribute to the late Swedish SJ Avicii, who passed away in April.

Pick up a copy here, and stream it via Spotify or Apple Music below:

the monkees christmas party album

Would you believe the Monkees hadn’t released a holiday album until today, too? That may seem surprising, but it’s true — and today, Christmas Party makes its debut.

Featuring many of the special guests who helped surviving members Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith put together their 50th anniversary album Good Times! in 2016 (Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Andy Partridge of XTC fame, longtime R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5), plus production work from Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, Christmas Party is a lot of fun.

The LP blends new songs with classics, and vocals recorded by the late Davy Jones are used on “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Silver Bells.” Pick up a copy of Christmas Party here, and stream it below via Spotify or Apple Music.

Holiday albums are nothing new for Michael McDonald, though. A veteran of the scene, he’s released tons of holiday-themed songs over the years, and his latest compilation Season of Peace: The Christmas Collection brings together a lot of them — and features a fresh take on “Winter Wonderland,” with accompanying ukulele from Jake Shimabukuro.

Pick up a copy of McDonald’s latest at this link, and stream it below via Spotify or Apple Music:

Happy holidays!

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