Archive for December, 2010

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 14

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Sinead O’ Connor – Silent Night

Let me tell you a story.  A long time ago, I used to be a member of Radio Warwick at Warwick University.  Towards the end of term, the dark nights quickly rolled in and the last week (in November) was inevitably “Christmas” week.

The schedule always became a bit sparse as people left to go home or sample the Christmas cheer instead of doing their show, and so sometimes upon an evening the station was a quiet, forgotten haven of solitude while all around partied.  The station was at the top of Union South – Studio 1 had huge glass windows that looked out and down across the campus and the night sky.  (It’s not there any more.)

On such nights, I would occasionally wander into the station to find no-0ne was around.  I’d slip into Studio 1, fade down the sustainer service and put this on air.  No introduction.  I’d turn it up loud in the studio and stare out of the window at what was happening below.  When it finished, the moment over, I’d turn the lights out and go down to the bar.

I love this tune.

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 15

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine

I should warn you that from hereon in things may get a little controversial.  Not least because I’ve just included a Cliff Richard video above.

As much damage as this will inevitably  do my street cred, I’m happy to come out and admit my appreciation of Cliff’s festive efforts.  Quietly epic, anthemic and hand-wavey in a middle-class, too-much-brandy way, I hereby confess that this and some of his others have prompted swaying on many a crisp winter’s evening.

(Shame about The Millennium Prayer, though.)

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 16

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The Christmas Countdown had to have a few days off with an Xmas party season hangover…  (You try blogging from Hyde Park in the pitch black, anyway.)   But!  It’s back now until Xmas Day!

Bing Crosby – White Christmas

…and we return with another classic oldie at No. 16.  I still love these.  This type of tune has a timeless warmth and charm, and listening to it is a little like slipping into a warm, comfortable bath.

Not one for dancing at some trendy bar, but rather one to quietly reflect, misty-eyed, watching the snow fall outside through the window of a Working Men’s Club.

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 17

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

State Of The Heart – Last Christmas

I’m very grateful that someone uploaded this to YouTube.  If only Wham! were available, then this wouldn’t be in the chart.  (Sorry, Karinski.)

Thankfully, someone compiling The Ultimate Christmas Album Vol.12 saw fit to replace Wham!’s version with this entirely random lift-muzak treatment.  It’s great; just the amount of cheese necessary, the obligatory saxophone for that essential I’m-Shopping-In-Morrisons atmos – if you close your eyes with this playing, you can just imagine yourself at some chintzy soft-focus party, surrounded by canapés.  Lush.

I’ve never seen or heard this anywhere else apart from this particular compilation either, so perhaps that makes this a rare gem.  (Or not.)

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 18

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Peggy Lee – Winter Wonderland

Not much to say about this one, really.  It’s a classic.  It’ll soon be Christmas.  (That’s it.)