Posted by Dustin on December 25, 2018 at 05:00 AM CST
----- TRACK LIST ----- 0:00:00 - 01. Christmas in the Stars 0:03:17 - 02. Bells, Bells, Bells 0:06:33 - 03. Odds Against Christmas 0:09:37 - 04. What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb) 0:13:01 - 05. R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas 0:16:18 - 06. Sleigh Ride 0:19:54 - 07. Merry, Merry Christmas 0:22:04 - 08. Christmas Sighting ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) 0:25:48 - 09. Meaning of Christmas
The album was produced by Meco Monardo (who had previously recorded Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk), with the hope that this would be the first in a series of annual Star Wars Christmas albums. The majority of the album's original songs, both music and lyrics, were written by Maury Yeston, a Yale University music professor who went on to become a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical composer. One of his songs, "What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb)", with vocals by Yeston, went on to become a recurring top-40 X-mas hit.
The album is notable for featuring the first professional recording of Jon Bon Jovi (credited as "John Bongiovi", his birth name), who sang lead vocals on the song "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas." His cousin Tony Bongiovi co-produced the album and ran the recording studio at which it was recorded, where Jon was working sweeping floors at the time.
After the first printing of 150,000 copies, Meco was asked to allow George Lucas' name to be credited beside his under "Concept by". Due to the success of the album, the studios were ready to do a second printing, which would give Lucas credit. But before the second record printing could be done, RSO Records shut down due to an unrelated lawsuit.
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.
Also in 1980, RSO released a 45 of "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)" (credited to The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir and Chorale) backed with "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with a picture sleeve. In late 1983, a second 45 from the album was released by Polygram on the RSO label, "R2D2's Sleigh Ride" backed with "Christmas in the Stars", also with a picture sleeve.
This album was one of the music industry's first non-classical-or-jazz projects to be recorded and mixed digitally, and when "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)" reached No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1980 it was only the third digitally recorded single in the chart's history.
In November 1990, Polydor Records Japan released a 3-inch CD single featuring the songs "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Christmas in the Stars".
The album made its CD debut in 1994 as an unheralded budget-label release by JFC/Polygram Special Markets with all artwork and references to Star Wars (except for those in the song titles) removed from the packaging. The only credit on the package was "Meco" and it featured a generic cover photo of Christmas boxes and decorations.
In October 1996, during the popularity of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire project, the album was re-released on CD by Rhino Records with Ralph McQuarrie's cover art restored.
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