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Greg Lake - I believe in Father Christmas


In 1975, Greg Lake released his first solo single "I Believe in Father Christmas". This number has since appeared on numerous Christmas compilations and has proven to be pretty popular over the years. Greg Lake sings the song with a rather nice voice and melody.

This song is often categorised as a Christmas song but this was not Greg Lake's intention. It is widely believed that Lake wrote the song in protest at the commercialization of Christmas and its effect on the Middle East. The song is often misinterpreted as an anti-religious song and, because of this, Lake was surprised at its success. He said in a Mojo magazine interview: "I find it appalling when people say it's politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you've got to talk about 'The Holiday Season.' Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas." The song was recorded by Lake in 1975 and released separately from ELP, it is currently his only hit solo release.

Plans had been laid for the record to be rushed out for Christmas 1974, but it was felt that there was insufficient time for promotion and in the way that only immensely secure and confidant companies can do. Manticore planned for a 1975 yule-time release. This time there was plenty of time for promotion. Manticore had great faith in the single. Perhaps that’s a rather obvious statement (like saying Prince Charles believes in the Monarchy), but the excitement in the office in Curzon Street was intense. One Tuesday early in December 1975, the disc chalked up 8,000 sales, the Wednesday they did 5,400 in Britain. But America stuck out. The home of the Christmas single seems to have turned its back on seasonal success and despite all efforts, interest was 'marginal.' The amount of money spent recording the single - a 100 piece orchestra, massed choirs and so on, and the amount of money spent on promotion is unlikely to be recovered, even if the single is a success in several territories. The official statement on the investment is this: “We believe that ‘I Believe In Father’ is going to be a perennial hit, rather like ‘White Christmas'.” In the end the song made only the 2nd position in the British charts, beaten by Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

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