This morning over coffee, Arnie was reading out the annual royalties of various British “Christmas singles,” which reminded me of:
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.
[I stupidly forgot to mention:
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…)