"I'm not the only one who could be blackmailed for this album"
December 15, 2014 5:42 PM   Subscribe

The Star Wars Christmas TV special is well known around these parts. But last week the CBC posted the first ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album featuring interviews with producer Tony Bongiovi, composer Maury Yeston and C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels.
posted by salishsea (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Anthony Daniels sure has done a commendable job of wedging himself into every single piece of Star Wars crap there ever was.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:54 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh man, I love this horrible thing. I subject my kids to it non-stop during December and put it on my company's telephone hold-music. So bad, it's good. I was utterly thrilled to find the Rhino rerelease on CD via eBay a few years back.

R2D2 we wish you a Merry Christmas!
posted by pashdown at 5:59 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

And Frank, according to what we were told, could not be Yoda during the time his persona was Miss Piggy. [Laughs] It was like Marlon Brando.

Frank Oz deserves a thousand benefits of the doubt for that.

The Star Wars Holiday Special is rightfully derided by all right-thinking people, but I find it difficult to hate this. We are long overdue for the return of the novelty record to the world.
posted by JHarris at 6:01 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Oh, man, this album was bad. I have no recollection of how it got in my house as a kid, and even though I can't remember any of the songs, I still reflexively wince when I see that album cover art. Whatever is was on that album that causes that must have been pretty bad. Given that subconscious sense of foreboding, I will not be re-experiencing through the magic of YouTube.

I will, however, be digging that record up from some box buried deep in some storage room and selling it ASAP. It may not be factory sealed, but I have a feeling it was probably only played once.
posted by chambers at 6:36 PM on December 15, 2014

I had a severe stomach flu that year. Also, blue feetie pajamas, but mostly the yarfing, and worse still... CHERRY FLAVORED ANTIBIOTIC.

When my little girl was running a temp with an ear infection as a 2y.o., we had antibiotic prescribed. I cracked it open, and then my wife had to dose the kid, as I was reliving Life Day by puking out my toenails after getting a single whiff of the stuff. We have her liquid meds now in Bubble Gum flavor, as this is... THE FUTURE!

The result is she hates her bubblegum flavored toothpaste. No problem, THE FUTURE! has us covered with watermelon flavored toothpaste.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:04 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love this album so much I made my parents bring the CD when they visited me in Italy in high school: it is terrible and hilarious and also wonderful, even without the soothing balm of dry white wine or eggnog.

I can't believe that's actually Jon Bon Jovi, what a delight this article is
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:15 PM on December 15, 2014

"What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)" is part of my dad's Christmas mix tape right in between Nat King Cole and Ella. I know it from top to bottom. My mom would groan miserably every year the first time the "let me see, we've got a scarf for Skywalker" intro would come bouncing out of the stereo and all three of her girls would sing along in delight. Good memories!
posted by town of cats at 7:26 PM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]

R2D2 we wish you a Merry Christmas!

So great.
posted by rhizome at 8:20 PM on December 15, 2014

I listened to it once.

The odds of me ever listening to it again are 3,720 to one.
posted by jscalzi at 9:01 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]

For those of us not as lucky as jscalzi, here's future Mr. Bad Medicine himself. I'm also fascinated that the disco record made so much money that the recording studio (formerly known as) The Power Station was built with the profits.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:36 PM on December 15, 2014

Okay, so some of you may have heard this before, or heard of it at least. But let me encourage you to read the link anyway, because it's awesome. I could read Maury Yeston's enthusiastic Broadway chatter about his first big break all day - who knew he could still rattle off lyrics to "Christmas In The Stars" lo these 34 years later, all the while insisting that he knows people laugh at it but he's not ashamed of a lot of the work? The tale of the whole spitballing process - how he insisted that it have a story, that it had to have an inner logic (it can't be the same Santa Claus, since it's another galaxy - must be his cousin!) how he "got serious" and decided he needed to really write something to communicate he true meaning of Christmas, which led to him writing a song for Yoda - all of this is utterly fabulous. Especially the part where he was doing it for the love of the movies and the meaning of Christmas, not for the money (he says that - they were doing it for the love, not the money!) but that ultimately his artistic vision for Yoda's song about Christmas got watered down because George Lucas forced him to compromise his principles - but he decided to do it anyway, because even so it was still worth it to get that celebration of the season out into the world, so he went on a personal mission to find the right person to okay the project again and single-handedly saved "Christmas In The Stars."

Also, Anthony Daniels: "I think it was my destiny, just as it was Anakin's destiny to go to the dark side, it was my destiny to be C-3PO and to be on this funny LP."
posted by koeselitz at 10:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Anthony Daniels sure has done a commendable job of wedging himself into every single piece of Star Wars crap there ever was.

All the way to the bank.

Beats sitting in a cubicle.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:35 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

The odds of me ever listening to it again are 3,720 to one.

Never tell me the odds...
posted by Naberius at 7:01 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

After all, Christmas in the Stars marks John Bongiovi’s first professional recording, four years before he became Jon Bon Jovi.
So, basically a never-ending stream of terrible.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:47 AM on December 16, 2014

I never had this (and am kind of sad about it) but did have the disco Star Wars theme on 45. Haven't heard or thought about it in years, but Sirius XM's kid channel up and played that sucker as I drove my kid home from school, and he loved it. Pretty sure he'd love this, too.

Why? Because it was the disco era. You could take "I’m a Little Tea Cup" and if you put it over a disco beat, that would be a hit.

That pretty much sums the 70s up, yes.
posted by emjaybee at 10:37 AM on December 16, 2014

jscalzi: The odds of me ever listening to it again are 3,720 to one.

You mean the odds aren't 365 to one?

From Wikipedia:
The complete album was released by RSO records on LP and Cassette in November 1980, to cash in on the increasingly popular Star Wars saga. This original printing featured cover art by the Star Wars film's production artist, Ralph McQuarrie. The Cassette version is now quite hard to come by.
First, it's impressive they got McQuarrie for the cover art (but it seems the art was first used for LucasFilm's 1980 Christmas Card, which all feature custom artwork of Star Wars Christmas art). Second, I think the cassettes were destroyed when the original listener was upset that this wasn't what they actually wanted for Christmas.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on December 18, 2014

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