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 wish someone would put on the internet the brilliant interview with Stock Aitken and Waterman from Smash Hits in 1990 where they were asked if they were going down the dumper and they bitched about some of the less successful artists they’d worked with like Kakko (“she simply couldn’t sing the songs we gave her”) and Yell (“they did themselves so much damage in interviews they could never have another hit”). We think the biggest problem with the trio was that for every great record they did, and they did do plenty of great records (we’d cite Happening All Over Again, Love In The First Degree, Better The Devil You Know, When You Come Back To Me and You Spin Me Round as our top five), there were about half a dozen crap ones because they spread themselves a bit thinly. Regardless, Sir Pete is still, rightly, very proud of their legacy, as he will debate here alongside Sinitta, Jase and regular Hit Factory collaborator Phil Harding.
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Points of View
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- In 'Maths-In-A-Box', Matthew says: "Is there anywhere we can see clips from this? I can find any on YouTube!!"