Strange Christmas Albums, Part 1

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Christmas is a peculiar holiday. It started off as a pagan solstice celebration, was co-opted by Christianity, then was co-opted again by the religion of consumerism. That strange mix of influences can produce some truly strange ways to celebrate the holiday.

For example: Christmas music. A lot of websites like to post strange Christmas albums this time of year. Here are some that I found especially noteworthy. I found these two albums at Bizarre Records.

A Star Wars Christmas

Star Wars Xmas

Yes! It’s Christmas in the Stars, the Star Wars Christmas album! Where, oh where, do I start? Well, for one thing, Jesus was an Earthling, so that’s a bit of a problem. Also, the Star Wars story happened “a long time ago”. Much more than 2000 years is my guess. Maybe Jesus was just on tour. It’s the Great Salvation Tour of the Developed Universe. After playing all the big venues in the inner galaxies (and getting crucified in each), he finally worked his way out to Earth.

But Earth is rinky dink! We’re a tiny blue dot out in the Western Spiral Arm of a retardedly-named galaxy (Other galaxies have cool names such as Sextans Dwarf, Canis Major, Large Magellanic Cloud, and Pegasus. And what are we? We’re a stinking candy bar!).

So what does that tell us about Jesus by the time he finally gets to Earth? Just that his career is over. We’re the county fair of salvation. Jesus is like some has-been rock star who is forced to play smaller and smaller venues, never admitting that his glory days are long past. Maybe Jesus will be lucky. He’ll start getting a lot of airplay in Andromeda and revive his career.

The other problem I have with this album is that even on paper this album had to look like a bad idea. But they did it anyway! Didn’t anybody at any stage of the project say “I have a bad feeling about this!”?

If you go to this album’s page at Bizarre Records, you’ll find three songs there (actually, they’re all just 90-second excerpts). I had a tough time picking which one to present here. They’re all atrocious. Since R2-D2 is popular, I settled on this one: “R2-D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

You need a Flash plug-in to hear this!

So now that you’ve heard it, please answer this: Why are C3PO and R2-D2 excited? They’re artificial life, so it’s not like they need a savior.

In the song, the kids sing “We look up at the winter star. We know that’s where you are.” This implies the kids are here on Earth. Again, we have this problem of Star Wars taking place a long time ago. Or is this like all of those Star Trek spinoffs, where they always found some contrived way to write in all of the characters from the original series, even though it took place way later? So R2-D2 is now some rusting tin can who has been sitting in a scrap heap orbiting Hauptanium 7 for the last 245 million years. Still faintly beeping. The only thing keeping him going is the knowledge that somewhere on a distant planet, some kids are worshiping him. Or maybe he’s just been stuck in a transporter loop since Return of the Jedi.

The Wikipedia article about this train wreck has some interesting facts. The kid who sang lead vocal on this song is Jon Bon Jovi in his first professional recording. I guess when you start at the bottom, there’s no where to go but up.

Wikipedia also tells us that the album was released in 1980. That year they released a single, “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)”. That thing reached #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart! I don’t know how I missed that. Oh that’s right. I wasn’t into listening to crap.

(BTW, I just discovered that the Star Wars wiki is called Wookieepedia! An elegant pun is a joy to behold.)

Six Million Dollar Christmas

Six Million Dollar Man Xmas

Apparently Steve Austin was rebuilt from off-the-shelf parts. Six million dollars was cheap for a government project, even in the 1970s. Speaking of cheap, that’s exactly what this album sounds like. They didn’t even use Lee Majors or Richard Anderson. The recording starts off by telling us that there are only seven shopping days until Christmas. This is clearly a job for bionic powers! Maybe Steve Austin is the guy who tramples people to death at Wal-Mart.

You need a Flash plug-in to hear this!

Does it sound to you that Steve Austin is starting to flirt with the perfume saleslady? He doesn’t get very far with her, though, because she gets all bitchy about some crappy kid not getting what he wants. Her job would be a lot easier, if it weren’t for all of those damn customers!

Then the next thing we hear is what sounds like a 30-year-old woman complaining about someone stealing her Christmas present. I figured that she was trying to buy one of those $30 DVD players, which she could park her 4-year-old son in front of while she works nights as a stripper.

Then we’re introduced to the thief, who sounds like a reject from Central Casting. Even though this guy has the stereotypical hoodlum voice, Steve Austin is too dense to figure out who the heavy is going to be in this story. Apparently Steve doesn’t believe in profiling.

At this point, the thief and the 30-year-old stripper start arguing, and we realize that the stripper is actually some 6-year-old boy on hormone-replacement therapy.

The thief then pulls a gun on Steve, who makes the obvious statement that guns hurt people. The thief then tells Steve that no they don’t. Guns make excellent Christmas presents, and if you suggest otherwise, it is every reader’s obligation to leave a comment on your blog telling you that you’re wrong.

It isn’t clear what happens next. Obviously bionics are involved, because we hear that cool springy sound that they make every time Steve Austin runs in slow motion or lifts a car with his right arm (And why didn’t that ever crush his spine, BTW? All of that weight has to be supported by something, and his bionic arm isn’t what’s bearing the load!). But in today’s story, the load we have to bear isn’t a car; it’s a carload of crappy story.

Then there’s a transition, and we find ourselves at Steve’s job. Apparently he had to go back to work, because he had snuck out mid-morning when his boss wasn’t looking in order to do that last-minute Christmas shopping. The recording doesn’t tell us how Steve explained to his boss how he managed to foil a spy ring when he was supposed to be in his office finishing that spreadsheet.

So after Oscar docks Steve’s pay for a half day of missed work, they discuss the events of that morning. Steve says: “When I grabbed that guy, he dropped the package, and it broke open.”

No kidding, Steve! You grabbed him with your bionic hand, you dumbass! Be glad you didn’t crush his bones into powder. That must be where the figure in the title comes from. Six million dollars is probably the average settlement the government has to pay out every time Steve apprehends a crook.

But the funniest line in the whole record is the next one: “I could see the thing inside was no ordinary Christmas present. That’s why I picked it up and got it to you.”

So let me get this straight. A thief steals a Christmas present from a six-year-old. Then Steve Austin stops the thief and takes the present for himself! What a guy! That kid’s going to have some serious psychoses growing up. She’ll probably turn to stealing Christmas presents herself year after year, in a subconscious attempt to relive and rectify this trauma that Steve just inflicted upon her. Way to go Steve! You’re the George W Bush of crime fighters. You leave a huge mess that everyone else will be trying to straighten out for the next 60 years!

7 Responses to “Strange Christmas Albums, Part 1”

  1. WCG Says:

    Wow, the sacrifices you make for this blog! You actually have to listen to this stuff. What dedication!

    I must disagree about one thing, though: The Milky Way is a great name for a galaxy. You really think “Big Dog” is better, to say nothing of “Large Magellanic Cloud”?

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    WCG:

    Wow, the sacrifices you make for this blog! You actually have to listen to this stuff.

    I actually have to listen to them several times, in order to make sure it qualifies as hideous enough and to find stupid stuff to make fun of.

    I must disagree about one thing, though: The Milky Way is a great name for a galaxy. You really think “Big Dog” is better, to say nothing of “Large Magellanic Cloud”?

    “Big Dog” is a sucky name, but Canis Major is cool! And that other galaxy isn’t just a cloud. It’s not just a large cloud. It’s named after a great explorer. It gets points for that. “Milky Way” just sounds too wimpy.

  3. Skeptico Says:

    I just read “Star Wars Christmas” as “Star Wars On Christmas.” I think I need some more coffee.

  4. Kenny C Says:

    Other galaxies have cool names such as Sextans Dwarf, Canis Major, Large Magellanic Cloud, and Pegasus. And what are we? We’re a stinking candy bar!

    Personally, I don’t mind being named after a candy bar. Some of my favorite people in college were named after candy bars, and they were all quite tasty. Of course, if you’ve been listening to all this crap, I can see why you’ve raised your standards in other areas. As a mild tangent, if Big Dog isn’t cool, but Canis Major is cool, what about Via Lacteus? Via Mammalia?

  5. Lindsay Says:

    The Star Wars x-mas album is awesome, but it has no where near the glory, emotion or depth of the Star Wars Christmas Special. It gives me hope that somewhere, out in this huge universe Wookies can get together and celebrate an important holiday such as Life Day with the dark cloud of the Empire hovering on the horizon.

  6. Brian Says:

    Of course! It all makes perfect sense now! How could I have overlooked a conclusion so obvious? Jesus was a Jedi!

    Of course, he was capable of amazing things which may have appeared to be divine in nature to the uninitiated but were, in fact, him exercising his mastery of the Force. I’m betting Jesus had a very high Midi-Chlorian count in his cells, which would not only account for his powers but might also have inspired the otherwise ridiculous idea of drinking his blood and eating his flesh. People only wanted his powers!

    Jesus was also said to have died, disappeared bodily, and reanimated in some fashion, appearing before some as an apparition or simply speaking to people in moments of quiet contemplation. As we know from our studies of Star Wars, upon death a Jedi like Master Yoda simply vanished. Perhaps Jesus was as strong with the Force as the diminutive master. Qui-Gon Jinn was capable of communing with Yoda from the netherreaches of the Force or shouting a warning to Anakin Skywalker before he slaughtered Sandpeople. Jesus is claimed by millions to have spoken directly to them. Obi-Wan Kenobi managed to appear in bodily form to Luke Skywalker, but apparently to no one else, suggesting only Jedi can perceive his form. It would explain why no other person or Ewok shit themselves upon seeing three fucking ghosts crashing their victory celebration. On our planet, visual sightings of Jesus are limited to televangelists like Oral Roberts who once saw a 900 ft. version of the man while everyone else missed it. Amazing.

    Other bits of evidence may seem trivial, but are corroborating nonetheless. Pictures of Jesus are very consistent in depicting Jesus in robes similar to traditional Jedi attire. Jedi were also forbidden to become involved with another person, lest they lose their perspective and use their powers for less than noble reasons. Jesus’s chastity has been fiercely defended by people who hate “The DaVinci Code”.

    But the final bit of evidence is, in my opinion, the strongest. Anakin Skywalker was born without a father. Jesus Christ was born without a father. All I can say is if its good enough for Anakin Skywalker, its damn well good enough for Jesus Christ!

    One is left to wonder why Jesus isn’t reported to have demonstrated remarkable fighting skills or to have used a lightsaber in the name of the Lord. Perhaps his pacifism was all-consuming. Also, he probably figured out that in a world of bronze-age dimwits the chances of anyone else having a lightsaber were pretty fucking slim, so why bother?

    At least it all makes more sense than the whole “Son of God, atonement for sins, path to salvation” thing.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Brian wins the internet. Merry Christmahannaquanzica to all and to all a good shag.