For the whole month of December, Rocks Off will be scouring for the weirdest and worst Christmas albums that the Internet can offer. These will either be odd, seasonal detours from your favorite artists, or confounding monstrosities from classic-rock also-rans.
.38 Special, "It's Christmas and I Miss You"
Formed in Florida in the mid-'70s, .38 Special was Donnie Van Zant's project. Yes, his big brother was Ronnie Van Zant, the late Lynyrd Skynyrd singer and Neil Young fan club president. You may remember Donnie's band from singles like "Hold On Loosely", "Caught Up In You", and our personal fave, "Rough Housin'."
You can hear the .38's on 93.7 FM The Arrow at least every hour on the hour, yet most people could not pick them out of a lineup or by sound recognition.
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2001's A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night came out - totally unprovoked - 24 years after the band's debut album. We remember no large outcry for a .38 Special Christmas disc, but then again the period after 9/11 was strange and sad, so maybe the country needed raunchy versions of "The Little Drummer Boy" and "O Holy Night" to lighten up our moods.
Wild-Eyed Christmas was released on Sept. 25, 2001, as the nation was still reeling from the terrorist attacks. We aren't saying that it probably set back the country's healing - that's up to you, dear reader.
You would play this disc at a really, really, uncool company Christmas party. Rocks Off wouldn't know about those. All of the Houston Press' holiday parties end up with at least one person on the roof with road flares, screaming like Nicolas Cage in The Rock.
And the food is always really good.