December 24, 2015
‘The ‘Christmas single’ phenomenon is unknown in the U.S., unless you’ve ever watched ‘Love, Actually’
This morning over coffee, Arnie was reading out the annual royalties of various British “Christmas singles,” which reminded me of:
[I stupidly forgot to mention:
It’s sort of the “Black Friday” of the British music industry. Since so much music is sold (or, at least, used to be) during the holiday season, having the #1 song on the charts during that time gives one lucky record company a financial boost.
The idea a person could live off the royalties from one old Christmas hit was the basis of Nick Hornby’s 1998 novel About A Boy. ]
After Slade took the top spot in 1973 with their “Merry Xmas Everybody” — beating out “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard — “an emotional attachment to the Christmas countdown has developed, and for many [in the United Kingdom], it is part of the fabric of their childhood.”
So I doubt many American readers care that there’s a campaign to get Iron Maiden’s old chestnut “The Number of the Beast” to the top of the charts in time for Christmas, “for a laugh.”
What’s really funny (sort of) is that, during the early 1970s, such a campaign would have been denounced on the front page of every British tabloid, and remarked upon within American newspapers’ “entertainment” sections, at the very least.
Because culture-watchers would see it as yet another sign of the satanic takeover of the culture, and the world…
Which leads to this extremely meta sketch a generation later:
PS: I probably read every issue of the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds between 1979 and who knows when, and I have never heard of this, even to be made fun of:
Royalties from Lewie’s classic Christmas tune Stop The Cavalry have meant the 68-year-old has ‘never had to get a proper job’ following its success in 1980.
So here it is:
Well, that was godawful.
BONUS explanation of “panto.”
A very strange race of people:
Even the straight ones seem gay. Mick is thinking, “Shit, we should have worn these outfits…” I’ll be honest: I’ve never actually watched this video all the way through. I just can’t:
Palate cleanser — In the very shitty year of 1977, The Sex Pistols put on a free Christmas party for the children of striking firemen, and a few years ago Sex Pistols “house filmmaker” Julian Temple & the BBC made a documentary about it. (The same BBC that had banned them at the time…)