Bob Seger’s new  ‘Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets’ compilation is a heavy-hitting package that finally brings all the numerous hits from one of America’s favorite classic rock artists into the digital realm, with the songs being made available for the first time at iTunes, Amazon and other similar outlets.

Amidst the many catalog favorites there are a few tracks making their debut on a Bob Seger album, including his version of the holiday chestnut ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ Since it was first released nearly 25 years ago as part of the ‘A Very Special Christmas’ charity compilation, Seger’s version has become a Yuletide classic.

Seger’s take on ‘Little Drummer Boy’ was an ambitious choice, considering that David Bowie and Bing Crosby had already laid down what many would consider to be the definitive version of the song. So what did Bob bring to the table?  Restraint, for one thing. His reading is gentle, maintaining the traditional feel of the original standard that we’ve grown to love.

Backed by the members of the Silver Bullet Band, the stately sound of ‘Drummer’ is built up with additional guitar courtesy of Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren and majestically angelic choral background vocals from an expanded group of singers anchored by longtime Seger backing vocalist Laura Creamer.

Although the energy level is tuned down in comparison to Bob’s previous holiday romp ‘Sock It To Me Santa,’ he definitely got it right with ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ Which is why after almost a quarter-century, it still provides an excellent soundtrack for nearly any festive activity, whether it’s trimming the Christmas tree or sharing holiday goodies and drink with special family and friends.

Listen to Bob Seger's 'Little Drummer Boy'