3 decades of rock, in convenient bite-sized pieces

12.24.2005

#6 - Blue Christmas

Artist: Jon Bon Jovi
Album: A Very Special Christmas 5
Other Versions: Elvis (original), Willie Nelson, countless others
Era: Christmas

"Did he just say 'Make it sexy.'?"

I played the live video of this for a friend of mine, that was one of two reactions she had (the other - "Wow, Bill Clinton kind of looks like an idiot").

I
love this song. My favorite just-Jon Christmas song, by far, and my second favorite of the Bon Jovi Christmas collective. Jon sings like he's trying to seduce the audience but he still manages to capture the depression of the song.

My sister is a big Elvis fan and says she doesn't like it because "he's trying too hard to be Elvis". I disagree with her for a couple reasons. One, if you've ever heard Jon and Richie doing Suspicious Minds with Willie Nelson, THAT is Jon trying too hard to be Elvis (near the end of the song he tries a full-on Elvis impersonation and it's not pretty). Two, she just hates covers of Elvis in general, I've heard her criticize them before for the singer not trying hard ENOUGH to be Elvis. So take "he's trying too hard" with a grain of salt.

Jon has an amazingly versatile voice, although his range has diminished with age. Listen to this right after "Runaway", where he gets ridiculously high-pitched near the end and still sounds good, for the ideal demonstration. He sounds good high, he sounds good low, he just plain has a good voice.

This is my favorite version of this song, it's well-done and Jon is at his seductive best. You'd be hard pressed to find another song where he sounds like his main goal is to make the entire audience - Bill Clinton included - have sex with him, without sacrificing any of the song itself. Good work.

My Rating: 10/10

Bonus!
#6.5 - R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Artist: Various (inc. John Bongiovi)
Album: Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album
Other Versions: None
Era: Christmas

I don't like Star Wars at all - well, that's not fair. I don't not like it, I'm just completely indifferent. The only Star Wars movie I've seen is Episode IV and that's only because the guy who was paying for me to get in wanted to see it. So I had no reason to check this out - until I learned this track featured vocals by a young John Bongiovi.

This is Jon's first appearance on a commercial record. This was recorded after his Power Station Years cd, but was released first. He sounds young. The first time I listened to it, I didn't believe it was him - I thought it must have been a mistake, someone told me wrong.

It's him, alright, just a young him. This song is crap - the lyrics are cheesy but not so-cheesy-they're-awesome, the little surrounding skit is dumb, and the kids who sing the chorus have extremely irritatingly high-pitched voices.

But I can't stop listening to it, and I can't get it out of my head. I don't know why.

My Rating: 2/10

And as a special Christmas Eve treat, for your downloading pleasure:
R2-D2, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
(YouSendIt)

1 comment:

Shooting Star said...

Still haven't heard the Star Wars one, but the Blue Christmas video was probably the first thing I ever downloaded off LimeWire, that was when I was all about Jon - I thought he WAS Bon Jovi, nevermind where the guy who made cool noises through a thing in his mouth was. I still absolutely love this song, I have it on a compilation CD I made along with all the JBJ/BJ/RS Christmas songs. At first I kind of cringed when he did (his) Elvis (impersonation), I don't really know why, but now I think he's actually pretty good with his Elvis impersonations. Sometimes he just sounds like a dork, but when he does it good, he does it really good.