Holiday Road

Album: National Lampoon's Vacation Soundtrack (1983)
Charted: 82

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments: 18

  • Steve from Sacramento, CaI love this song. Always have since a child in the theater seeing Vacation.
    The Ohhhhh Ohhh Ohh Oh is a huge part of the song. That fact that that Bucki chose to give zero credit shows a lot. And It's not him singing. I saw him live back in the day, and he have a recording. Whoever helped to make this song one that we cherish so much has received no credit. Wouldn't it make it even better to know that Beverly D rolled with Bucki on this one?? Would only add to his legacy. The secret diminishes it, Sorry Bucki.
    Go Vacation. Go Fleetwood Mac
  • Kurt from Vancouver, WaLindsay sang lead and I'd bet the ranch it was Christine McVie singing backup.
  • Jamie from New JerseyThis song is covered by The Dahlmanns, a scandinavian rock band. Hear it occasionally on Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sirius. Great version!
  • Brian Hornbuckle from Vancouver Wa.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.
  • Francie from TexasJack from Arizona. I have thought it was Beverly D'Angelo for years singing the back up too. Lol
  • Hockeydude from Boston MaThe chorus is Buckingham himself.
  • Glenn from IllinoisTo 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!
  • Phil from Neenah, WiThis 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.
  • Charles Hollingswort from Leeds, AlTo 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!!!
  • Jack from Mesa, AzI 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.
  • Mark from Plymouth, MnBeverly D'Angelo worked as a singer. It could be her. I'd like to know too
  • Cynthia from Scranton, Pai love this song! national lampoon's vacation is my favorite movie!
  • Carly from Angola, InBuckingham 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.
  • Joe from Perth, Australiai read somewhere that this was one of george harrisons favourite songs
  • Richard from Talladega, AlFirst 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.
  • Paul Murphy from Garden City, NyI have a version of the song with a dog barking at the end of the song...how cool is that.
  • Mark B. Stoned from Desperate Hot Springs, CaI've always thought the same thing. She does sing in some of the movies, so it wouldn't surprise me.
  • Jerro from New Alexandria, PaHas 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?
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