01 Christmas In The Stars
02 Bells, Bells, Bells
03 The Odds Against Christmas
04 What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)
* actually peaked at #69 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart after the album’s release.
05 R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas
06 Sleigh Ride
07 Merry, Merry Christmas
08 A Christmas Sighting (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)
09 The Meaning of Christmas
What do droids, Chewbacca, legendary disco producer Meco and rocker Jon Bon Jovi have in common? They all celebrate the holidays on Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album. With memorable tunes such as "What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)" and C-3PO's retelling of a sci-fi infused "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the album is a quirky addition to any holiday music collection. In fact, the record was so sought after by collectors, that in 1996 Rhino records and Lucasfilm decided to re-release Christmas in the Stars for eager fans.
The album's story takes place in a droid factory where robots trudge away at building toys year round for S. Claus. However they don't understand the meaning of Christmas until C-3PO and R2-D2 show them how to appreciate the holiday spirit. Even Artoo adds to the season festivities by learning how to whistle the catchy Christmas ditty, "Sleigh Ride." Later we learn who gets what from their wish list: a scarf for Luke Skywalker, perfume for Princess Leia and earmuffs for Han Solo.
Recorded in 1980, many of the album's songs were written by Maury Yeston, a Yale University music professor and composer. Producer Meco Monardo, who already topped the charts with his best-selling disco albums Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk and Encounters of Every Kind, envisioned and supervised the unusual project.
British actor Anthony Daniels lent his voice to reprise his role as C-3PO and Lucasfilm's sound artist Ben Burtt provided the sound effects of R2-D2 and Chewbacca.
However, the most trivia-worthy album liner note is the debut of a then 18-year-old Jon Bon Jovi, who ends up singing with a high school choir on "R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas." At the time the album was in production, Jon Bon Jovi , then known as John Bongiovi, swept floors and did odd jobs at the famous New York City recording studio Power Station, ran by Jon's cousin Tony Bongiovi. As Meco auditioned singers for Christmas in the Stars, Tony suggested Jon for one of the lead vocal parts, and the rest is caroling history. Soon after Jon's singing debut, he recorded his own demo at the Power Station which included a hit song called "Runaway." The single eventually led to a deal with Mercury in 1983.
Even though Christmas in the Stars did not lead to a series of additional Star Wars holiday-themed albums as Meco initially had planned, the album still remains a favorite among movie and music collectors alike.
By Bonnie Burton