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Eric Clapton announced today his first ever full-length studio holiday album, “Happy Xmas,” set for an release Oct. 12 on Clapton’s Bushbranch Records via Surfdog Records.  “Happy Xmas” is Clapton’s 24th studio album and his first since 2016’s “I Still Do,” and mixes holiday classics with lesser-known unique titles, as well as an original new song “For Love on Christmas Day.”

unexpectedly, the album also features a version of “Jingle Bells” that is dedicated to the late artist and DJ Avicii, who died of an apparent suicide in Oman in April. While there is no obvious connection between Clapton and Avicii except that both struggled with substance abuse — Clapton with both drugs and alcohol in the 1960s and 1970s, and Avicii with alcohol, which many believe contributed to the ill health that led him to stop touring — the guitarist recently became a fan.

“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,” said Clapton in the album announcement. “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’.”

TRACKLISTING:

White Christmas

Away In A Manger (Once In Royal David’s City)

For Love On Christmas Day

Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday

Christmas Tears

Home For The Holidays

Jingle Bells (In Memory Of Avicii)

Christmas In My Hometown

It’s Christmas

Sentimental Moments

Lonesome Christmas

Silent Night

Merry Christmas Baby

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas