It's been far too long since I last wrote a proper top 5 on here. I've traditionally published a Christmas special but was running out of topics until this popped into my head late one night. The Christmas number one single has been a sought after accolade for some time although, as I've discovered in researching* this, hasn't often been the bearer of great music. There are just about enough decent songs - in-between the recent dross of X-Factor winners, "novelty" releases by the likes of Mr Blobby and the umpteenth re-release of "Do They Know It's F-cking Christmas" - to cobble together a reasonable top five. Though, as you'll see, my definition of "reasonable" might be open to debate.
1. Slade "Merry Xmas Everybody" (1973) - It turns out there aren't many Christmas number ones that actually reference Christmas, certainly not many I'd consider putting in one of my top fives. This Slade track may seem a bit old hat now but, as Christmas number ones go, it's as good as it gets and scores extra points for being a decent tune AND being about the actual event.
2. The Human League "Don't You Want Me" (1981) - As I'm sure I've mentioned before, although I grew up in the eighties I wasn't a fan of the chart music of the day. This song was unavoidable at the time and, if I'm honest, I probably hated it but recently I seem to have developed something of a nostalgic feeling for the best songs of the era and it turns out this is an absolute corker.
3. Pink Floyd "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)" (1979) - Was this really a Christmas number one? According to Wikipedia it was so who am I to argue? This was, oddly, partially responsible for me getting into Punk. It seems strange that so soon after the punk revolution a band so synonymous with the old guard were still claiming chart success, though, if truth be told, lyrically the Floyd were as reactionary as any of the punk vanguard.
4. Rolf Harris Two Little Boys (1969) - Can I get away with this still? I realise that as a man he clearly got away with some heinous acts and is now rightly being punished for them. Can I separate the man's art from his personal life? To be honest I don't know but this single was a landmark moment in my youth. I had this and Jake The Peg on 7" and they were possibly the very first pieces of vinyl I owned. I remember thinking this song was a bit lame when I was six but it ingrained itself into my consciousness over the years hence and, prior to the court case, had become something of a nostalgic gem.
Whatever the rights & wrongs of art vs person I feel a little uncomfortable posting a video of the song so here's my standby replacement "Killing In The Name" by the popular beat combo Rage Against The Machine who claimed the number one slot in 2008.
5. Girls Aloud "Sound of the Underground" (2002) - And having slated X-Factor and the like at the start of this piece let's go full circle and give a tip of the hat to the modern day hit factory that does occasionally find a gem amongst the conveyor belt of pig swill.
Happy Christmas to you all, thanks for sticking with me and very best wishes for the New Year.