Everyone has their favorite holiday music. For some, it’s Mariah Carey’s version All I want for Christmas is you. My family gatherings are sadly haunted Dominik the donkey (The Italians out there know my pain). This year, however, it’s time for me to share my own Christmas traditions with all of you, like videotape in the A ring.
Celebrate the day by throwing on an absolutely disturbing one The Pac-Man Christmas Album.
Christmas album Pac-Man – 01. Magic of Christmas
Released in 1982 during the Hanna-Barbera cartoon era of the franchise, Pac-Man’s foray into holiday music is almost certainly not what you expect. It’s not an album filled with traditional songs sung by the cast of a TV show. Instead, it’s an unpredictable 25-minute odyssey filled with original songs that will terrify your family.
There is a story that runs through the album, with spoken dialogue from the Pac family. Pac-Man generally sounds like a drunken Muppet trapped in a metal isolation chamber, while his children seem to be voiced by highly strung adults. Things get especially creepy when Pac-Man summons his enemies, ghosts, who speak in the absurdly exaggerated voices of bank robbers. I’m convinced the same actor does all the voices on the record, including Ms. Pac-Man.
All of that would be creepy enough on its own, but the actual music between the narration makes this a special Christmas nightmare. Each song is a completely original song, most of which revolve around quiet synth textures and rhythms that look like they were pre-installed on an old Casio keyboard. But interestingly, most of them are sung (I use that word lightly here) by the Pac Family using the same weird cartoon voices I mentioned above.
Christmas album Pac-Man – 02. Snowflakes and frozen lakes
We highlight timeless classics such as Snowflakes and frozen lakes, which sounds straight up like a Kate Bush song. The Pac Family mutters over airy synth loops, occasionally giggling like schoolboys. last track, Friends again, is a three-minute magnum opus approaching outsider art. Like many other songs, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Christmas; features only a real singer singing about the power of friendship while cartoon characters laugh like the Joker.
My favorite track—perhaps even unironically—is a left-field alt-country jam titled Old fashioned Christmas. It’s a melodically pleasant Christmas cuddle song (“Give me an old-fashioned Christmas and I’ll give you an old-fashioned kiss!”). It’s notable for its nice little guitar solo that reinterprets old holiday standards into characters. It also has big, wet kiss sounds. This is a good time to remind you that we are talking about The Pac-Man Christmas Album.
Pac-Man Christmas Album – 05. Old Fashioned Christmas
If it sounds like I’m nailing it on this record, I’m not – well, mostly I’m not. It’s an absolutely bizarre, disturbing collection of music, but one that I’ve come to love with a certain level of sincerity in recent years. Listening to it takes me back to the days when game companies weren’t so protective of their biggest characters. Oddities like this were more common, creating these charming historical niches. It’s a vintage Christmas plate, just like grandma used to make (as the song says).
So if you’re looking to add a few new songs to your tired old Christmas playlist today, consider doing so Some days are more important or The magic of Christmass. Your family will absolutely hate you for it, but isn’t that what the holidays are really all about?
Links: Ruin your family’s holiday with Pac-Man’s bizarre Christmas album – Tekmonk Bio, Ruin your family’s holiday with Pac-Man’s bizarre Christmas album – Kungfutv, Ruin your family’s holiday with Pac-Man’s bizarre Christmas album – Blogtomoney