Monday, December 22, 2014

The Kinks, "Father Christmas"

Punk rock never had a bigger year than 1977, with Never Mind the Bollocks, The Clash, Rocket to Russia, Marquee Moon, Blank Generation, Damned Damned Damned, In the City and Iggy Pop's two Berlin records near the top of a year flooded with great music. It might have been a bittersweet time for the Kinks, whose proto-punk garage rock and cockney insolence had its fingerprints all over punk and metal but hadn't had a major hit in years (although hit covers from both Van Halen and The Jam were just a few months away).

Thus Kinks rose to the occasion with possibly the most punk rock thing they could have done, a new song about a department store Santa getting jumped by a gang of kids who want money instead of toys ("Father Christmas, give us some money / Don't mess around with those silly toys / We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over / We want your bread, so don't make us annoyed"). It's catchier than "Christmas Wrapping", funnier than "Christmas at Ground Zero" and infinitely more agreeable than "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

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