Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Number 1

Yep, it's christmas. Which means, we have a 'race' for Christmas Number 1. So I thought I'd have a look at the contenders.

Now, last year, the bland, instantly forgettable Joe McElderry was pushed into 2nd spot by a concerted campaign led by Facebook users, to get 'Killing In The Name' by Rage against the Machine to the top spot. It worked. And, I reckon it worked because it appealed to a large audience. Rock fans went for it, and the lyrics seemed to make a point. 'F-You, I won't do what you tell me'. Well, apart from buy the Rage single.

So, I guess it was inevitable that this year a similar thing would happen, or at least be attempted. But, before we look at the competition, we should see what this years favourite is. It's by Matt Cardle, the winner of the X-Factor, a nice, likable and more-talented-than-last-year chap. He's singing 'When We Collide', a cover of a Biffy Clyro song. Except it's not called 'When We Collide'. Clearly Simon Cowell thought this was more marketable than the correct title 'Many of Horror'. The arrogance of the man to assume he can change the name because he doesn't like him is, I suggest, one of the main reasons people seem to have it in for the X-factor. However, it's a pleasant tune, if over-produced to the level of blandness, and it should shift half a million copies or so. Incidentally, the link above is for the live show version, which is better than the dull recording. Just.

As far as the main contenders are concerned, I'd suggest that way out in front is the campaign to get "Surfin' Bird"the 1963 hit by 'The Trashmen' to the top spot. It's got over 600,000 followers on Facebook, and got a good head start. It's playing it for fun, there's certainly no political message here. Fact is, some people want a fun novelty record at number 1 this christmas, and good luck to them.

Another contender would be the re-recording of 4'33" by John Cage. A bit pretentious perhaps, but the idea that Radio 1's chart show would have to play 4 and a half minutes of silence, in place of an X-factor tune, is quite amusing. Proceeds go to a variety of charities, but with only 80,000 facebook fans, I reckon they left it too late.

Since the X-factor final, it would appear that Biffy Clyro fans have got upset. The original 'Many of Horror' is doing very well in the chart, with a fair few people wanting it to do better than the X-factor cover. One thing that is certain, it's going to be a Merry Christmas for Biffy Clyro's accountants and bank manager, one way or the other.

If you fancy an outside bet, Corey Taylor, frontman of Slipknot (the bloody excellent American metal band) has relased a christmas song, with the profits going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. A bit of fruity language might well keep this one out of the headlines, but for a Christmas hater like myself, the lyrics to X-M @ $ sum up the mood perfectly. Give it a listen, better still buy it and make it a Happy Christmas for a good charity. Just don't play it in front of the kids.

So, who's going to win? I'd bet heavily on X-Factor. I suspect last year was a one off, and at this stage the other runners are being trounced by the X-Factor single, which went straight to Number 1 on iTunes on pre-orders. Astonishing, that people pre-ordered a single, without knowing who was singing it or what the song was, based on the TV show it was on. Whatever. I won't be buying it, and by January I'll have forgotten all about it.


  1. I had to research this, I'd not heard of it. What a pleasant, jolly, family-oriented tune. And I thought Corey Taylor's song had some fruity language!!!!!!! Be an ideal tune for Radio 4, given their recent 'issues'...