Last time, Weezer had their most successful album since 1994 in the shape of Make Believe – but it was an album that split the existing fandom, and seemed to point towards a more mainstream pop-rock direction for the band. Read on to find out where they went next…

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Presented without commentary.

50. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Mel & Kim
49. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
48. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
47. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
46. Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
45. Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
44. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
43. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
42. Father Christmas – The Kinks
41. Last Christmas – Wham
40. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! – Dean Martin
39. All Night Garage (Song Wars) – Joe Cornish
38. Song for Ten – Murray Gold & Neil Hannon
37. Donna & Blitzen – Badly Drawn Boy
36. Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland – Grandaddy
35. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Ronettes
34. Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John & Yoko
33. Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
32. Christmas Morning – Loudon Wainwright III
31. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
30. Somewhere in my Memory – John Williams
29. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano
28. The Christmas Song – Weezer
27. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
26. Winter Wonderland – Darlene Love
25. It’s Cliched to be Cynical at Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
24. Christmas is Cancelled – The Long Blondes
23. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
22. I Want an Alien for Christmas – Fountains of Wayne
21. Santa Claus is Coming to Town – The Crystals
20. 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
19. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
18. A Chainsaw for Christmas – Zombina and the Skeletones
17. Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas – Eels
16. When Christmas Comes – Los Campesinos!
15. Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
14. Xmas Cake – Rilo Kiley
13. All I Want for Christmas is You – My Chemical Romance
12. Lonely This Christmas – Mud
11. Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi
10. Kindle a Flame in Her Heart – Los Campesinos!
9. I’m Not Ready For Christmas – Alicia Witt
8. Oi To The World – The Vandals
7. Frosty the Snowman – The Ronettes
6. Just Like Christmas – Low
5. Santa Claus is on the Dole – Spitting Image
4. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
3. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl
2. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
1. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

When we last left our run through Weezer’s song history, the 2002 album Maladroit – essentially a “best of” collection of the previous year’s worth of recording and releasing new songs online – had failed to set the world on fire, despite a Muppets-themed video for one of its singles. Now read on to find out what happened over the next three years…

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Elliott Smith

This is a reworking/rewriting of something I did back on the much-missed Noise To Signal on this same anniversary a few years back. I’m reposting it here, a decade since Elliott died, as a further tribute, and with some updated music links to enjoy…

Elliott Smith: August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003

On 22nd October 2003, I was sitting in my college library browsing the internet when I saw a surprising headline on BBC News. The singer/songwriter Steven Paul “Elliott” Smith had been found dead in his apartment a day earlier, of two stab wounds to the chest, at the age of 34. At the time, I’d only really heard one or two of Elliott’s albums in full, and only owned one – 2000’s Figure 8. Despite this, it had been an integral enough influence on my taste and listening habits during my post-adolescent period, and featured certain songs that had been such a comfort during a difficult period I was going through in that latter half of 2003, that I was genuinely saddened by this death for reasons beyond the unutterably tragic circumstances in which they occurred.

It’s something of a cliché that the death of an artist is one of the best things that can happen to their record sales – and I didn’t particularly want to be part of that vulture-like culture. Nevertheless, I felt sufficiently guilty about never having fully explored his music while he was alive – and sufficiently moved by the circumstances of his life and death, the more I read about him – that I felt an obligation to further delve into the work of someone who’d already meant a surprising amount to me. What I discovered was that Elliott’s music – both as written and as performed – has the ability to reach inside and pull at the fabric of my soul like just about no-one else I’ve ever heard. As such, for getting on for nine years now, his songs have taken on greater and greater importance in my life.
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