Check out my review at my music blog, Metal Excess!
Young Edward scored the soundtrack for this forgotten (gem?) 1984 movie but this is the only music of his that made it to the soundtrack. Pieces of the songs can be heard later on the Van Hagar albums. The Wild Life was written/produced by Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High). Though not a sequel, it was intended as the spiritual successor to Fast Times (it even starred Sean’s brother — the late Chris Penn).
Unfortunately, the album has never been released on CD and the movie has never been released on DVD. This all stems from issues with the music rights (just sign the papers, guys!). I’d love to see this movie, not only to hear EVH’s music but because it sounds like my type of flick and anytime I can see my first crush Lea Thompson in her ’80s element, I’m there.
So I’m a fan of The Original Christmas Classics and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town on Facebook and saw a link in my news feed this morning about an Amazon Instant Video Offer. I already own all of the Rankin Bass specials on DVD (the ones that are available, that is) but I figured what the heck and clicked the link when what to my eyes did a appear — a Justin Bieber music video (too bad it wasn’t “Justin Got Run Over By a Reindeer”)!
Despite this guy apparently being some huge music sensation, I couldn’t tell you a single song he’s sung even if you held a gun to my head. I’ve never heard a Bieber song other than a few songs from his recent Under the Mistletoe Christmas album. And that brings us to this special Amazon offer called Justin Bieber’s Santa Claus Is Coming Town. In reality, it’s a music video for the song “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. You click the link, Tweet about the Amazon offer, then you’ll get a $2 credit to your Amazon account and can then use that credit to download the $1.99 video (Where’s my penny?!).
Now, I bet you’re asking why anyone would want to download a Justin Bieber music video. Because of its connection to the classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town holiday special, that’s why! Bieber is transported to the world of animagic, getting the puppet treatment himself, and is inserted into scenes from the special along with new scenes featuring Kris Kringle himself and Topper the Penguin.
To be honest, I initially was like “child, please”, closed the tab and was about to carry on with my regularly scheduled web surfing. Then I pondered it and figured I had nothing to lose other than four minutes of my time since the video was free after all. Plus, I wanted to see the new footage or Kris & Topper.
The song sucks. It’s an updated pop/rock version that’s just bad and exposes how mediocre of a talent this kid is. It’s not enough he has the kind of face you want to punch — he’s not a good singer at all. I really hate updated version of Christmas songs. If you’re not going to play them straight, then just make up an entirely new Christmas song.
But oh well, just wanted to throw this out there if you’re a RB nut like me and you’re willing sit through the music. Click here and download the video for FREE.
Frank Sinatra – The Christmas Collection (2004, Reprise Records)
1. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” (1960)
2. “The Christmas Waltz” (1969)
3. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” (1957)
4. “The Little Drummer Boy” (1964)
5. “We Wish You the Merriest” (1964)
6. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (1963)
7. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1964)
8. “The Christmas Song” (1957)
9. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (1964)
10. “I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas” (1969)
11. “Christmas Memories” (1975)
12. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (1969)
13. “The Bells of Christmas (Greensleeves)” (1969)
14. “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” (1964)
15. “A Baby Just Like You” (1975)
16. “Whatever Happened to Christmas?” (1969)
17. “White Christmas” (1957)
18. “Silent Night” [Previously Unreleased] (1991)
You really can’t go wrong with a Sinatra Christmas album (who is second only to Bing Crosby in being my favorite holiday crooner). While various traditional pop artists (including Frank) have a number of low-budget compilations out on the market whether it’s holiday tunes or not, The Christmas Collection is actually a well put together & more thoughtful assortment than the usual budget Christmas compilations that fill Wal-Mart and Target each year (even if it does include all 13 tracks from 1989′s The Sinatra Christmas Album that compiled his Capitol Records material).
My copy comes with a slipcase and the booklet is full of some great photos of Frank in the studio and in holiday photo ops. Also included in a lengthy and informative set of liner notes that chronicle how this collection came to be and the songs themselves. Such a classy package job isn’t too shocking though because this is an approved release from the Sinatra estate and it was issued under ‘The Frank Sinatra Collection’ banner.
When I first bought this album, I was a bit disappointed with the choice of songs but I’ve since changed my tuned. This record is a mixture of the well-known and the not as well-known. Half the album features all-time favorites like “The Little Drummer Boy”, “White Christmas”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” & “Silent Night” but it’s the other half of the album that really makes The Christmas Collection interesting to me now that I’ve gotten older and want to explore the lesser known holiday numbers.
A couple of notes about the songs:
- “We Wish You The Merriest”, “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, “The Christmas Song” & “White Christmas” are all duets with Bing Crosby. “We Wish You The Merriest” and “White Christmas” are taken from the 1957 Christmas television episode of ABC’s The Frank Sinatra Show. This duet of “The Christmas Song” had remained unreleased (WHY?) until this album.
- “I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “The Bells of Christmas (Greensleeves)” all feature his kids Tina, Nancy & Frank Jr. and come from The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas.
- “Silent Night” was recorded in 1991 because, according to All Music Guide, “Nancy had a good cause to benefit” (Future royalties? Licensing?). Nevertheless, this album says the song was previously unreleased. You can definitely tell it’s an older Sinatra and his voice isn’t as strong anymore but that’s part of the charm. It’s a moving and vulnerable performance on one of the most tender Christmas songs written.
If you’re looking for a Sinatra album full of the big Christmas standards then 1994′s White Christmas compilation from Columbia Records (also known as Christmas Songs By Sinatra) is probably your best bet but The Christmas Collection is a very good pick-up in case you want to dig a little deeper past what you’ll hear on the radio during the holidays.