Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

Merry Christmas Everybody… for all of the UK readers…I know I know…you are so tired of it. I’ve only heard it for the past three years or so. There are a few Christmas songs along with Alices Restaurant that I reblog every year…and this is one of them. I have this on our music list at Christmas and we love it.

This is fast becoming my favorite rock Christmas song second only to John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

This is a great Christmas song that was released in 1973 and ever since it re-enters the charts every December in the UK. The song never hit in America but it went to #1 in the UK Charts. I first heard it on a Doctor Who episode in the mid-2000s and have liked it ever since.

This was based on a psychedelic song, “My Rocking Chair,” which Noddy Holder wrote in 1967. In 1973 the Slade vocalist decided to convert it into a Christmas song after a night out drinking at a local pub.

He and the band’s bass player and co-writer Jimmy Lea camped out at Noddy’s mother’s house and got down to changing the lyrics to make them more Christmassy. Jimmy Lea incorporated into the verse parts of another song which he was then writing and Noddy re-wrote the words incorporating different aspects of the Christmas holiday season as they came to mind.

This went straight in at #1 in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies on the day of its release, making it at the time the fastest ever selling record in Britain. It eventually became Slade’s best-ever selling single in the UK, selling over a million copies.

In the UK this has become a standard, and it is usually reissued in its original form each Christmas. On several occasions, the song has re-entered the Top 40.

UK copyright collection society and performance rights organization PRS For Music estimated in 2009 that 42 percent of the earth’s population has heard this tune.

The song was written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea of Slade. It was produced by Chas Chandler formerly of the Animals.

Noddy Holder: “I wrote the original verse with the lyrics, ‘Buy me a rocking chair, I’ll watch the world go by. Bring me a mirror, I’ll look you in the eye,’ in 1967 in the aftermath of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper,” I was being psychedelic. Dave (Hill) wrote another part to the song but it didn’t work so we put it away. Then in 1973 he remembered my verse one day when we were trying to write a Christmas single. We changed the words to, ‘Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall?’ and the rest fell into place.”

From Songfacts.

When Noddy Holder wrote the line “Look to the future now, it’s only just begun,” he had in mind the strikes that were blighting Britain at the time. He told the Daily Mail On Sunday November 10, 2007: “We’d decided to write a Christmas song and I wanted to make it reflect a British family Christmas. Economically, the country was up the creek. The miners had been on strike, along with the gravediggers, the bakers and almost everybody else. I think people wanted something to cheer them up – and so did I. That’s why I came up with the line.”

The harmonium used on this is the same one that John Lennon used on his Mind Games album, which was being recorded at the studio next door.

This was recorded at the Record Plant studios in New York while the band were on a tour of the States in the summer of 1973. When they recorded the vocals, they sang the chorus on the stairs in order to achieve the echo that they required. Guitarist Jimmy Lea recalled to Uncut magazine in 2012: “All these Americans were walking past in their suits thinking we were off our rockers singing about Christmas in the summer.”

Producer Chas Chandler opened the song with a howl recorded during some of Noddy Holder’s vocal exercises.

A few months before Slade recorded this song, drummer Don Powell was badly injured in a car crash. Though his physical recovery was quick, the mental scars took longer to heal. Noddy Holder explained to The Daily Mail December 18, 2009: “The doctors told us to get him playing drums again as soon as possible to boost his confidence. But he was suffering from short-term memory loss – he could remember our old songs, but not the new ones. So, instead of recording live, we built up Merry Xmas Everybody layer by layer. That gave it a more poignant, restrained sound. It was something new for us. But the fates were with us and it became our biggest hit.”

Noddy Holder’s earliest childhood memory served as inspiration for one of the song’s lines. He recalled to the Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine: “As a lad we used to knock sleds with old orange boxes and go tobogganing down this big old quarry in the snow at Christmas. It was the inspiration for the line ‘are you hoping that the snow will start to fall.’”

I want that hat he starts off with… in this video…very subtle.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ‘ton up’ on his sleigh
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya that the old are the best?
Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the rest

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

What will your daddy do
When he sees your Mama kissin’ Santa Claus?
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?
Do you ride on down the hillside in a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head then you’ve been slayed

Chorus (4x)
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Slade – Take Me Bak ‘Ome

I love watching old Slade videos on youtube. They were a lot of fun to listen to and watch. They were a hard rocking glam band that somehow never made it in America. Some of their songs did a decade later covered by Quiet Riot. Slade did have a couple of hits in the 80s in America but their golden period was in the early to mid seventies. 

They weren’t the only UK band not to hit big in America. They are joined by T. Rex, The Small Faces, Oasis, and The Jam just to name a few. 

This song peaked at #1 in the UK and #97 in the Billboard 100 in 1972. The song was written by band members Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. 

Jim Lea said he had been working on the song for a few years… he stole a phrase or two from The Beatles Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey and nobody ever noticed.

Their next single Mama Weer All Crazee Now  peaked at #1 in the UK.

Take Me Bak ‘Ome

Came up to you one night noticed the look in your eye,
I saw you was on your own, and it was alright, yeh it was alright.
They said I could call you Sidney, oh I couldn’t make out why,
standing here on your own an’ it was alright, yeh it was alright.

[Chorus]
So won’t you take me back home, a take me back home,
and if we can find plenty to do and that will be alright
yeh it will be alright

O you and your bottle of brandy, both of you smell the same,
you’re still on your feet, still standing so it was alright,
yeh it was alright.
The superman comes to meet you, looks twice the size of me,
I didn’t stay round to say goodnight so it was alright,
yeh it was alright.

[Chorus]

So won’t you take me back home my baby, ah won’t you take me back home yeh
I said take me, take me take, take me back home,
take me take me take, take me back home oh won’t you..