One of classic-rock’s most beloved original Christmas tunes, ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ by the Band, has been given a faithful new rendition by retro-pop act the Explorers Club. The track can be downloaded for free below.

Written by Robbie Robertson, ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’ first appeared on the Band’s 1977 album, ‘Islands,’ a collection of previously unreleased tracks released to get out of their contract with Capitol Records. The move allowed the soundtrack to ‘The Last Waltz’ to be released on Warner Bros.

The Explorers Club are a South Carolina-based band that specialize in reliving the glory days of the AM-radio pop music that came out of Los Angeles during the mid '60s to early '70s. Their excellent 2012 album ‘Grand Hotel’ combines Beach Boys harmonies with such diverse instrumentation as electric sitars, horns and pedal-steel guitars.

Of the cover, frontman Jason Brewer recently told WFMU, “I’ve wanted to record that song for over 10 years, and I finally got a chance to do it … I’m not trying to make any money -- just trying to have fun with this tune and give everybody a little holiday present.”

Stream and Download the Explorers Club’s Cover of ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’