"Merry Xmas Everybody" was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea and produced by Chas Chandler. The single was released via Polydor Record Label on 7th December 1973.
This single reached number 1 on the U.K. chart, it was the band's 6th and final number 1 single on the U.K. chart and their 3rd to enter straight at number 1, earning the U.K. Christmas Number 1 slot in December 1973, beating another Christmas themed song, Wizzard's 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday', which reached 4th place. By mid January it was still at number 1, remaining in the top 100 until mid February 1974.
"Merry Xmas Everybody" was issued as a non album single.
"Merry Xmas Everybody" became Slade's best selling single, released at the peak of their popularity, and sold over a million copies upon its 1st release. It is Slade's last number 1 single, but by far their most successful, staying at number 1 for 5 weeks in a row. "Merry Xmas Everybody" has re - entered the U.K. chart every December since 1973.
For the fan club newsletter in 1979, Jim Lea spoke of the single's b - side, " "Don't Blame Me" was a time filler, I think that it was created as that. When it was used as a b - side, we didn't even know it was being used, it was chosen by the offices. We were in America recording the Christmas single, there was a rush to choose what to put on the back of it, and that track happened to be used."
In the September - December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade’s material. For the best single of the 70s, "Merry Xmas Everybody" placed at number 2.
"Merry Xmas Everybody" was released via Polydor Record Label on 7th December 1973.
And was the band's 10th top 20 single in a row.
The band and their record company, Polydor record label, decided to produce a Christmas hit. For inspiration Noddy Holder and Jim Lea looked at previous material they had written. Jim Lea recalled a melody and verse he came up with while showering, and Noddy Holder recalled a song he had discarded in 1967, which he had written when the band were known as 'The 'N Betweens'. It was entitled 'Buy Me A Rocking Chair', and was Noddy Holders 1st solo work. Noddy Holder used the melody of this song for the chorus, and Jim Leas melody became the verse. After an evening out drinking, Noddy Holder worked through the night at his mother's house in Walsall to write the lyrics, which he completed in one draft.
Noddy Holder showed the lyrics to Jim Lea and Slade's manager, Chas Chandler, and played the song for him on acoustic guitars. Both believed the song would be a success, but never expected it to continue the success throughout the decades. Slade then set off on a sell out tour however 10 weeks before the song was recorded, drummer Don Powell was injured in a car accident. His girlfriend Angela Morris was killed, and Don Powell remained in a coma for almost a week. After his eventual recovery, he was able to join the band to record the song.
The song was recorded in the late summer of 1973, during Slade's east coast U.S.A. tour. Despite its association with the British working class, it was actually recorded at the Record Plant in New York, where, in an adjoining studio, musician John Lennon was working on his album Mind Games. Jim Lea planned to use a harmonium, which Slade's producer Chas Chandler decided the song needed. "Merry Xmas Everybody" took 5 days to finish, but the band disliked the 1st completed version. It ended up being re recorded, with the corridor outside used to record the chorus, as it provided an appropriate echo. According to Noddy Holder, surrounding people thought the band were crazy to be recording a Christmas song during the summer.<
"Merry Xmas Everybody" was originally released on 7" vinyl.
Before its release, "Merry Xmas Everybody" received about half a million advance orders whilst 350,000 copies were bought upon its release on 7th December 1973. On 15th December it became the 3rd song by Slade to enter the U.K. Chart at number 1 (all in 1973) and the 6th number 1 of their career, and became the fastest selling single in the U.K. Polydor record label were forced to use their French pressing plant to keep up with the demand, and the song eventually went on to sell over 1 million copies, becoming the Christmas number 1 of 1973. "Merry Xmas Everybody" remained number 1 until mid - January, and stayed in the charts for a total of 9 weeks. As the single remained in the charts after Christmas, Noddy Holder stated he was confused, wondering why people continued to buy it after Christmas. Noddy Holder also stated that the song was still number 1 in France during April 1974, as the public there had no idea what the song was about.
No promotional video was created for the single. Bassist / co writer Jim Lea stated that no film was needed for the single as the band absolutely blitzed the TV over Christmas, appearing on shows as bizarre as The Les Dawson Christmas Show. Jim Lea remembered that on the Tuesday that the single went straight to number 1 in the charts, the band were filming the Lift Off TV show in Manchester. Apparently the band drove around the streets of the city to check that they were number 1 before arriving at the studios. When they arrived, Roy Wood's girlfriend of the time Ayshea Brough, said that the next few weeks would be interesting to see who had the Christmas number 1 out of Slade, Wizzard and Elton John. Slade then surprised her by saying that they were there already. The song was also performed on an unknown German TV show.
"Merry Xmas Everybody" reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
Track listing - 7" U.K. Single
A1. Merry Xmas Everybody (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:26
B1. Don't Blame Me (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:40
Merry Xmas Everybody
"Merry Xmas Everybody" was written by Holder and Lea, was originally released via Polydor Record Label on 7th December 1973 and reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
This being the bands 6th and final U.K. number 1.
By 1973 Slade were 1 of the most popular bands in Britain, already having achieved 5 number 1 singles, "Merry Xmas Everybody" being their 6th.
Based on melodies from discarded songs written 6 years before, "Merry Xmas Everybody" became Slade's best selling single, released at the peak of their popularity, and sold over a million copies upon its 1st release. It is Slade's last number 1 single, but by far their most successful, staying at number 1 for 5 weeks in a row. This single was issued as a non album single. "Merry Xmas Everybody" has re - entered the U.K. chart every December since 1973.
Don't Blame Me
"Don't Blame Me" written by Holder and Lea, this was the b - side to Slades original single "Merry Xmas Everybody".
It is an up tempo rock track, Chris Ingham of Rock Backpages wrote "It's somehow fitting that the b - side of Slade's most famous and best selling song should be this raucous rocker which once more rejoices in Slade's success. Though once more a serviceable Slade rocker which also appeared on their album "Old New Borrowed And Blue", "Don't Blame Me" is notorious for having the most extreme vocal that Noddy Holder ever recorded. Gravelly at the best of times, with plenty of automatic double tracking and mixed by Chas Chandler as boldly upfront as it ever was, Holders voice sounds less like a tool of singing and more like a weapon of mass destruction."<br>
For the fan club newsletter in 1979, Lea spoke of the b - side "Don't Blame Me", ""Don't Blame Me" was a time filler, I think that it was created as that. When it was used as a b - side, we didn't even know it was being used, it was chosen by the offices. We were in America recording the Christmas single, there was a rush to choose what to put on the back of it, and that track happened to be used."
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, guitar
Jim Lea - bass guitar, harmonium, piano, backing vocals
Don Powell - drums
Chas Chandler - producer