With Slade having enjoyed several seasonal number ones without even dreaming of Christmas, it was inevitable that sooner or later they would turn their attention to the festive season itself. Composed by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, "Merry Xmas Everybody" was based around the chorus of a song long forgotten and never recorded which the band had been playing back in 1967, while they were still named the N'Betweens. The melody was Holder's first ever solo composition, but with admirable selflessness, he acknowledged that the chorus alone was worth salvaging; Lea added elements of another song which he was then writing, over which Holder grafted a lyric detailing every single thing he could think of that people associate with the holidays. It took him an entire night to write, but his first draft was the final one. "Merry Xmas Everybody" was recorded at Record Plant studios in New York; it took five days -- more than twice as long as the band usually spent on singles -- and when it was finished, they hated it. A re-recording was more satisfactory, although the studio was soon considered far too small for their purposes. The background vocals ended up being recorded in a suitably echoey stairwell. Released in Britain in late November 1973, "Merry Xmas Everybody" predictably entered the U.K. chart at number one and remained at the top throughout December; indeed, it upset all predictions by clinging doggedly to the top until well into January. Noddy Holder wondered what reason anyone could have had for buying it two full weeks after Christmas. The record's continued success in the years after established it among Britain's best-loved festive traditions; "Merry Xmas Everybody" re-entered the U.K. chart eight times since its original release: in 1980 (a re-recording), annually between 1980-1986, and via a 1998 remix. In addition, a cover by the so-called Metal Gurus, featuring members of Slade and the Mission, was a hit in 1990.