Video time machine: “Merry Xmas Everybody,” Slade throughout the years

Slade, Throughout the Years

Curious as to what the 1970s UK rock powerhouse Slade actually looked like, I turned to YouTube. Was there a live performance of the iconic holiday song “Merry Xmas Everybody” there? There are at least four. And what’s beautiful is that each version is from a distinctly different era.

20091218-baker-mcgoohanThere’s the glam era Slade, the disco Slade, the ’80s Slade (in which lead guitarist/singer Noddy Holder looks like Tom Baker wearing Patrick McGoohan’s blazer from The Prisoner), and, last, the GnR-meets–Bon Jovi–meets–Robert Palmer Slade of 1991.

And, although they changed styles with each era, they lip-sync to the original recorded version of the song in each performance. Not a live version in the bunch. Anyway, check out the four videos after the jump.

1973

I’m guessing late ’70s on this oneAlso 1973

1983

1991

“Merry Xmas Everybody” is one of the most popular British Christmas songs of all time. Though overlooked here in the States, Slade was a powerhouse of 1970s British rock. From Wikipedia:

No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency in the UK Top 40 and Slade actually came the closest to matching The Beatles’ 22 Top 10 records in a single decade (1960s). Three of their singles entered the charts at #1 and they sold more singles in the UK than any other group of the 1970s. By 1973 alone, “Merry Xmas Everybody” had sold over one million copies globally, and gained gold disc status.

That same Wikipedia entry notes that Cheap Trick inadvertently came up with its name after seeing a Slade show. Noting Slade’s slick performing style, Tom Peterssen said that they “used every cheap trick in the book.”

“Merry Xmas Everybody” was recorded in August 1973 in New York City.

3 thoughts on “Video time machine: “Merry Xmas Everybody,” Slade throughout the years

  1. Thanks for posting these videos! I really enjoyed seeing the various lip-synching efforts — they weren’t even trying in 1983, eh?

  2. Great post, although the band didn’t mime the track during the late 70s, due to their period of low popularity they probably weren’t given the chance. The second video is also 1973.

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