TME > Audio > Source Music

The Christmas Invasion (tx: 25/12/05)

In Fiction: it's Christmas Eve on the Brandon estate, and Mickey is working (in his very fetching overalls) at the garage when, over the sounds of Slade on the radio, another noise begins to grow: a wheezing, groaning sound. Who had curry for lunch?

In Fact: is this the biggest British Christmas song written in the twentieth century? Recorded in the summer of 1973 (in New York's legendary Record Planet studios, no less), the song became the third Slade single to go straight to number one in the UK chart, with an advanced order of well over 300,000; it stayed top of the charts for 6 consequtive weeks and has gone on to become their biggest seller with sales topping one million.

Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade

Cuts: less than 20 seconds are heard during the first minute of the episode, playing from the radio seen on-screen at the front of the garage.

Releases (select releases): 7" 45rpm single (Polydor 2058 422), released 7th December 1973. It was re-issued in November 1985 (Polydor POSP 780) with a different picture sleeve, alongside two different 12" singles that boasted an extended remix by Jim Lea & Peter Hammond (POSPX 780 & PZ 112); these and the 7" were re-pressed (with the same release codes and sleeves) in December 1986. The song was re-launched on 7" and CD-single in November 1989 (Receiver BOYZ 4), with its third picture sleeve, and a remix by Slade vs. Flush was released in December 1998 (Polydor SLADEX25 563353-1) on 12" and CD.

The original track was also featured on the the Slade compilation 'Slade Smashes' (Polydor POLTV-13), released in November 1980, and on the B-side of 'Universe' in December 1991 (Polydor 189) on 7", 12" and CD-single. (Various live recordings were also released, including one that fronted a 7" EP entitled 'Xmas Ear Bender' in November 1980.) Finally, as well as appearing on many 'Best of' and 'Greatest Hits' Slade releases, the song has been a staple on most Christmas compilation LPs since 1974.

Availability (select releases): currently available on pretty much every Christmas album released in the last 20 years, including 'The Best Christmas Album in the World... Ever!' double-CD (Virgin TV VTDCD648), released in November 2004; and on 'The Very Best of Slade' CD (UMTV 9800715), released in November 2005.