Christmas Time Again - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Of all the rock groups to cut a Christmas album, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band that rose, phoenix-like, from the dead after the 1977 plane cash which killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines, seem best qualified to fit the bill. Ten years after the tragedy, in 1987 a resurrected Lynyrd Skynyrd featured five original band members and Van Zant 's younger brother, Johnny, as his replacement on lead vocals, went out on the road.
This year marked the passing of one of those original members, Gary Rossington (see https://www.unclestylus.com/single-post/simple-man-lynyrd-skynyrd), who, along with Van Zant, was the driving force behind the renewed and continuing success of the group from then to the present day, scoring two US Top 20 hit albums as recently as 2009 and 2012 respectively.
"Christmas Time Again", the LP's title track, was written by Rossington, Van Zant and other band members Rickey Medlocke and Hughie Thomasson along with Rossington's wife, Dale, who shares the lead vocal with Van Zant.
What could be just a cheesey Christmas love song is exalted by the resonant guitar work of Rossington and Thomasson and excellent, no-nonsense vocals from Van Zant and Dale Krantz Rossington, all of whom, subtly and exquisitely, evoke so many ghosts of Christmas past.