21 Dec: Mud’s Christmas Hit

Melancholic Elvis pastiche ‘Lonely This Christmas’, by glam rockers Mud, became the UK’s Christmas No. 1 hit on 21st December, 1974, beating off festive competition from top 70s popsters Gilbert O’ Sullivan, The Goodies, and The Wombles. 

Despite its continuing popularity in Britain, there remains a widespread misconception that the track was actually sung by Elvis Presley, rather than Les Gray doing an impersonation of him. Even though Elvis himself had a song in the Top 10 at the same time.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain Basil Brush’s role in making Mud true contenders; explain why the band appeared on ‘Top Of The Pops’ with a ventriloquist’s dummy; and consider the valuable role of downbeat pop in the Christmas charts… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Lonely This Christmas: Mud’s Fantastic Wallow In Festive Misery’ (Dig!): https://www.thisisdig.com/feature/lonely-this-christmas-mud-song/#:~:text=Lonely%20This%20Christmas%20wasn%E2%80%99t%20just%20iconic%20in%20terms,huge%20amounts%20of%20fake%20snow%20over%20the%20group.

• ‘1,000 UK Number One Hits By Jon Kutner & Spencer Leigh’ (Omnibus Press, 2010): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/1_000_UK_Number_One_Hits/BwwLBaH9488C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=les+gray+%2B+lonely+this+christmas+%2B+number+1&pg=PT526&printsec=frontcover

• ‘Mud – Lonely This Christmas’ (BBC Top Of The Pops, 1974):

#Christmas #Music #70s #UK