With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me, for me, for me” December 18, 2010


It seems like a long while ago that I posted my first UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar post, but it’s not even three weeks. Today is December 18th which is obviously Day 18. That means that this time next week the jolly, fat, old, bearded bloke with a penchant for bright red suits will have been and apart from a few more days of turkey related meals Christmas will be over. But fear not, that still leaves room for 8 more Advent Calendar posts from me including todays. I can also promise you that there will actually be some Christmas songs coming up in a few days.

Mr Mercury had more royalty than the royal family!

Anyway behind the little perforated door today you will find a song that has been UK Christmas number one on two occasions. It has been at the top for a total of 14 weeks! Firstly in 1975 for 9 weeks and then again in 1991 for 5 weeks. Probably an easy one to guess (especially as the pictures above give it away just a little bit), it’s the magnificent “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen. On paper it’s a song that would surely never work. It consists of some ballad, some opera, some heavy rock, a classic guitar solo, great harmonies, some nonsense lyrics and probably the kitchen sink as well. So if it shouldn’t work on paper it sure as hell does work on record. Listening to it again for this post caused me to horripilate (thanks to dictionary.com‘s daily post yesterday for that one, it means to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, well something like that anyway).

I don't believe that there is anyone else who could get away with some of the things Freddie wore on stage. Can you picture Westlife dressed like this? You Can? You need a cold shower and quick!

Whilst it spent a long while at the summit of the UK charts it only reached number 2 in the US and that was after a rerelease tied in with the ‘Wayne’s World’ movie in 1992. It originally went to number 9 in the US in 1976. The song was accompanied by what many consider to be the first ever pop video, some years before the birth of MTV. According to Brian May the band wrote most of their songs in the studio, but he says that this one was all in Freddie’s head beforehand. Mercury had wanted to record what he called a Mock Opera song. I presume this is some punning word play on the Rock Opera concept. When it was first a UK Christmas Number One in 1975 it was like nothing we had heard before. It’s second Christmas Number One appearance however was tinged with sadness as it came shortly after the death of Freddie Mercury in November 1991.

Not many people knew that Freddie actually quite liked pussy..................................................cats!

At just under 6 minutes it is also has one of the longest durations of UK number ones. This is probably the longest of all my Advent Calendar posts this year too, although that really wasn’t planned! The song has been covered by quite a range of acts, including; the Muppets, Pink, Rolf Harris (who also had a UK Christmas Number One himself with “Two Little Boys” in 1969), Flaming Lips and the Cast Of Glee. But the latter bunch cover anything and everything don’t they? You can see and hear all the above mentioned covers below after the original Queen version of the song and a medley of “Bohemian Rhapsody/ Radio GaGa” from their Live Aid set in 1985.

 

” It’s been too long since we took the time, No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly “ October 8, 2010


A mixed bag of a post for you today, drawn from a few recent news stories. Firstly I would like to wish a posthumous 70th birthday to John Lennon. I find it incredible that it is now almost 30 years since he was cruelly gunned down in New York. Has that time gone quickly for you too? He is also in the news for something other than his birthday as well. The FBI have seized a set of Lennon’s fingerprints that he gave to New York police in 1976 as part of his green card application. The card was part of a memorabilia auction, but the FBI claim it is official government property and have taken it away. haven’t they got a big enough file on Lennon already? Frankly though, why go they need it, I mean he is unlikely to commit any crime is he? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Now for another very sad Beatles related story. The cast of Glee have now beaten the Beatles record of the most appearances on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non solo act. They have a total of 75 compared to 71 for the Fab Four, they have also surpassed Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin who have 74 and 73 respectively. The only acts ahead of them right now are James Brown with 91 and Elvis Presley with 108. Click here to see the report.

It has been reported that soulful chanteuse Toni Braxton is filing for bankruptcy for the second time. She went bankrupt for the first time just 12 years ago. This time a heart condition caused her to cancel a number of Vegas shows. So I would like to wish her well in the sale of her assets and hope that she can soon ‘unbreak the bank’ and will soon be able to “Breathe Again“. I must confess that earlier this year I burnt the original and a few remixes of “Unbreak My Heart” for my good friends Glen and Jill. So now we know of Toni’s financial predicament I ought to as k them to buy the songs. Come on guys help the poor girl out!

Kurt Kobain’s letter in which he appears to rail against MTV is to be auctioned. He referred to the TV Channel as Empty TV and signed the letter as Kurdt Kobaineee. read about it at the NME by clicking here.

Finally for today it is now 25 years since A-ha released “Take On Me” accompanied by that wonderfully arty video featuring Morten Harket from the band along with Bunty Bailey off of Hot Gossip. Enjoy the video below and read all about it by clicking here.

 

 
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