SPINAL TAP, Christmas With the Devil (1984, Enigma Records)

The skull:
A long-horned skull opens his gaping mouth, ready to swallow all sinners into the evil fires behind him. While wearing a Santa hat. The green and red color scheme is a nice touch, and the artwork is pretty much a literal depiction of the song title. Long live the Tap!

The music:
Typically silly, of course. The song’s groove is lurching, slow, bluesy, and almost sexual in its rhythmic slo-mentum. Almost nothing to do with traditional Christmas music as we know it, save for the church organ sounds. Borders on proto-doom in the second half. It’s Spinal Tap, so it’s intentionally dumb but also a lot of fun…and gotta love this lyric: “The elves are dressed in leather and the angels are in chains / Sugar plums are rancid and the stockings are in flames.” B-side “scratch mix” version is a redundant waste of time, really. This song is legitimately better than a hundred or so more serious-minded German hard rock/heavy metal bands from the same era.
— Friar Wagner