Here’s our selection of 11 of the most festive prog songs…
LUNA ROSSA - CHRISTMASTIME
From Panic Room’s Anne-Marie Helder and Jonathan Edwards, under the mantle of their Luna Rossa side-project. None more Christmassy!
NIGHTWISH - WALKING IN THE AIR
It’s no secret that Tuomas Holopainen is a big fan of kids’ animation The Snowman and this impressive cover originally appeared on their ’98 album Oceanborn. Former vocalist Tarja Turunen has even been known to roll it out for some of her seasonal live shows!
DREAM THEATER - O HOLY NIGHT
Not just a prog metal band, Dream Theater recorded this cover during a soundcheck in Portland, Oregon in 1993. It was released three years later on a very rare fan club only Christmas CD. Go on, wave those lighters… but don’t set fire to your tinsel!
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA - CHRISTMAS EVE/SARAJEVO
A live favourite and still one of TSO’s finest festive numbers, this double whammy is the perfect blend of progressive rock and traditional Christmas music all wrapped up in a sparkly bow. If you’re not full of the festive spirit yet, you must be Scrooge!
CAMEL - THE SNOW GOOSE
More seasonal than festive, but if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Camel’s classic The Snowgoose might just be your perfect soundtrack. We can almost hear the snowflakes falling now…
MARILLION - THE CAROL OF THE BELLS
What is Christmas time without a proggy reworking? This “festive romp” started off life as a fan club favourite, but Marillion decided to release an extended version all in the name of charity. Hark, those bells!
JON ANDERSON - 3 SHIPS
So Chris Squire worked with a Swiss choir, but Jon Anderson enlisted the talents of a children’s choir on the title track from his very own festive album. This Vangelis-inspired version of a classic song even features keys from Rhett Lawrence, who would later go on to collaborate with Yes offshoot Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe.
GENESIS - SNOWBOUND
“Hey, there’s a snowman!” sings Phil Collins on this crisp little number that gently shimmers with the very essence of Christmas. Taken from the album, …And Then There Were Three…, Snowbound is a must-have for your Christmas Eve playlist to get you in the festive mood.
JETHRO TULL - RING OUT SOLSTICE BELLS
When it comes to festive Tull, there’s so much to choose from but this 70s classic is right up there among the best. This perky little number first appeared on Songs From The Wood, and also popped up on The Jethro Tull Christmas Album a few decades later with a whole host of suitably seasonal tracks.
MIKE OLDFIELD - IN DULCE JUBILO
Mike Oldfield gave this classic carol the prog treatment with a jaunty instrumental reworking. It zoomed up the UK charts to number four when it was (re)released in ‘75 and is just the thing for frolicking around the Christmas tree!
GREG LAKE - I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS
Hands down the best festive prog song ever, even if it was intended as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas. Greg Lake’s almost chart-topper has been covered by a whole host of prog bands over the years but nothing quite beats the original version. Pass us another mince pie, will you?