Eric Clapton will be releasing his first ever Christmas album, Happy Xmas, on October 12, Billboard reports. The album will include such standards as “Silent Night,” “White Christmas,” and “Jingle Bells (In Memory Of Avicii).”
“Jingle Bells (In Memory Of Avicii)” is dedicated to the late EDM producer, who was found dead of an apparent suicide while on vacation in Oman in April. It’s not apparent if Clapton and Avicii (born Tim Bergling) knew each other, but according to Billboard, the blues guitarist dedicated the holiday classic to Burgling’s memory because of “the singer’s admiration for the late DJ.”
Clapton’s tribute could also be inspired by the “Levels” producer’s issues with drugs and alcohol addiction before his death at the age of 28. The “Tears in Heaven” singer-songwriter got sober in the ’90s after years of heavy drinking.
It should probably come as no surprise that Clapton will put a bluesy spin on the holiday classics.
“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 said in a statement. “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 also included an original song titled “For Love On Christmas Day,” in addition to drawing the happy Santa Claus on the cover art.
Check out the track listing below:
Away In A Manger (Once In Royal David’s City)
For Love On Christmas Day
Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
Home For The Holidays
Jingle Bells (In Memory Of Avicii)
Christmas In My Hometown
Merry Christmas Baby
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The album, which is part of a deluxe box set is available for pre-order on Clapton’s Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records label.