Slade

Merry Xmas Everybody

Song Review by

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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Slade Alive! 1972 Salvo / Slavo 0:39
No Image 1980 Polydor
Crackers 1994 Castle Music Ltd.
Wall of Hits 1994 Polygram 3:10
Feel the Noize: Slade Greatest Hits 1997 Polydor / PolyGram 3:26
The No. 1 Christmas Album 1997
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:26
Ultimate Christmas Collection [Polygram TV] 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 3:24
Merry XMas Everybody '98 Remix 1998 Polydor 3:26
Christmas: The Album 2000
Various Artists
Global TV 3:27
Now! The Christmas Album 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / Virgin
Absolute Christmas 2000 2000
Various Artists
Eva 3:44
Friends Reunited: 42 Classroom Classics from the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 3:43
Get Yer Boots On: The Best of Slade 2004 Shout! Factory 3:27
The Very Best Of... Slade 2005 Universal Distribution 3:28
The Very Best Of... Slade [Video] 2005 UMVD / Universal International
Slade's Crazee Christmas 2006 Crimson Productions
Slade Box 2006 Salvo (Union Square) / Salvo 3:26
Now That's What I Call Xmas [2006] 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Merry Xmas Everybody 2006 Universal Distribution
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:25
Essential Christmas 2007
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution / Universal Ltd. 3:25
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:25
Now That's What I Call Xmas [2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:42
Merry Xmas! [Sony] 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music / Universal Music 3:25
Greatest Ever! Christmas Songs: The Definitive Collection 2012
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 3:44
Now That's What I Call Christmas 2012
Various Artists
EMI TV / Virgin 3:28
The Playlist: Christmas Hits 2012
Various Artists
UMTV 3:25
Now That's What I Call Christmas [2013] 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:01
When Slade Rocked the World 1971-1975 2015 Salvo
100 Essential Christmas Songs
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:29
Now That's What I Call Christmas [2015]
Various Artists
Sony Music / Universal Music TV 3:23
No Image
Various Artists
Polygram
Pop Party Christmas
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:25
blue highlight denotes editor's pick