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Eric Clapton announces his first Christmas album 'Happy Xmas'

Eric Clapton © PA Images

Eric Clapton has unveiled details of his inaugural festive album ‘Happy Xmas’.

Slowhand’s first official record since 2016’s ‘I Still Do’ boasts 14 Christmas songs including covers of seasonal favourites ‘White Christmas’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ together with the Clapton-penned original song ‘For Love on Christmas Day.’

Clapton’s version of ‘Jingle Bells’ is dedicated to Swedish dance DJ Avicii – real name Tim Bergling – who died aged 28 in April.

Speaking about the record to Billboard, Clapton said: “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.

“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 co-produced ‘Happy Xmas’ with longterm collaborator Simon Climie and the record comes with a highly memorable cover hand drawn by the guitar legend himself. 

Available to pre-order now, ‘Happy Xmas’ is released on Friday 12th October.

Clapton previously appeared on five tracks on the charity Christmas album ‘A Very Special Christmas Live from Washington D.C.’ in October 1999, which was recorded live at a benefit party held by then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Special Olympics.

The ‘Happy Xmas’ track-listing is as follows:

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

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