Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Holiday Road

Song: Holiday Road
Artist: Lindsay Buckingham
Album: National Lampoon's Vacation Soundtrack

The "Vacation" films are an interesting franchise as each one feels different from the one before. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are consistent throughout as Clark and Ellen Griswald, but the kids are played by different actors (with completely different personalities)and different directors handle each film with very different tones.

I think there could be arguments for naming the first three, '83's "Vacation," '85's "European Vacation," and '89's "Christmas Vacation" as the best in the series. (I don't think anyone puts '97's "Vegas Vacation" anywhere... except the disappointment bin.) Personally I am most fond the Amy Heckerling directed "European Vacation." It's really all over the place, and the most sex obsessed of the bunch. But Heckerling knows comedy (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless)and I think that this batch of Russ and Audrey were the best. Pig in a poke, a French burglar... I could go on an on.

Unfortunately, "European Vacation" was the last time that Lindsay Buckingham's fun, silly, "Holiday Road" was used in the opening credits. It's a shame because it really sets the tone for these outrageous comedies. I suppose it didn't really make sense though, to use a song called "Holiday ROAD" for "Christmas Vacation" because they don't actually go anywhere for that film. Oh well, it still would have been fun.

Lindsay Buckingham is of course part of the influential and hugely successful 70's group Fleetwood Mac. He had a rough pop patch in the 80's, but has returned with some good Fleetwood albums in the recent decade and a half, and has a brand new solo record coming out later this year.

I often listen to "Holiday Road" while taking long drives out of town... not in the hopes to run across Christie Brinkley mind you, just because it puts a smile on my face and prepares me for... well vacation. Another song that everyone seems to know... because they've seen the movies over and over again on TNT no doubt.

I must also briefly note that the first three films were written by 80's teen comedy behemoth John Hughes, and "Vegas" was not. Surprised?


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