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Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special's Original Kevin Bacon & Old 97's Songs Become Billboard Chart Hits

MovieWeb 12/10/2022 Anthony Lund
© Provided by MovieWeb

2022 has proven the power of music in streaming releases many times over. Having seen Stranger Things push Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” to the top of music charts around the world, as well as give a huge boost to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” and Wednesday breathe new life into The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck,” Marvel Studios has gone one step further thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Unlike other streaming-linked hits, the Disney+ special has made a chart hit out of its two original tracks, “I Don’t Know What Christmas” Is and “Here It Is Christmastime,” which features Kevin Bacon and Old 97’s.

James Gunn’s penultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe release brings a bit of festivity to the franchise, as the Guardians of the Galaxy appear in a fun and mostly inconsequential feel-good holiday special. The plot of the short offering sees Mantis and Drax deciding to kidnap a certain Kevin Bacon to give him as a present to Starlord to cheer him up. During the special, there are two songs performed by Old 97’s, which have been shooting their way up the Billboard Chart to become hit singles and make Gunn very happy in the process. The writer-director wrote:

"It's a real dream come true to have co-written a charting song. cc @rhettmiller @Old97s #GuardiansoftheGalaxyHolidaySpecial," Gunn continued. "And that's not the only charting tune from the #GuardiansoftheGalaxyHolidaySpecial – seems @kevinbacon & the Olds have one as well!"

“Here It Is Christmastime” hit the Billboard Chart at No.7 on Holiday Digital Song Sales, No.10 on Rock Digital Song Sales, and No.27 on the overall Digital Song Sales Chart. “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is” opens at No. 4 on Holiday Digital Song Sales, No. 5 on Rock Digital Song Sales, and No. 15 on Digital Song Sales. While neither song has bothered the Top Ten of the main Digital charts, the achievement of two brand-new songs to make a dent on the chart at all is another indicator of how influential streaming shows can be.

Related: James Gunn Addresses Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Race-Swap Complaints

Why Has The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Been Such a Hit?

There are very few Marvel Studios releases that do not end up with a large viewership on Disney+, but what is different about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is that it was launched with almost perfect reviews. Even now, it stands as one of the highest-rated MCU projects ever, which seems to be down to the lack of commitment needed to enjoy the one-shot story.

Many of Marvel’s releases require fans to invest in the overall MCU narrative to appreciate the story and characters completely. However, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is simply a story slotted into the MCU timeline to give fans a fun Christmas treat. On that score, it has certainly delivered all the happy holiday spirit that anyone could want.

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