Thus it was that with 1973’s trial run for the Winter Of Discontent hovering on the horizon, the man in the mirrored top hat decided he was having non of yer namby pamby glumness and with the aid of an old unfinished Slade song, an Harmonium borrowed from John Lennon, and some raucous shouting from the corridor outside the recording studio, crafted TV Cream’s Official Favourite Christmas Single Of All Time. With its you’re-going-to-Church-instead-of-playing-with-Stop-Boris opening, Glam Rock-refracted take on time-honoured Christmas preparations, droll Peter Kay-trouncing observations on having your relatives round for dinner, and ludicrously crowbarred-in pun on the band’s name, it’s more or less a three minute musical encapsulation of Christmas Like It Used To Be In The Cream Era, when cheap-and-cheerful crackers jostled for emblematic status with garish Glam-esque decorations, ITV sitcom specials, and Rowntree Macintosh selection boxes with those big chunky stylised snowmen and spiral-eyed reindeer on the front. As Cream-era clarion calls go, they don’t come much more iconic – or indeed much louder – than Noddy Holder bellowing “IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIST-MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS”. And, frankly, it never really is Christmas until you’ve heard it.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
We don’t know if it’s Barry’s rather diffident personality that means the Gibbs still don’t get the respect their nearest contemporaries ABBA receive despite their clearly obvious talents and huge success over the years. Not that they were ever bothered with credibility, though, when they were coining it in and those irresistible pop tunes get lodged in your brain whether you like it or not. Professional contrarian John Lydon is among those paying tribute and then there’s a new compilation which as well as raiding the Beeb archives also promises some rare bits and pieces from all over the place.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Applemask says: "When Blue Peter dies, a part of Britain dies with it. Talking of Advent Crowns, you didn’t even put any snow on the logo this year. What is..."
- In '1990', Applemask says: "The Only Fools and Horses episode is also notable for being “Rodney Come Home”, one of the most relentlessly bleak programmes ever to be broadcast..."
- In 'The six worst Christmas Radio Times covers', FishyFish says: "I hate the ‘Legendary’ tag. It’s not the lost city of Atlantis, King Arthur, or Jason and the..."
- In '1979', Applemask says: "Literally no-one really thinks the Richard Lester/GM Fraser Musketeers was terrible. The 1989 sequel that killed Roy Kinnear wasn’t very good, but the..."
- In 'The six worst TV Times Christmas covers', TV Cream says: "Des, you’re right! Fixed the date."