VH1:THE BIG 80'S CHRISTMAS (2001)
New Wave, Pop Rock
01 Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say 'I Love You'
02 Daryl Hall & John Oates - Jingle Bell Rock
03 The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
04 Pat Benatar - Please Come Home For Christmas
05 Queen - Thank God It's Christmas
06 The Pretenders - 2000 Miles
07 David Bowie & Bing Crosby - Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy
08 Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again
09 Squeeze - Christmas Day
10 The Smithereens - Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
11 George Thorogood & The Destroyers - Rock And Roll Christmas
12 The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
13 Los Lobos - Rudolph The Manic Reindeer
14 The Alarm - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
15 Bob & Doug McKenzie - Twelve Days Of Christmas
Link to download:
The '80s were a renaissance for popular music, riding a (new?) wave of garage, punk, and early technorock, along with retro pop and stylized funk. While there's no funk or R&B to be found on the 15 tracks of Christmas: The Big '80s, some of the touchstone artists from the era--and a few dinosaurs like Queen--are well represented, among them the Waitresses and their classic "Christmas Wrapping," perhaps the most oft-licensed pop song in memory. Heavy on the Brits, the disc regains its Yankee roots with rocking songs by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Ramones, and Los Lobos, who provide an instrumental, polka-Hendrix reading of "Rudolph the Manic Reindeer." While many of these tracks can be found on better collections, it's hard to slam a holiday album that ends with Bob and Doug McKenzie's "Twelve Days of Christmas," eh? --Martin Keller
"This is a collection of Christmas songs by performers who are associated with the 1980s, although a few of them are more associated with the '70s in my mind. Not all of these songs were actually recorded during the '80s. Most of the songs are good, including classics and near classics by Billy Squire, the Waitresses, Queen, the Pretenders, Squeeze and the Ramones. But I don't really care for the song by Kate Bush. Overall, though, this is a pretty good collection."
""VH-1: The Big 80's Christmas" brings together 15 holiday songs, most of which you probably heard at some point during that decade, including the classic David Bowie and Bing Crosby duet of "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy." If you do not have this particular track in your collection then this album is one way of picking it up. The other keepers are the Waitresses doing the ultimate Christmas rap, "Christmas Wrapping," the Ramones ripping through "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)," and the cover of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by the Alarm. After that it is a question of what speaks to your tastes, which means enjoying a couple of songs by performers I like that I do not remember hearing way back when, Pat Benatar's "Please Come Home for Christmas" and Kate Bush's "December Will Be Magic Again." Then you have to make up your mind about Los Lobos's interesting take on "Rudolph the Manic Reindeer" and it is a good thing that the "Twelve Days of Christmas" as rendered by Bob and Doug McKenzie (eh) is the last track on this album because there is just nowhere to go after that one."
"This, in my opinion, is a fabulous Christmas collection. It may be missing a few notables, including, as a few (picky) reviewers have stated, "Do They Know It's Christmas". But don't let that be a deciding factor against buying this. Plenty of quality is available with this album.Those looking for "Do They Know It's Christmas" should keep in mind that "Big 80s Christmas" appears, for the most part, to feature the obscurity, fun and silliness of 80s Christmas music. One could argue that "Merry Christmas, War is Over" by the Alarm or Queen's "Thank God It's Christmas" run contradictory to this intent, but "Do They Know" certainly doesn't fit either. They apparently could only include so many songs here.
Keep in mind as well that producers of these types of CDs often have to get clearance from the appropriate parties to include songs in their collections. If you're so inclined, you can spend the money to buy "Now That's What I Call Christmas", a 2-CD compilation featuring "Do They Know..." and several other classics. I also own and highly recommend it. If that's too inconvenient, well, hey, if you want the song that badly, it's just one of many options you do have to get it. Who knows, maybe VH1 will even release a Volume 2 of this set in the future.
Now then, to get back to this collection, you'll find a number of great cuts including the ever-elusive "Jingle Bell Rock" by Hall & Oates. Billy Squier's "Christmas is the Time to say I Love You" is included, along with music from Squeeze, the Waitresses, Pat Benatar, and David Bowie/Bing Crosby. The final selection is "12 Days of Christmas" by Bob & Doug McKenzie. What more needs to be said? Happy Holidays!"
"Are you guys CRAZY??????, How could you have an 80's christmas album without "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band-Aid?"
Words by Bob Geldof /Music by Midge Ure