Archive for the ‘Christmas Countdown’ Category

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 10

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

I owe the fact that I am continually reminded of this tune’s existence to Trixie‘s insatiable desire to play it during our DJing days back at Uni.  It’s a fantastic tune and one that for some (probably licensing-related) reason never seems to turn up on compilation albums or anywhere apart from music video channels.

That means, that to raise awareness of this absolute anthem, you are required to grab the nearest three people and dance with them as soon as you hear this.  Whether you’re in the pub, at the shops, or in the dentist, it doesn’t matter.  Get them to do the same thing too, and soon we’ll be doing justice all over the country to one of the most danceable classic Christmas hits around.

(If you want to see the original video, you’ll have to watch it on YouTube as embedding is disabled.  Cheers, Sony!)

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 11

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Mel & Kim – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

What can I say?  This slice of cheerful, cheesy, charity schmaltz should melt the heart of any Christmas curmudgeon.  I tried to find the best quality video as it’s worth watching the sheer, extreme, unadulterated 80s-ness of the thing.  Ironic faux-60s attire, brown wallpaper, decor only a grandmother could love, Spitting Image puppets and “alternative comedy” humour splashed throughout.  Shame some TV berk has slapped some whacking great graphics over everyone at the beginning, though.

Mel Smith (with the odd smattering of Jones) and Kim Wilde fronted this Comic Relief-supporting number as Mel & Kim, parodying Pete Waterman’s Hit Factory-produced duo of the same name.  (I hear they were more “Respectable”…)  As far as these things go, the consistent interjected asides are well-done and appropriate, and the faux-impromptu refrain is for me at least, a tiny but memorable moment.

The last 10 tunes are coming up soon…  Who will be at No. 1?

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 12

Friday, December 17th, 2010

A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris De Burgh

He’s a bit Marmite, Chris De Burgh.  Lady In Red will either make you swoon or run a mile.  I have in fact managed to make it do both – for your information, the difference between the two seems to be about 50 plays.  Apart from that song and this Xmas one I know absolutely nothing of Mr. De B’s career.

Thankfully, I know people who do, and I’m reliably informed that this comes from an experimental album which is (and I quote) “very good”.

Quite a satisfying piece of melancholy rumination on the Christmas story, which does a great job of tempering the holly-jolly exuberance when placed in the midst of a set of Xmas pop, which is exactly what it’s doing in this Xmas chart.

Finally, I couldn’t possibly mention anything about Chris De Burgh without a Christmas toast to the friend who will forever be linked with the sound of his voice.  You know who you are.

Rik’s Christmas Countdown: No. 13

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Mud – Lonely This Christmas

“Is this Elvis?”  My dad once asked.  No, it’s not, but you wouldn’t be alone in wondering.

It’s in fact 70s pop boogie-meisters Mud – most famous for “Tiger Feet” – having a bit of a gentle laugh at the 50s Xmas-song style.  They did it rather too well, and it actually caught on, becoming the popularly-misattributed hit we know today.

A few years ago I was drinking in Soho with a good friend whom I hadn’t seen for a long time, and it was nearly Christmas.  We’d been discussing seasonal songs, and as the night wore on our club-style karaoke renditions were doing wonders for chucking-out time.  Somehow in the haze, the carols had gradually merged with a previous anecdote regarding some fishing-trip away-day.

Dear reader, I’d love you to imagine – just for a moment – two twenty-something men, lurching down Charing Cross Road toward Leicester Square, singing loudly and proudly…

“It’ll be lonely in Hampshire, without you to hold / It’ll be lonely in Hampshire, lonely and cold…”

To all the alarmed tourists and reasonable passers-by, we’re sorry.  We really are.

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.