While filming the upcoming movie Gulliver’s Travels (in theaters December 22), stars Jason Segel and Jack Black got in such a holiday spirit, the duo decided to team up for a reworking of the 1977 Bing Crosby-David Bowie duet “Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy.” The song — which you can watch in animated form below — just hit the web this week, with U.S. proceeds of its sales on iTunes benefitting Blue Star Families, a charity supporting military families. “The original version is pretty mellow,” says Black. “So we delivered the sweet nectar of the rock gods.”
In honor of Black’s Christmas gift, SPIN asked him to run down his favorite holiday jams. Check out his picks below. And for more of the most rockin’ holiday tunes, check out SPIN’s holiday playlist here.
Bruce Springsteen, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
I guess I would give the top spot to this one. Bruce Springsteen’s the best. Unlike “Jingle Bell Rock,” this song actually rocks.”
Jack Black & Jason Segel, “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 2010”
We slid in right behind the Boss. It’s kind of like how Bruce Springsteen’s song “Blinded By The Light” got beat by the Manfred Mann cover version. Jason and I are flogging the ghost of Bing and the living Bowie with their own jam. It’s like ripping someone’s arm off and beating them with it. It’s not really in the holiday spirit to think of it like that, but there it is.
Adam Sandler, “The Chanukah Song”
I have to slip this one in there. It’s not a Christmas song but I’m putting it in there anyway…Adam Sandler! “The Chanukah Song!” It’s great when he name checks all the Jews. I made it into one of the versions of that song. There aren’t so many Jewish holiday songs, so Adam Sandler stands alone like a shining beacon for all us Jews.
Bobby Helms, “Jingle Bell Rock”
Like I said, I do not like this. I’m putting that in there as a lesson because: a) it does not rock, and b) it sounds so… yeah I don’t want to dis on some living old dude. Is the guy who sang it still alive? I should make sure he’s dead before I keep talking shit about his song. But if you want another good one in this spot, then the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas [by Vince Guaraldi] nails it.
Mariah Carey, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
This is embarrassing to admit but I kinda like this one by the girl who’s a little crazy but sings a lot of notes — Mariah Carey. [Sings] “All I want for Christmas is youuuu!” There’s some good melody lines in there. Oh my god, I just lost the last few indie-cred rockers that were in my camp. They just left he building. But that’s it, man. There’s five. They usually say comedy comes in threes, but I think I proved that comedy comes in fives.