17 December 2017

Charlie Jones - Hey Whiskers We Love You/ I Love You You Love Me

Label: Columbia
Year of Release: 1972

Ordinarily I would have had no reason to believe that this was anything other than an underplayed and under publicised Christmas single, were it not for the fact that Billboard magazine in the USA lists it among the notable British Christmas releases of that year.  So was it a simple case of a keen US journalist being a bit of a fan, or did this actually have a slightly higher profile than I believe? 

Whatever stories lie behind this recording, it's safe to say it's a slightly quirky three minutes. Charlie Jones has an excitable, hiccuping voice throughout, faintly akin to a sherry-sozzled and slightly chilly Steve Harley in his underpants standing naked by the festive tree. A rinky-dink arrangement bounces along in the background, until the anthemic chorus kicks in and begs the whole world to join in. 

Lyrically, the song focuses on the antics of Santa Claus and seems determined to sell him as being some kind of crazy beatnik character. "He likes to boogie just like you and me/ man, he's cool, he's free!" we're assured, and it's impossible not to swept along with the daftness of it all. I really like this one, and I'm surprised it didn't fare better, but I suspect that the lowly status of Charlie Jones suffered against giants like T Rex, Slade, The Osmonds and The Jacksons in the 1972 Christmas chart, and this effort was swept to one side in all the excitement. 

And who was Charlie Jones? He seemed to put out this single and the seemingly even more obscure "I Don't Want To Lose You" before disappearing entirely. There's also talk of an album, but I've scoured the internet and all I've managed to find is talk, and no evidence of a physical product whatsoever. If anyone knows, please do share the facts with the rest of the world.


Ernie said...

This looks right up my alley, thanks!

Mark G said...

The b-side seems to have got ignored here, there is a strong Nilsson influence at work, in a good way!