After a mammoth Beatles Advent Calendar post yesterday, today, December 21st, brings you another person who has so far had three UK Christmas Number Ones. So let’s open that little cardboard flap and see who it is. You’ll firstly be taken back to Christmas 1960 when I was fast approaching the milestone of two years old. It was the first of Cliff Richard’s UK Christmas Number Ones and on this one he was backed by the Shadows, it is called “I Love You”. Cliff is the only act to have achieved UK Christmas Number ones in three separate decades. The other two were “Mistletoe And Wine” in 1988 and “Saviours Day” in 1990. Thankfully the awful, in my opinion anyway, Cliff’s “Millennium Prayer” didn’t make it to the top at Christmas 1999, however it did get to number one for two weeks and was deposed by Westlife, with “I Have A Dream/ Seasons In The Sun“. Of the two I’m really not sure which was the worst, but a 2004 VH1 poll registered “Millennium Prayer” as the worst number one ever. I presume that makes it officially a pile of number twos!
Anyway onto the three songs that made it to that coveted UK Christmas Number One spot for Cliff. Firstly with “I Love You” backed by the Shadows in 1960. The song was written by Bruce Welch off of the Shadows and stayed at the top for just two weeks. John Lennon once said that ‘before Cliff and the Shadows there was nothing worth listening to in British Music’ Whilst Cliff went on to massive success without the Shadows, they too were a very successful band. Cliff has had a total of 14 UK number ones, sadly that record is now equalled by Westlife, which puts him and them just behind the Beatles on 17 and Elvis on 21. The Shadows had three number ones in their own right, including the fabulous “Apache” from 1960, and a further seven backing Cliff.
Cliff waited 28 years for his next UK Christmas Number One which arrived in 1988, it was called “Mistletoe And Wine”, certainly not one of my favourites, but then, to each their own as they say! The song comes from a 1976 musical adaptation of Han’s Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl‘. It was Cliff’s 99th UK single, which whether you like him or not is an astonishing record (no pun intended!) It was also his 12th UK number one and the biggest selling single of 1998, it spent 4 weeks at number one. Like many Christmas themed songs it often returns to the UK charts in December.
The third and so far final UK Christmas UK Number One from Cliff was “Saviours Day” in 1990. The video for the song was filmed in Dorset. It is one of only three UK Christmas Number Ones to remain at the top for just one week. An honour it shares with “Goodbye” from the Spice Girls in 1998 and “Killing In The Name” from Rage Against The Machine in 2009. At the time of writing Matt Cardle’s “When We Collide” has been at the chart summit for less than a week, but I expect that it will remain for a bit longer yet. I find it pretty sad that once again the X Factor gets the Christmas Number One slot. We must do better next year people, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen. We need another Rage Against The Machine moment, let’s start a Facebook campaign now!
On December 16th you need to be a little careful when opening the cardboard door on my UKChristmas Number Ones Advent Calendar, this one may get a little loud! So let me take you way, way, way back through the sands of time to Christmas 2009. OK so I lied about the way, way, way back thing! Well we did it last year didn’t we? We stopped X Factor Muppet Joe McElderry from getting the Christmas number one. Thank you to everyone who bought Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” last year. I’d like to think we can do the same this year, but at the moment it doesn’t look like it, Matt Cardle’s cover of a Biffy Clyro number is sadly way ahead of the competition on the midweek sales chart.
The Biffy song Simon Cowell chose for the winner was “Many Of Horror” but presumably that title was a little too surreal for X Factor fans so they changed it to “When We Collide”. Anyway back to last year, thanks to an amazing Facebook campaign from Jon and Tracy Morter “Killing In The Name” reigned supreme at Christmas. It might have only stayed there for one week, but people we did it! Now all we need is another campaign to get rid of those useless tossers also know as the coalition government!
When “Killing In The Name” was originally released back in 1993 it only manged to make it to number 25 in the UK. But last Christmas it was the first UK Christmas number one to make it on downloads alone. The uncensored version of the song contains the Anglo Saxon expletive ‘fuck’ 17 times. This has managed to get a few people into trouble at various times. In 1993 Radio 1 DJ Bruno Brookes played the uncensored version on the weekly chart countdown show. Then in 2008 the song was inadvertently played over the speakers at an Asda supermarket in Preston, obviously many people complained. For the record, I would not have complained!
In August 2008 in a strange twist the aforementioned Biffy Clyro performed an acoustic version of the song for Jo Whiley‘s Live Lounge live from the Reading Festival. The band obeyed the strict instructions not to use the word fuck as it was a live broadcast. However the crowd didn’t follow that request and could be heard filling the supposedly offensive lyrics in themselves. Poor Jo was forced to apologise to her listeners. I was there that year but sadly I missed that performance.
OK people after last year you know exactly how to stop the X Factor winner making it to the UK number one spot over Christmas this year. Last time around pop muppet Joe McElderry was beaten to the Christmas number one by the brilliant “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine. This year there is another opportunity to prevent the X Factor lording over the charts once again.
This time it is going to be ” 4’33” ” a recreation of John Cage’s most famous avant-garde work. Well ok Emperor’s New Clothes time here, it is in fact 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. This may sound somewhat mental, however by downloading the piece you will be helping a number of charities including, Calm, a service for young men at risk of suicide, the British Tinnitus Association, Youth Music, Nordoff RobbinsMusic Therapy and Sound & Music, a charity promoting challenging new music and sound art. On top of that you will dent the next X Factor Muppets progress.
Many artists have participated by errr….. recording their silence. Those include; Fyfe Dangerfield off of the Guillemots, Unkle’s James Lavelle, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, some Kooks, Heaven 17, Matty off of the Infadels, Suggs off of Madness, Orbital, Pendulum and Billy Bragg. Pete Doherty apparently failed to turn up. Read the story here on the BBC News site. Join the Facebook campaign here and let’s make Cage Against The Machine the Christmas Number One this year!
By the way, I realise there is no real title to this post, but what did you expect?
Firstly this post is NOT in my Advent Calendar series OK? It’s another random selection of music stuff. Firstly and I am saddened to say it in many, many ways a Bowie song is at number one in the UK. It’s the X Factor finalists cover of Bowie’s “Heroes” Thankfully I haven’t been able to hear Wagner on the recording. The singles only other saving grace is that it is raising funds for the ‘Help For Heroes‘ charity which supports those British soldiers that have been injured in the ridiculous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that we followed the Americans into. But believe me, it is the UK Government I have a gripe with and especially former Prime Minister Tony Blair, I have every respect for all the British troops that are out there right now. Go and buy the single and throw it away if you have to. In the meantime take a look at the classic original below.
Next some very good X Factor related news. Corey Taylor off of Slipknot has recorded a Christmas single and he wants it to beat whatever single the X Factor show produces for the Christmas slot. Let’s get behind this one people, let’s make Corey this years “Killing In The Name Of“. Buy it and keep a muppet off the number one spot. The song is called “X-M@$”. Check it out below and click here to read the NME report about the song.
US politics often baffles me, especially where outgoing officials are allowed to grant pardons for previous misdemeanours by various criminals, jailbirds and wrongly accused. However I was pleasantly surprised to read that the ousted Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, has issued a pardon for Jim Morrison off of the Doors following the singers arrest for allegedly getting his todger out on stage in Miami in 1969. Fair play Charlie and frankly, about bloody time too! It has always bothered me that with all the people and all the police at that concert there was never any evidence to prove that Jim actually did the deed. Read about the pardon by clicking here.
It would appear that the Performing Rights Society recently undertook a survey to determine the most controversial song ever and surprisingly many of the usual suspects are in the top 10. Controversially I am still just a little under the influence so to speak 😉 Here is the top 10;
In my view the songs represent many people’s view of controversy, but not mine! I can see that people might have been angered and provoked by many things in their topics; religion, firearms, death/ suicide, drugs, violence, sex and being against the monarchy. Well maybe they’re right, but I for one do not think so, but it is, after all about the rock n roll! well not just the rock n roll but also the sex and drugs too. Hmmmmmm…… “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”