Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas #1

Most of us in the US were introduced to the concept of the 'importance' of the Christmas #1 music single in the UK through the movie, "Love, Actually." This article is quite interesting, but I found this bit particularly true for all music, at holiday time or otherwise....

For all their rabble-rousing punk swagger, meanwhile, The Pogues are best remembered for "Fairy Tale of New York". Held at No 2 in 1987 by the Pet Shop Boys' "Always On My Mind", it has grown into a perennial. Challenged by Elvis Costello to write a Christmas classic, Shane MacGowan's lyrics, finding the remaining sparks of love between a boozing, ageing Irish couple, one possibly dying of alcoholism, allied to Jem Finer's redemptive melody, make a heartbreaking record. It was intended to combat "the torture of packaged party time", Finer told Uncut, and every year its mix of harsh Christmas realism and transcendent romance does just that.

The Pogues proved beyond doubt that Christmas is as rich a time as any to write about, once you fight past clich├ęs; and that you can enter the rhythm of people's lives if you succeed.

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