So here we all are in a new year once again. It seems hard to believe that we are now 11 years into the current century and that I have now lived in seven different decades. But then as my Nan once said to me, old age is always 10 years older than you are. So I take this to mean that as long as it’s not my name in the Guinness Book Of Records as the oldest person on the planet then I will never be old, will I? Obviously I’m only saying all this because I turned 52 on January 1st and birthdays make you think of age, longevity, life and stuff don’t they?
Rihanna longed for a deeper bath
Anyway enough drivel about me let’s take a quick look at the best-selling UK albums and singles for 2010. Rihanna has performed amazingly well with one entry in the album top 5 and two in the singles. It was also good to see the X Factor single failing to make the top spot in the end of year sales chart.
I assume that the one in the front next to Gary is Robbie
Sir Cliff laughs in the face of the recent cold snap by keeping his shirt open
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!
Sir Cliff prepares to celebrate his first UK Christmas Number One
After Hank and the boys moved on Cliff struggled to play his guitar parts on air guitar
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.
Sir Cliff's cunning plan to disguise himself as Santa wasn't a great success
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.
And there was me thinking that only Freddie Mercury could get away with clothes like that!
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!
Madonna, Amy Winehouse and Sir Cliff Richard in Lego..... a strange trio if you ask me!
Zack was now beginning to regret that pre gig curry
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.
Rage get their tackle out to tackle the PMRC
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!
This is exactly how they started their set at Reading when I saw them a couple of yeasr back
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.