Christmas Desert Island Discs #4 – Rob Mann

1970s Christmas Hits.  There is no doubting that this was the decade of the classic Christmas hit.   I was lucky enough to be around to enjoy!    Recommend you listen to my Christmas Island hits!

1. “Merry Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono – 1971.
The ultimate peace song. JL is one of my heroes and I clearly remember I was on a geo field trip in North Wales when Lennon was shot. This song hit the charts along with “Woman” and “Imagine” – What a trio of classic songs!

2. “Merry Xmas Everybody” – Slade – 1973
Well I am from the Midlands and this band topped the charts throughout much of the mid 1970s. Has to be the greatest Christmas hit ever. The previous two Christmas number ones  – in 1971 and 1972, were not Christmas related; but instead were slightly quirky novelty records. Both (as follows) had relevance to me, as in the 1970s I had long hair and I was also the village milk boy (for seven years)!

1971 Benny Hill “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)”
1972 Jimmy Osmond “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool”
3. “I Wish it could be Christmas Everyday” – Wizzard – 1973.
Lead singer Roy Wood is another midlander.   Super geniussongwriter who played with other favourite bands – The Move and The Electric Light Orchestra.   Check them out – Great songs!
4. “Lonely this Christmas” – Mud – 1974.  
Great fan of 1970s Glam Rock and Elvis.  This ballad combines a little of both!    Of course their greatest hit was the fabulous “Tiger Feet” and I can always remember dancing to this classic tune – “That’s right!”

5. “Wombling Merry Christmas” – The Wombles – 1974.
Great TV series and a lot to be learnt from the infamous Wimbledon Common recyclers – all named after places around the globe!   The ultimate Geo Band!

6. “Father Christmas” – The Kinks – 1977.
My favourite band of all time, combining music and words that work – with many geographical themes running throughout.   Hoping to promote them at RHS as the “Kast Off” off version with four original member are still touring.   The Davies brothers tell it like it is.    Recommend you listen to their music and also see the fabulous musical “Sunny Afternoon”!

My Christmases in the 1970s, were spent in the Midlands (close to Coventry the new UK City of Culture) and were characterised by snow falling fast and laying deep; but also by catchy Christmas tunes that have certainly stood the test of time!    Download some of my above Christmas Desert Island discs and enjoy!

PC Du Toit

CWD - Y11

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