Christmas Past: Top 10 Christmas Movie Soundtracks
While we celebrate the holidays, Rocks Off is resurrecting a few of our best Christmas-themed blogs from the past few years. (Wait... resurrecting is Easter. Never mind.) This blog originally appeared December 14, 2010.
No doubt you have all been chin-deep in Christmas movies since you undid your belt on Thanksgiving evening. Rocks Off made sure to steal a copy of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation from our folks' house before the calendar even hit December.
Unlike other blogs, we don't hate all Christmas music. It reminds us of family and being young, before people started dying all around us. We admit most of it sucks, but it's the gems we stick around for. Like the barking dogs and the one about the hit-and-run slaying of a grandmother by an illegal from the North Pole.
Christmas movies have some of the best collections of Christmas music you can find. Most of the time it seems they spend more money on the music than the script. Out of the ten movies on this list, there are really only three or so we could watch in the dead of summer.
10. Bad Santa Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, and Ricky Nelson helped soundtrack the best Christmas movie to feature Santa screwing a fat lady in a dressing room, and bloody autistic children making gifts.
9. Elf Zooey Deschanel makes her vocal debut with Leon Redbone on "Baby It's Cold Outside" with a voice almost as pretty as she is. Jim Reeves' "Jingle Bells" is a nice surprise too.
8. This Christmas This R&B-heavy holiday soundtrack for the Mekhi Phifer and Regina King vehicle featured pop star and cast member Chris Brown singing "Try a Little Tenderness," which is funnier than it should be.
7. White Christmas This score was an Irving Berlin powerhouse with the title track oozing the spirit of the season. It's like the "Stairway to Heaven" of Christmas songs.
6. Home Alone John Williams and Christmas are like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire in the late '80s on the Oakland Athletics. Williams managed to make suspenseful and creepy holiday music, while also crafting some of the most evocative family reunion moments like, "Mom Returns And Finale."
5. Christmas With the Kranks This 2004 flick wasn't very popular but the soundtrack more than makes up for dealing with Tim Allen and Dan Aykroyd collecting paychecks. The Raveonettes come in with "The Christmas Song" and the Ramones' yuletide classic "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" opens up the garage and swing-heavy disc.
4. Four Christmases This Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon film was a bit of a dud at the theaters but the soundtrack, like Kranks, was a good excuse to get Tom Petty, Robbers On High Street and Sarah McLachlan on the same disc.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas Leave it to Danny Elfman and Tim Burton to warp Christmas and Halloween for a whole generation. This evergreen is the It's a Wonderful Life for a generation of tattooed and goth kids who need some decay on their tree. A follow-up soundtrack featured artists like Marilyn Manson and Fiona Apple turning in their takes on Elfman's score.
2. Scrooged Elfman had done a twisted Christmas soundtrack before Nightmare with 1988's Scrooged. "Put a Little Love In Your Heart," which has become synonymous with the season, wasn't even a holiday song in the first place.
1. A Christmas Story Carl Zittrer and Paul Zaza managed to make a period-sounding score nearly from the '30s in the '80s without sounding derivative. "Ralphie's Revenge & The "F" Word" sounded like Bernard Hermann's Taxi Driver score, perfect for the legendary beatdown that Ralphie laid down on Scut Farkus. Yes, his name was Scut, not Scott.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.