Radio & Music

Why has the cheese returned?

A weekend without my beautiful Powerbook means lots of time to sort out my disasterous financial / bill-paying / mounds of paper situation. This – in turn – means that some forms of music television have become an essential part of my life. Which means in turn that I’m being exposed to what seems to me to be a ludicrous excess of Christmas singles. Like dozens of them! Way more than normal. The other day I wrote about the The Darkness’ effort but it’s far far far from alone. Check out this highly inexhaustive list:

And that’s just the ones with explicitly Christmas themes (and doesn’t include blatant Christmas-mongering attempts like the Ozzy/Kelly Osbourne atrocity). So I wonder to myself? Why is this Christmas so poptastic? Is there some kind of correlation between the perceived redundancy of the music industry and a prevalence of these cheesy singles? Or does it correlate to anxiety about the state of the world? Or is it a sign of complacency? Or are we all just incredibly naff? Thoughts on a postcard please (and let me know if I’ve missed any of the little bastards)…

8 replies on “Why has the cheese returned?”

I think it’s a British thing. Here in the US we really don’t have the phenomenon of Christmas singles, betting on the Christmas No. 1, and so forth. That’s something I’ve always found very odd about the UK.
Not to suggest that we’re immune from cheese in the US, of course–far from it…

…but we here in the US have always preferred milder cheese than the rest of the world. Lots of it, certainly. But milder. Spice Girls couldn’t make it here the way they did elsewhere any more than Stilton can.

Stilton is wonderful! You’re really really missing out. If you are interested in Stilton then you should really visit Neal’s Yard Dairy. It’s amazing. I’ll be visiting there shortly before Christmas, actually, because it’s so incredible. I should write a post. Hmmm.
I’m really interested in the idea of Christmas Singles being profoundly British. I mean – that’s my perception of it as well, but I’d really like to figure out why and what it represents or means. Anyone got any ideas?

Well, I’m no expert, but I’ve sort of gotten the idea that the whole Christmas #1 thing was promoted by the various British tabloids. This might help explain the cheeziness, as well as the perennial dominance of Cliff Richard (who, if I remember correctly, is very much admired by the tabloids).

As is also the case with Brit TV schedules, the US singles chart has never really has ‘Xmas No.1s’. That said Band Aid made the Top 10 (…after Xmas) and blimey they don’t half love ‘seasonal’ albums. Frank, Elvis, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, The Muppets and a million others of which “A Christmas Gift to You” from poor old Phil Spector is not only the finest example but one of the best albums of all time.
You missed the Cheeky Girls (‘A Cheeky Christmas’) and the Fast Food Rockers btw.

There is also Basil Brush’s Christmas Slide. Not that I am watching GMTV and they’re doing a roundup…
There does seem to be loads of singles coming out next Monday, including, oddly, a Darkness tribute single (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Darkness).

What is it with cheeze these days? It’s like revenge of the living dairy products. I just don’t get what’s going on here. Doesn’t anyone notice the immense amount of evil stringy and holey things running about from place to place? Maybe we should dicuss this worring trouble with the president during his lunch break and warn him not to eat cheese during his meals. Whomever shares these feelings can feel free to mention it to him at any other time if you happen to run into him at walmart or starbucks.

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