Posts Tagged ‘R.E.M.’

What If The Box-Tops Wrote A Christmas Song?

December 6, 2017

Alex Chilton was just 16-years old when he and his band-mates, known as The Box Tops, recorded The Letter in 1966. The Letter was the band’s biggest hit and was the #2 song of 1967 topped only by Light My Fire from The Doors. The band broke up in 1970.

Over the next four decades, Chilton continued to write and record and eventually formed a band called Big Star, a group Peter Buck of R.E.M. called a “major influence” on their music. Additionally, Chilton penned the theme song for That 70’s Show.

In 1975, Chilton released his second solo album, Bach’s Bottom. On it was a tune he wrote titled Jesus Christ. I actually heard a version by The Decemberists from Holidays Rule Volume 2. And only after doing some research on the song did I discover its connection to Chilton.

R.E.M. also covered it. All three below.

Alex Chilton – Jesus Christ

The Decemberists – Jesus Christ

R.E.M. – Jesus Christ

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A Come On Feel The Noize Christmas

December 14, 2015

In 1983, Quiet Riot recorded and released the song, Come On Feel The Noize and had a Billboard top five hit on the pop charts with it (I was never a fan).

Quiet Riot’s version of the song was actually a cover of the song written and recorded by Brit glam-rock band Slade.

At the peak of their popularity in the 70’s, Slade had six #1 songs. Their best selling #1 hit by far was Merry Xmas Everybody. The band was encouraged by their manager/producer, Chas Chandler, to record a Christmas record. (In the 60’s, Chandler was the bassist for The Animals and was Jimi Hendrix’ first manager.)

“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 grave-diggers, 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 ‘Look to the future now, it’s only just begun’. Once I got the line, ‘Does your Granny always tell you that the old ones are the best’, I knew I’d got a right cracker on my hands,” said Noddy Holder, one of the original members of Slade.

Merry Christmas Everybody has been covered dozens of times by the likes of R.E.M. (in 2007), Train (on their brand new Christmas record, Christmas In Tahoe) and even The Spice Girls.

I actually came about the song via Noel Gallagher’s cover of it on the BBC sitcom, The Royle Family (I watched Gallagher’s version on youtube – never watched the program). Noel Gallagher’s version is an acoustic number and is quite good.

Tonight I’ll feature the original Slade version followed by Noel Gallagher’s version. If you want to see more versions, I’ve included links above.) Slade’s version was originally released as a single. You can find it here. Gallagher’s version  was released as part of of compilation record  NME in Association with War Child Presents 1 Love (it’s actually listed as being performed by Oasis of which Gallagher was then a band member). You can find it as part of a different compilation record here.

As a side note, Slade is still around and even features a few of the original band members. They released a short clip of themselves performing Merry Xmas Everybody on their Facebook page yesterday (live from Finland).

Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

Merry Christmas Everybody – Noel Gallagher

 

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