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Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham

Album: National Lampoon's Vacation SoundtrackReleased: 1983Charted:
82
  • One of the great road songs in the United States, Lindsey Buckingham wrote "Holiday Road" for the 1983 Chevy Chase movie National Lampoon's Vacation, where it plays over the opening credits. The film follows the misadventures of the Griswold family as they set out from Illinois to California in the trusty station wagon en route to Wally World. The film did very well, helping to popularize this song.
  • In his work with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, Buckingham wrote songs of depth and meaning. "Holiday Road" allowed him to step outside of these constraints to compose a simple, jaunty song with no relation to his other work. He kept it simple; the chorus is simply the words "holiday road" repeated four times, and the verses are very basic:

    I found out long ago
    It's a long way down the holiday road

    Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
    Take a ride on the West Coast kick

    I found out long ago
    It's a long way down the holiday road


    Buckingham could come off as serene (as he was portrayed on Saturday Night Live), but this song showed he had a healthy sense of humor.
  • This song was used in all of the Vacation sequels: National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), Vegas Vacation (1997) and Vacation (2015). In that last one, three different versions are used: the original, a reflective cover by Matt Pond, and country-tinged version by Zac Brown Band.
  • Fleetwood Mac was on hiatus when Buckingham released this song. He had already released one solo album, Law and Order (1981), which contains the #9 hit "Trouble." His next album, Go Insane, was released in 1984 with a title track that reached #23. But ask just about anyone to name one of his solo songs, and they will likely recall "Holiday Road," which thanks to the Vacation movies became his most popular song.
  • In 2015, this was used in a commercial for the Infinity QX60 that spoofs a scene where Chevy Chase ogles Christie Brinkley who drives past him in a convertible. In the spot, Brinkley is a passenger in the family car, and she chastises her husband for checking out a girl who drives past him. "Honey, a blonde in a convertible, seriously?," she says.
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Comments: 15

I am not 100% sure but the back up singers voices sound so familiar because I think it is Cindy Williams and Kate Pierson of the B-52's. They were not real big back then but they started the band in the late 70's.
Listen to the song again and let me know if you agree.
Brian Hornbuckle - Vancouver Wa.
Jack from Arizona. I have thought it was Beverly D'Angelo for years singing the back up too. LolFrancie - Texas
The chorus is Buckingham himself.Hockeydude - Boston Ma
To me at least, the Ohh . . . ohhh at the end of the song sounds like two very different singers. The second part sounds as though it were recorded by Christine McVie; but I don't have a clue about the first voice. What a catchy song!Glenn - Illinois
This song also made it to an episode in the first season of the US version of Top Gear. The hosts of the show (Rutledge Wood, Tanner Foust, and Adam Ferrara) were testing 3 cars from the General Motors division for the episode.Phil - Neenah, Wi
To Paul Murphy in Garden City,N.Y.:not only do they have a dog barking but they have the dog's bark looped so it sounds as if the dog is barking in perfect rhythm with the song. That is even cooler!!!Charles Hollingswort - Leeds, Al
I thought it sounded like it might be Beverly D'Angelo on backup and came here to find out if it was true. Still don't know.Jack - Mesa, Az
Beverly D'Angelo worked as a singer. It could be her. I'd like to know tooMark - Plymouth, Mn
i love this song! national lampoon's vacation is my favorite movie!Cynthia - Scranton, Pa
Buckingham liked to play around with a voice oscillator, which raises or lowers the pitch of a singer's voice in his songs- such as Big Love (read it in Mick Fleetwood's first book). While I don't know for sure, I suspect that's where the "ooooh" part came from. That voice sounds very, very similar to the "ohs" in Big Love.Carly - Angola, In
i read somewhere that this was one of george harrisons favourite songsJoe - Perth, Australia
First time I saw NL Vacation and heard this song, I HAD to have it. I recorded it straight from tv speaker to portable cassette. Of course, this was before the soundtrack was released. It sounded like crap but at least I could heard it without the movie.Richard - Talladega, Al
I have a version of the song with a dog barking at the end of the song...how cool is that.Paul Murphy - Garden City, Ny
I've always thought the same thing. She does sing in some of the movies, so it wouldn't surprise me.Mark B. Stoned - Desperate Hot Springs, Ca
Has anyone ever noticed that the backup vocalist who sings "ohhh" (take a look at the lyrics and you'll see where it occurs) sounds very much like Beverly D'Angelo...or is it my imagination getting the best of me?Jerro - New Alexandria, Pa
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