BEAM ME UP, SANTA
SINCE HIS FIRST album, The Transformed Man, dropped in 1968, William Shatner’s brand of spoken word music has inspired everything from parody to praise to the question, “Is this some kind of a joke?” Fifty years later, that’s the question that hangs like mistletoe over Shatner Claus, the 87-year-old’s first foray into Christmas music. Because what’s merrier than a half-spoken, half-shouted rendition of “Jingle Bells”? The album does feature an eclectic array of duet partners, including Henry Rollins, Judy Collins and Iggy Pop, along with an original tune, so listeners can decide whether Shatner belongs on the naughty or nice list for this one.
Rock legend Eric Clapton, 73, also channels the spirit of the season with his first-ever Christmas album, Happy Xmas, offering a bluestinged take on holiday standards while penning his own carol, “For Love on Christmas Day.” —MC