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Tinsel Tunes FM

  • 01-10-2018 8:59am
    #1
    Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    It's the first of October... I think it's time we all start getting into the festive spirit here on the Christmas Forum and I am officially playing the first festive tune of the 2018 Season...



    And there's more not only can you click play on the above link and listen to the smooth tone of George Michael belting out Last Christmas but we are going to go behind the song and discover more about "Last Christmas"


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Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    "Last Christmas" had its beginnings in 1984, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were visiting George’s parents on an ordinary Sunday. After having something to eat and while everyone was sitting together relaxing, George unnoticeably went upstairs for an hour or so. He came back downstairs all excited as if he had discovered gold. (He really was the more talented one)

    They went upstairs to George’s old bedroom where he had kept a keyboard to record sparks of inspiration and played Andrew the introduction and chorus melody to "Last Christmas", according to Ridgeley, it was a moment of wonder.

    The song was recorded in August 1984, at Advision Studios, London, England. George Michael had wrote, performed, produced and played every single instrument on the track.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    No doubt this is now a Christmas classic... but was it well received when it was first released?

    Of course it was. And it would have made number one too if it wasn't for a certain Band-Aid song.

    Last Christmas only came 2nd in the charts in 1984 behind Band Aid's "Do They Know it's Christmas?"

    In subsequent years, the song managed to reach the middle echelons of the UK Singles Chart on a regular basis (excluding 1985, 1986, 2016 and 2017, where the song reached the upper echelons of the chart):

    1985: Reached number 2 (13 weeks)
    1986: Reached number 6 (7 weeks)
    1989: Reached number 45 (4 weeks)
    2007: Reached number 14 (5 weeks)
    2008: Reached number 26 (5 weeks)
    2009: Reached number 34 (4 weeks)
    2010: Reached number 53 (4 weeks)
    2011: Reached number 26 (4 weeks)
    2012: Reached number 34 (4 weeks)
    2013: Reached number 36 (4 weeks)
    2014: Reached number 28 (3 weeks)
    2015: Reached number 18 (5 weeks)
    2016: Reached number 7 (5 weeks)
    2017: Reached number 2 (6 weeks)


    "Last Christmas" has sold over 1.88 million copies as of January 2017 and is the biggest-selling single in UK chart history not to reach number one.

    In 2017 it was also the most-streamed single on Spotify in the UK on Christmas Eve (910,000) and Christmas Day with 1.35 million streams.

    Between the 22 December - 28 December, "Last Christmas" reached number one in the Official Audio Streaming Chart.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Is there a more iconic music video? It's still vividly engraved in my brain to this day.

    The video to "Last Christmas" shows Wham! members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends at an unspecified ski resort: the cable-car that can be seen in two shots is from Saas-Fee, Switzerland. It becomes clear early on that the character of Ridgeley's girlfriend (played by model Kathy Hill) was previously in a relationship with Michael and that the song is aimed at her. She can easily be spotted throughout the video by the fact that she's usually wearing red, but everyone else is wearing more muted colors.

    There is a brief flashback to "last Christmas", showing Michael's character presenting her with a jewelled brooch. In the present time, Ridgeley is wearing the brooch, suggesting that the girl gave the same gift (perhaps by regifting it) to her new love after she and Michael parted ways. When the girl wears the brooch from Michael's character, it is "right side up", and when Ridgeley's character wears it, he wears it "upside down". On numerous occasions, Michael presents a thoughtful expression, suggesting his conflicting emotions.

    The brooch is also a metaphor for "Love", the one the very next day she gave to someone else.

    Her seeming indifference to Ridgeley's open displays of affection makes the viewer wonder if Ridgeley's heart is the next to be broken. However, at the end of the video, everyone leaves properly "paired off", so perhaps it is suggested that Michael has worked out his confusion and now realizes he is after all with the right girl.

    The video also featured the duo's erstwhile backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp (so Eastenders wasn't his first acting break!), the boyfriend and future husband of Shirlie Holliman. The video also marks the last filmed appearance of a clean-shaven Michael, as he sported a beard in the video for "Everything She Wants", which he kept until his death in 2016.

    As of now, the music video has received over 342 million views on YouTube.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    This song has been covered more times than a mattress at this stage but here are a highlight of some of the more iconic ones.

    Whigfield 1995
    Billie Piper 1999
    Jimmy Eats World 2001
    Crazy Frog 2006
    Cascada 2007
    Glee 2009
    Hilary Duff 2011
    Joe McElderry 2011
    Ariana Grande 2013
    Carly Rae Jepsen 2015


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    So what are your thoughts/memories/feelings when it comes to "Last Christmas"?

    And do you have any facts or figures to share about this iconic Christmas Song?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,481 ✭✭✭ Jude13


    I have bored the life out of you guys with too much of my offline life already and will sound like a broken record. But….this one has significance to me as it turned an embarrassing moment on a first date into a good laugh. Short version is that I was bringing a girl out on excursion to a cool trek through a mountain pass/wadi where I knew there was a water fall and pool to jump in at the end. I was playing it cool. It was a 4 hour drive, no radio reception so I asked her to put on some tunes on my ipod. She it 25 most played (all Christmas tunes) and last Christmas came on. It was nowhere Christmas time and we were in the middle east. Awkward pause, then we both sang along to it. She’s now Mrs. Jude


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Jude13 wrote: »
    I have bored the life out of you guys with too much of my offline life already and will sound like a broken record. But….this one has significance to me as it turned an embarrassing moment on a first date into a good laugh. Short version is that I was bringing a girl out on excursion to a cool trek through a mountain pass/wadi where I knew there was a water fall and pool to jump in at the end. I was playing it cool. It was a 4 hour drive, no radio reception so I asked her to put on some tunes on my ipod. She it 25 most played (all Christmas tunes) and last Christmas came on. It was nowhere Christmas time and we were in the middle east. Awkward pause, then we both sang along to it. She’s now Mrs. Jude

    There's no boring us Jude, that's a great story, love that! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,512 ✭✭✭ baby and crumble


    That is ADORABLE Jude.

    Also not sure how relevant it is but this is one of the first songs I learned in ISL. :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,059 ✭✭✭ Lord Spence


    Loving this thread, love the background info on the last christmas song. Great also to hear stories of how christmas songs impacted peoples lifes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,012 ✭✭✭✭ Toto Wolfcastle


    Mad that such an iconic song was written so quickly.

    I remember as a kid thinking that 'friends with tired eyes' was 'friends with tie-dyes' and I always wondered why tie-dye would make an appearance at Christmas.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,512 ✭✭✭ baby and crumble


    I always wondered why tie-dye would make an appearance at Christmas.

    Probably because of the DAMN HIPPIES


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 26,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Posy


    Great thread, Loughc! :D

    Aaaw, what a nice story about Jude and Mrs Jude. :)
    Loughc wrote: »
    The video also featured the duo's erstwhile backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp (so Eastenders wasn't his first acting break!), the boyfriend and future husband of Shirlie Holliman.
    I've never seen Martin Kemp in that video, is he hiding behind a potted plant somewhere? :pac:
    Loughc wrote: »
    They went upstairs to George’s old bedroom where he had kept a keyboard to record sparks of inspiration and played Andrew the introduction and chorus melody to "Last Christmas", according to Ridgeley, it was a moment of wonder.

    The song was recorded in August 1984, at Advision Studios, London, England. George Michael had wrote, performed, produced and played every single instrument on the track.
    That is really interesting- like Toto said, I can't believe it was written so quickly!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Posy wrote: »
    I've never seen Martin Kemp in that video, is he hiding behind a potted plant somewhere? :pac:

    Is this him in the red?

    33or1p4.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,423 ✭✭✭ Berties_Horse


    Bing Crosby anyone? 80's synths seem to be au courant.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 26,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Posy


    Loughc wrote: »
    Is this him in the red?
    Nope! He's no Martin Kemp. :p


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Posy wrote: »
    Nope! He's no Martin Kemp. :p

    I will find him. It’s going to be like where’s Wally :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭ DvB


    Tell you what Loughc thats an impressive wealth of knowledge you've presented there... fair play.

    Like the others already mentioning it here I had no idea Martin Kemp was in the video, will be going mad trying to spot him when herself has the crimbo music channels on in a few weeks.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    DvB wrote: »
    Tell you what Loughc thats an impressive wealth of knowledge you've presented there... fair play.

    Ah it's only a mix of Wikipedia and what I've heard on podcasts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭ DvB


    Loughc wrote: »
    Ah it's only a mix of Wikipedia and what I've heard on podcasts.

    sssssshh. Don't give away your sources ;)
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Tinsel Tunes this morning rolls back the clock 45 years to the year 1973.

    Two of the most well known Christmas songs are about to enter the charts and unknowingly go head to head for the covenant Christmas number one spot.

    First up is...



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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Slade were one of the most popular bands in Britain, having achieved two number one singles—"Cum On Feel The Noize" and "Skweeze Me Pleeze Me"—in three months. These singles had both entered the charts straight at number one, a feat unheard of since The Beatles with "Get Back" in 1969. During the year, manager Chas Chandler suggested that Slade write and record a Christmas song.

    Although the other band members were initially against the idea, Lea came up with the basis of the song while taking a shower.After coming up the verse melody, Lea recalled a song Holder had discarded in 1967, which he had written when the band were named the 'N Betweens. Entitled "Buy Me a Rocking Chair", it was Holder's first solo work. "Merry Xmas Everybody" used the melody of this song for the chorus.

    After an evening out drinking, Holder worked through the night at his mother's house in Walsall to write the lyrics, which he completed in one draft.

    He decided to write a Christmas song to reflect a typical 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. He thought people wanted something to cheer them up. That's why they included the line "Look to the future now, it's only just begun". Holder felt one he got the line, "Does your Granny always tell you that the old ones are the best", he knew he had got a right cracker on his hands.

    Holder presented his lyrics to Lea, and the pair played the song to Chandler on acoustic guitars. Slade then set off on a sell-out tour. Ten weeks before the song was recorded, drummer Don Powell was injured in a car accident. His girlfriend Angela Morris was killed, and Powell remained in a coma for almost a week. After his eventual recovery, he was able to join the band to record the song.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    The song was recorded in the late summer of 1973, partway through Slade's east coast US tour, at the Record Plant in New York,where John Lennon had just finished working on his album Mind Games.

    "Merry Xmas Everybody" took five days to finish, but the band disliked the first completed version.It ended up being re-recorded, with the corridor outside used to record the chorus,as it provided an appropriate echo.

    Taken from an interview with the Mirror in 1984, Lea recalled the recording of the record.
    ""We recorded it in the Record Plant in New York which is on top of a skyscraper. We said we needed an echoey room but in those days nobody went for this big, big sound that they're all into now. These engineers thought we were mad, they're going 'no man, you know the Eagles, a very tight sound, Hotel California and all that pinging out of the speakers at you.

    I said what about the hallway downstairs and they went 'we can't use the hallway, there's all these businessmen walking through for the other offices'. Anyway we ran lines down to the hallway and there we were in September singing 'so here it is merry Xmas' and we were totally unknown over there and people thought we were mad."

    On the last rendition, Holder screams out "It's Christmas!" after the Everybody's having fun line. It is still debated to this day wither the last shout of It's Christmas was intentional or done on the spot. Holder had recently stated it was something he added to close off the song with.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Before its release, "Merry Xmas Everybody" received about half a million advance orders. 350,000 copies were bought upon its release. It became the third song by Slade to enter the UK Singles Chart at number one in its first eligible week on 15 December 1973, the sixth number one of their career and the fastest selling single in the UK at the time.

    Polydor, Slade's record label, were forced to use their French pressing plant to keep up with the demand, and the song eventually went on to sell over one million copies,becoming the Christmas number one of 1973, beating another Christmas-themed song, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" by Wizzard. "Merry Xmas Everybody" remained number one until mid-January, and stayed in the Top 50 for nine weeks.That it remained in the charts after Christmas caused confusion for Holder, who wondered why people continued to buy it.

    It turned out people needed some Christmas cheer just as much in January and the song remained performing well into the start of the new year.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    In 1999, the girl group Spice Girls performed the song at all eight concerts of their December Christmas in Spiceworld tour.

    In 2000, British dance-pop group Steps recorded a version for the various artists compilation Platinum Christmas.

    In 2001, the British children's sitcom Tweenies recorded a cover of the song for The Christmas Album. The version is sung by the character Jake.

    In 2002, British rock band Oasis recorded an acoustic version for the various artists compilation NME in Association with War Child Presents 1 Love.

    More famously Oasis member Noel Gallagher previously covered the song for the 2000 Christmas special of The Royle Family.

    In 2005, girl group Girls Aloud included a cover version as the closing track on the bonus disc of Christmas songs issued as a limited edition of their Chemistry album.

    In 2005, British singer Tony Christie covered the song and released it as a single.It reached No. 49 in the UK.

    In 2007, American rock band R.E.M. released their own version of the song as a Christmas fan club single.

    In 2013, Ella Walker recorded a version of the song, which was used in a Christmas advert for the NSPCC.

    In 2015, American rock band Train covered the song for their album Christmas in Tahoe.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    The song re-entered into the charts a further 23 times over the past 44 years.

    It's highest re-entry spot coming in 2017 with number 16.

    UK copyright collection society and performance rights organisation PRS For Music estimated in 2009 that 42 per cent of the earth's population has heard this tune.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    So Slade made it to the Christmas number one spot... but it wasn't the only Christmas song that year and like many of here.. it made us Wish it could be Christmas Everyday.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    The song was first released in 1979 and only reached 4th.

    Wizzard felt the song performed below expectations due to clashing with Slades release that year, so the band decided to re-release the single just 2 years later in 1981.

    Interestingly the original tapes from 1979 were not kept so the song needed to be re-recorded and even used a new choir performed the song with them. The version we hear today is the 1981 version and not the original 1979.

    The song performed much worse 2nd time around, this time only reaching 41st in the charts.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    As downloads as well as physical sales became eligible for the weekly Top 75, from January 2007 onwards, and with the help of additional exposure thanks to an Argos television advertisement, the song charted again in November and December 2007, this time reaching number 16, despite the absence of any physical release.

    In the week of 13 December 2008, the song peaked at number 31. In the week of 14 December 2009, it peaked at number 45.

    In the week of 11 December 2010, it peaked at number 46. In the week of 12 December 2011, it peaked at number 28 (its highest position since December 2007). In the week of 16 December 2012, it charted at number 29. In 2013 it reached number 31 in the UK Singles Chart.

    Its enduring appeal has led the song to continue to appear in the UK top 40 every Christmas since.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Year Song Chart position
    1973 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"[C] 4 6
    1981 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-issue) 41 32
    1984 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry)[E] 23 36
    2007 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 16 42
    2008 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 31 42
    2009 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 45 23
    2010 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 46 28
    2011 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 28 30
    2012 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 29 37
    2013 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 31 –
    2014 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 35 68
    2015 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 27 49
    2016 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 23 60
    2017 "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (re-entry) 15 29


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    In 2012 Olly Murs did a cover of the song on Fearne Cotton's BBC Radio 1 show. This version features on Murs's special edition of Right Place Right Time. (Awesome cover)

    In 2013, Leona Lewis covered the song for her first Christmas album Christmas, with Love.

    In 2013, English singer-songwriter Nick Lowe covered the song for his Christmas album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family.

    In 2014, The Vamps covered the song for their album Meet the Vamps: Christmas Edition

    In 2016, Kylie Minogue covered the song for her album Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition.

    On 23 October 2013, it was announced that the six 1990s and early 2000s pop bands who reunited for the ITV2 series The Big Reunion - Five, 911, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Blue, Honeyz and Liberty X-would be releasing a cover version of "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday", with all proceeds split between six Text Santa charities: Age UK, Barnardo's, BeatBullying, the British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices.

    The recording of the charity single, which was produced by Danish producer and songwriter Cutfather (The Saturdays and One Direction), was the subject of a behind-the-scenes documentary broadcast on ITV2 on 12 December 2013.The song was released on 15 December 2013.


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