For my money, Billy Idol is one of the more underrated voices in the Christmas chorus. I wouldn’t have expected the voice behind “White Wedding” and “Dancing With Myself” to be such a holiday honeydripper, but “Happy Holidays: A Very Special Christmas Album” (2006) was right on: the instrumentation is a nice mix of classic Christmas, a little light jazz and a little rockabilly, all of which suits Billy’s singing/crooning nicely.
But a year before, on the “Devil’s Playground” record, there was “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree,” which is vital Idol in his purest form combined with some holiday cheer. This punky tune tells a dysfunctional tale that, for some families, is as old as Christmas itself. Dad disappears to go have “too much Jack” and then stumbles home to pass out in bed; Santa and Mom get better acquainted, so to speak, while the rest of the family is on eggshells, trying to make the best of a holiday that’s off the rails. The band is tearing into the song, there are bells in the chrous, and Billy sings “Santa’s balls are jingling”(!) Sometimes Christmas has to rock and this song does.