What’s up, dudes? It was 1989, and the Griswolds had an amazing and quirky holiday staycation adventure with fantastic music woven throughout! Kevin Williams from ‘Tis the Soundtrack joins me to discuss the fabulous song selection and Badalamenti’s orchestral score to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!”

A supposed 10th Anniversary Edition soundtrack CD was released by Warner Brothers in print-on-demand kiosks for their Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park. Apparently, only seven thousand of the twenty thousand allotment were sold, and so the rest were shipped back to Warner Brothers. A company acquired the lot in a bulk sale, and decided to sell them online. Or did they? Spoilers: the entire story was a hoax to help sell bootleg copies of the album. One piece of music—a Christmas Medley—allegedly by Badalamenti is actually by John Williams from the “Home Alone 2” score!

The score to the movie was indeed composed by Angelo Badalamenti, known for his eerie, synth-heavy, atmospheric work with director David Lynch. Badalamenti wrote an unobtrusive orchestral hit peppered with comedic polkas and uptempo motif-laden piano trios. The glockenspiel Advent calendar theme is ethereal, while the orchestra weaves traditional carols through search section seamlessly.

The needle drops are timed to perfection with hits by the Moonglows, Bing Crosby, and Gene Autry. Mavis Staples flawlessly sings the gospel-tinged pop titular song “Christmas Vacation.” It’s a shame there hasn’t been an official release!

Animated intro music? Check. Sweet string melodies? Got ‘em. Tuba lead over a guy in a bathrobe? Definitely! So grab your Discman, put on your headphones, and listen to this episode on the music of “Christmas Vacation!”

‘Tis the Soundtrack
YouTube: @TisTheSoundtrack
IG:  @tisthesoundtrack

Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Totally Rad Christmas Mall & Arcade, Teepublic.com, or TotallyRadChristmas.com! Later, dudes!

Listen to this episode of Totally Rad Christmas
Author: Gerry D / Kevin Williams
Title: Christmas Vacation Score and Soundtrack (w/ Kevin Williams)

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *