Revisiting MTV’s holiday videos of the ’80s; New Year’s Eve ideas – Press Enterprise

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I was talking to a friend last week about the “A Very Special Christmas” compilations, which are ridiculously expensive in the used vinyl market, and it led us to a discussion of the Christmas songs and videos MTV used to do in its early years.

I had no idea there were any besides the swaying staff party vibe of Billy Squier’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You.” Turns out, that’s the normal one. My friend and I stumbled across a blog that lists all of the entries and WOW.

Joe King Carrasco (Who?!?!) did the second one, “It’s a Party Christmas,” which is, well, something. But then, we get George Thorogood and the Destroyers with “Rock and Roll Christmas,” which has a weak script, but some fantastic saxophone.

Enter 1984. In something that is truly of the era, Pee-wee Herman is contacted by Bryan Adams through a television screen to join his Christmas video for “Reggae Christmas.”  This is not a video that would be made today — and you have to wonder why it was made back in those days.

But wait, it gets weirder. Jon Anderson, of Yes, came into the MTV studios for “3 Ships,” as in “I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day on Christmas Day.” There are very primitive graphics, a bunch of inexplicable campy scenes with the original VJs that include the late, great, J.J. Jackson hurling snowballs out of a freezer and Mark Goodman eating a dessert pie like a pizza. I’m sorry.

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The final one, in 1986, reunited The Monkees (Mike Nesmith is Santa) with a strange medley of Christmas songs. Even as a Monkees fan, this just gets hard to watch.

Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday.

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