How was your Christmas TV viewing? Channel 4 had been promoting its big Christmas Eve animation highlight for sometime now but did we get a worthy follow up to Walking In The Air? The Snowman And The Dog (Play It Again Sam), did live up to the spectacle alright and the accompanying soundtrack was released this week a full week after the teaser single Light The Light. Vocalist (and composer) Andy burrows is no Aled Jones but the more contemporary feel makes it more Mike Batt. For maximum impact the single played over the iconic flying sequence which as before, is the iconic memorable part of the film. Co-written by Ilan Eshkeri the music was recorded at Abbey Road with a full 60 piece ensemble and only when you hear the full score, and included here in an uninterrupted 24 minute closing track, can you appreciate the choral work, the mood inducing orchestration and the magical imagery of this newly born classic.
The Christmas No. 1 surprised none of the bookies as they had already shortened the odds as The Justice Collective overcame their 3400 sales deficit earlier in the week to X Factor’s James Arthur. The cover of The Hollies’ ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ finally clocked in at 269,000 units by Sunday to beat ‘Impossible’ by 45,000. This means the James Arthur single was no ‘one week wonder’ either though and has sold 713,000 in just two weeks and excellent news as both records are helping charities. The new chart topper sung in ‘Band Aid’ line each style has Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, Mel C, Paul Heaton, Glenn Tilbrook, Rebecca Ferguson, Gerry Marsden, Beverly Knight, Paloma Faith and Holly Johnson among others. The strong Liverpool connection is because the funds will aid the Hillsborough disaster families’ ongoing legal costs. The nearest festive entries this week saw The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl rise to 12, Mariah Carey climb to 20 while Wham! and Chris Rea trailed at 35 &36. The charming Gabrielle Aplin with her ad-inspired Power Of Love has had its day however dropping five slots to 9.