With the arrival of December, our playlists of Christmas classics will start ringing with their festive cheer, if they haven’t already. One song that Brits will no doubt hear over and over again in malls, supermarkets and parties over the holiday period is Slade’s 1973 hit Merry Xmas Everybody. The band’s best-selling single sold over a million copies and surpassed the Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday to number 1 that year. But did you know that Noddy Holder’s band has John Lennon of The Beatles to thank for his most famous song?
Slade guitarist Dave Hill spoke to Jackie Brambles on her Greatest Hits Radio show tonight when he made the reveal. The 76-year-old confessed that his band walked into an American studio by himself after Lennon canceled a solo recording session that day.
The rocker shared: “We were in New York in the summer of 1973, it was 100 degrees, certainly not Christmas! – and we didn’t really know this song, but when John Lennon canceled his time at Record Plant Studios, we went in just to do this Christmas number. The studio is in an office block, so we were all in the lobby at half past nine trying to get our voices going and singing ‘So here is Merry Christmas…’ in front of a bunch of business people. Americans”.
It even turns out that an instrument Lennon had planned to use was included on the original recording of Merry Xmas Everybody.
Within the first week of release, Merry Xmas Everybody had sold 500,000 copies. The demand was so great that Polydor Records had to ship 250,000 copies from Los Angeles and 30,000 a day from Germany.
The single stayed on the charts for nine weeks through February 1974 and was certified double platinum in December 2021.
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