William Shatner Is Releasing a Christmas Album with Iggy Pop & Henry Rollins : Get a First Listen to “Jingle Bells”

You know what they say: each year the Christ­mas sea­son seems to start a lit­tle ear­li­er. Here it’s not yet Octo­ber, and already we’re hear­ing “Jin­gle Bells” — but then, this ver­sion does­n’t sound quite like any we’ve heard before. The song comes as the open­ing num­ber on Shat­ner Claus: The Christ­mas Album, which promis­es exact­ly what it sounds like it does. Offi­cial­ly drop­ping on Octo­ber 26th, it will con­tain, accord­ing to Con­se­quence of Sound, William Shat­ner’s “unique take on 13 hol­i­day sta­ples,” and fea­ture guest con­trib­u­tors like Iggy Pop on “Silent Night,” ZZ Top’s Bil­ly Gib­bons on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer,” and for­mer Black Flag front­man and all-around provo­ca­teur Hen­ry Rollins on “Jin­gle Bells,” a col­lab­o­ra­tion you can stream just above.

You may not describe Shat­ner’s dis­tinc­tive half-singing-half-speak­ing style as pos­sessed of a great “range,” tech­ni­cal­ly speak­ing, but who can doubt the for­mi­da­ble cul­tur­al range of his musi­cal career? On his debut album The Trans­formed Man fifty years ago he cov­ered the Bea­t­les, ten years lat­er he took on “Rock­et Man,” and more recent­ly he appeared on Dr. Demen­to’s punk album singing The Cramps’ “Garbage Man” with Weird Al Yankovic.

Shat­ner Claus demon­strates that the for­mer Cap­tain Kirk’s inter­est in punk rock has­n’t dis­si­pat­ed, and the pair­ing of him and no less an icon of that genre makes a cer­tain kind of sense, see­ing as both of them have spent decades blur­ring the per­for­ma­tive line between singing and the spo­ken word, each in his own dis­tinc­tive way.

Per­haps it comes as no sur­prise, then, that Shat­ner and Rollins are friends, and have been since they first record­ed togeth­er on Shat­ner’s album Has Been in 2004. Rollins once described Shat­ner to rock site Blab­ber­mouth as “extra­or­di­nar­i­ly friend­ly, a very ener­gized guy” despite being three decades the  mid­dle-aged Rollins’ senior. “He impress­es me in that he’s a guy who’s real­ly fig­ured out what he likes,” espe­cial­ly foot­ball: “I’ve been to the Shat­ner house many times for din­ner, for Super Bowl Sun­day, for foot­ball games. I don’t watch foot­ball, but I like his friends. I’m a shy per­son. I don’t real­ly go out of my way to hang out but I like him and his wife… and I like all the food he lays out.” The vast game-day spreads at chez Shat­ner have also giv­en Rollins sto­ries to tell at his spo­ken-word shows, and lis­ten­ing to Shat­ner Claus, you have to won­der: what must they have for Christ­mas din­ner?

via Con­se­quence of Sound

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dr. Demento’s New Punk Album Fea­tures William Shat­ner Singing The Cramps, Weird Al Yankovic Singing The Ramones & Much More

A Cult Clas­sic: William Shat­ner Sings Elton John’s “Rock­et Man” at 1978 Sci­Fi Awards Show

William Shat­ner Sings Near­ly Blas­phe­mous Ver­sion of “Lucy in the Sky with Dia­monds” (1968)

Stream a Playlist of 68 Punk Rock Christ­mas Songs: The Ramones, The Damned, Bad Reli­gion & More

Hear the 20 Favorite Punk Albums of Black Flag Front­man Hen­ry Rollins

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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