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WATCH: What do you think of Robbie Williams' new version of Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody

By Mark Andrews | Bilston | Music | Published:

It's Chriiistmaaas! – but not as we know it. Slade's festive favourite Merry Xmas Everybody has been re-recorded for the 21st century – by Robbie Williams and Jamie Cullum.

Slade dressed as father Christmas's for their Christmas Number one single Merry Christmas Everybody in 1973

Former Take That star Williams has teamed up with jazz pianist to give a very different interpretation of the Black Country glam rock band's perennial Christmas classic.

But while Williams may be the UK's biggest selling solo artist, the new recording will do well to match the success of the original.

WATCH: Thoughts on this new version?

Robbie Williams | Merry Xmas Everybody ft. Jamie Cullum (Official Video)

The Slade version sold half a million copies within a week of its release in December, 1973, and went on to sell 1.2 million.

It is estimated that 42 per cent of the world's population will have heard the song.

The track will feature on Williams's first Christmas album, The Christmas Present, which will be released on November 22.

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It will be a double album, with the first half called Christmas Past, featuring a host of classic festive covers and other new songs.

WATCH: Surely it can't better this Xmas classic

Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade (High Quality)

The second half will be titled Christmas Future, containing a bunch of brand new Christmas songs and a few more old favourites.

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As well as Cullum, the album also features guest appearances from Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and boxer Tyson Fury.

Merry Xmas Everybody was written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, after the band's manager Chas Chandler suggested they wrote a Christmas song.

The band members were initially reluctant to record a festive song, but Lea changed his mind after coming up with the verses while taking a shower.

He remembered the chorus of an abortive hippie-style song Holder had written in 1967, and thought the melody would go with the verses he had written.

Holder then wrote the words at his mother's house in Walsall after a night out drinking, working through the night to complete them in one draft.

Slade was formed in Bilston when Don Powell persuaded Dave Hill to join his band The Vendors. The band changed its name to the 'N Betweens, later recruiting Holder and Lea.

It changed its name to Ambrose Slade, eventually dropping the Ambrose to become plain Slade.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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