Lindsey Buckingham's Holiday Road (from National Lampoon's Vacation) on CD: A Hollywood Christmas

I'm reticent to post this because, topically speaking, it's extremely out of character for my blog, which up to now has been pretty much exclusively about technology with the occasional personal post. However, in my experience this is difficult information to find--and detailing hard-to-find information is very much in keeping with the character of my blog! Hopefully this post will be found by others searching for the song on CD in the future. So with that: onward!

If you're a fan of the National Lampoon's Vacation film series, you'll doubtlessly be familiar with Lindsey Buckingham's seminal "Holiday Road." Now, let's say you want to enjoy this song on CD or download a legitimate digital version of it--well, it turns out it's not so easy to find! As well as I can tell, as of this writing, it's not available for legitimate digital download at all (well, there's a live version readily available but I can't find the version used in the film). And when it comes to finding a legitimate CD with the song on it, I've only been able to find it on one: A Hollywood Christmas. I had a lot of difficulty in finding the existence of this song on this CD by searching for the song on places like Google and Amazon; I was only able to find it via AllMusic.

What about soundtracks for the films? There are claims that "Holiday Road" was made available on CD via a limited CD run of the soundtrack for National Lampoon's Vacation as well as via a limited CD run of the soundtrack for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The research I've done leads me to believe that these CDs are merely bootlegs for which someone has created a compelling faux backstory. As far as legitimate soundtracks for these films go: there was a soundtrack for National Lampoon's Vacation released on vinyl and maybe cassette but not CD (it was released with the film in 1983 and not everything--or much of anything I think--was released on CD at that time; I like vinyl and all but it's not what I'm looking for here). As for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, it appears it never had a soundtrack released on any media.

Incidentally, "Holiday Road" is in no way a Christmas song--and in fact, the irony is that it's so much not a Christmas song that, from what I've read, the only one of the four major Vacation films that doesn't include the song is Christmas Vacation (a fact that makes the purported limited run soundtrack for that film all the more suspect as there is no reason it should include "Holiday Road" if the song wasn't even in the film). So it is odd that it appears on A Hollywood Christmas. I suspect that someone at WEA knew it wasn't available on CD and took A Hollywood Christmas as an opportunity to rectify that situation, even though it wasn't exactly a perfect fit. But whatever the reason, I'm glad it's there!

Ryan's Gravatar So I was trying to locate the real version of Holiday Road as well. I listened to the version available to download from mp3 sites, which I would prefer to steer clear of, and it is different from the version heard in the opening of N.L.'s Vacation. It's subtle but the version found in the internet caves has a very distinct reverb/echo/amped up sound to Mr. Buckingham's voice. The movie version which so far I can only locate in the actual movie is much more clear and crisp sounding when it comes to vocals. It's not a quality issue. It's version issue from what I can gather. I'm wondering if you could enlighten me as to what you are hearing on the CD you purchased. Here's a link to the movie version: Does your CD version sound the same?

I, like you, am willing to shell out the $20 it will take to get the right version. We're nuts, right? I am going to be purchasing a Ford Flex very soon and have been taking grief from friends and family who consider it to be a Grizwald-mobile. I do too and that's what makes it awesome! Some people, the minority I suppose, think it's pretty cool. I want the song to go with the car. I intend to blast it at the dealership and every time somebody new gets in my family's wagon. And of course all the time in between.

Your help and would be greatly appreciated.

From one 80s kid to another.

# Posted By Ryan | 6/2/14 3:18 AM
Josh Adams's Gravatar As an FYI for anyone who might read this and Ryan's comment from a couple of months back: Ryan and I corresponded via email and he said that his findings are that the version of Holiday Road used in the movie is slightly different than the one found on A Hollywood Christmas.
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