Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Dec 18th 2009 12:06PM by Stephen Dowling
This weekend, of course, the recent 'X-Factor' stranglehold on the charts may be loosened by another song for the first time in half a decade. Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing in the Name' was, at the time of writing, outselling Joe McElderry's Miley Cyrus cover to very possibly win the Christmas crown.
As crowds of shoppers hit London's Oxford Street a stone's throw away, Spinner sat down in a quiet boozer and asked Holder what his tips for penning a Christmas number one were. Anyone planning on writing an alternative to an 'X Factor' Christmas for 2010, please be taking notes.
Don't rely on gimmicks
You don't have to have the kids' choir, you don't have to have sleigh bells. Slade's Christmas song didn't have none of that. The only thing Christmasy about it was the lyric, because it was a song about Christmas. Otherwise it was just a good pop rock song, and it was proven to be actually because it went to number one in France at Easter.
It's too much of a cliché now. All the kids' choir and sleigh bells and all the rest of it that's been done to death. It's not essential -- if you want to put a gimmick in, put a gimmick in, but it's not essential.
It doesn't have to be about Christmas
People are under the misconception that every number one at Christmas time is a Christmas record, and it's not at all by any means. A lot of strange records get to number one at Christmas, a lot of novelty records get to number one at Christmas. Jona Lewie's 'Can You Stop the Cavalry' for example, it was an afterthought that they put the line about Christmas, otherwise it was nothing about Christmas. It was a last-minute line they put in in the studio. Now it's associated with Christmas, as is the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York,' which is not essentially just a Christmas record
We need more jolly Christmas songs .
Most songs, apart from ours and maybe Roy Wood's, most of them are very downbeat. George Michael's, Mud's, Cliff Richards', they're all downbeat. I was speaking to Greg Lake [Emerson, Lake and Palmer] and he said his Christmas record was totally about the spirit of peace and love. He purposely set out to do his like that, which is probably at the complete other end of the spectrum to what ours was about. Ours was a jolly, fun working class happy singalong anthem.
You have to be able to play it live
If you're a live touring band, you have to be able to play it live. It's no use having a great record that when you go out to tour at Christmas you can't do a great version onstage, because the public want to hear it
People used to shout out for 'Merry Xmas Everybody' at the summer festivals ... we used to let them sing it, we wouldn't play along. On the Christmas tours I used to come on towards the end of the show in a Father Christmas outfit and say 'is there anything you want to hear?'
You can do a song that will appeal to all age groups. It doesn't necessarily have to be within your standard sound. Our song is very Sladey but not the same sound as our big rockers. It's a different side of Slade. With a big Christmas hit you've got to appeal from four-year-olds to 90-year-olds. You've got to come up with a song that doesn't date.