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Hear Lemmy Perform ‘Run Rudolph Run’

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Even the hardest rock and rollers can get into the Christmas spirit, as witnessed by this dangerous cover of “Run Rudolph Run” from the legendary Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, with help from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and drummer Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame.

On the opening track from the album We Wish You a Metal Christmas and a Headbanging New Year, the powerful trio inject the Chuck Berry song with a heavy-duty holiday swagger. While staying true to the original arrangement, Kilmister, Gibbons, and Grohl roar through the snowy song with a good deal more aggression and amplification.

Lemmy’s vocals, an icy growl, are decidedly more threatening than Berry’s rendition, giving the track a sinister edge that every rock and roller can appreciate. Gibbons’ musical gift to the collaboration is two shimmering solos, and throughout the track Grohl races around his kit, directing the turbulent musical sleigh to its chosen destination.

While the song was not overly popular when released by Chuck Berry in 1958, in the intervening years “Run Rudolph Run” (also called “Run Run Rudolph”) has been covered countless times, by artists such as Keith Richards, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Grateful Dead.

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