Scrooged: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Various Artists on LP
If, as the Washington Post called Scrooged when the Bill Murray-starring film was released in 1988, “a Christmas classic for people who are too cool for Christmas classics,” then its soundtrack, featuring the likes of Annie Lennox, Al Green, Kool Moe Dee, Robbie Robertson, Miles Davis and others, offers Christmas music for people too cool for Christmas music. While the Richard Donner-directed film - now a TV holiday season perennial - is a dark, postmodern take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (and the various Scrooge films) with a nod to It’s A Wonderful Life, the song soundtrack is bright, cheery and genuine. What separates it from more traditional holiday albums are the artists represented.
The duet of rock diva Lennox and soulman Green on Jackie DeShannon’s ‘60s gem “Put A Little Love In Your Heart,” produced by Lennox’s Eurythmics partner Dave Stewart, went pop Top 10 and has become a modern classic. Along with that teaming, there are two other intriguing combinations as well. An instrumental “We Three Kings Of Orient Are” features bebop king Miles Davis, guitar king Larry Carlton and saxophone king David Sanborn plus the ubiquitous Paul Shaffer, produced by Miles collaborator Marcus Miller. And pop-soul hitmaker Dan Hartman duets with dance-pop’s Denise Lopez on his “The Love You Take.”
Also heard is one of the pioneering rappers, Kool Moe Dee, on “Get Up ‘N’ Dance.” The Band’s Robbie Robertson wrote, produced and performs “Christmas Must Be Tonight.” Buster Poindexter (who in his David Johansen persona stars in the film as the Ghost of Christmas Past) offers up his rendition of Van Morrison’s 1967 Top 10 hit “Brown-Eyed Girl,” featuring The Uptown Horns. The New Voices Of Freedom (featuring Adriane McDonald & George Pendergrass), a New York City 25-member choir backed by a rock band, appeared on U2’s Rattle & Hum and for Scrooged perform U2’s “Sweetest Thing,” co-produced by Jimmy Iovine. Mark Lennon, of the legendary musical Lennon family and ighly-acclaimed group Venice, performs “A Wonderful Life.”
Ironically, another album highlight is the most tradition-based track on Scrooged: Natalie Cole’s version of a song associated with her father Nat King Cole, Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire).” Yet, arranged by Van Dyke Parks and produced by Iovine, even “The Christmas Song” exudes a cool vibe as modern as Scrooged itself.
Continuing with it's soundtrack reissue campain, UMe will be reissuing this classic soundtrack back on vinyl for the first time in years!