I come to praise Phonogram, not to bury it. But first, something important needs to be stated: in the end, it really was too powerful to live. Continue reading →

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


Updated 21.10.15:


Well, that’s alright, then.

Originally published 28.06.12:

Oh good, it’s that time of year again, when Back to the Future date hoaxes do the rounds on Twitter and Facebook. And the rest of us bang our heads on the table in despair.

Look, I don’t blame the people who start these things, who photoshop a date in 2010 or 2011 or 2012 onto a screengrab of the DeLorean’s date readout. They’re trying to wind up the internet, and they’re succeeding. It’s an old joke, now, but if people keep falling for it they’re going to keep doing it. But the people who keep spreading it around, and making it so easy to wind everyone up… ARGH.

Why do I let it bother me? I wonder to myself. I mean, I’m a massive pedant, everyone knows that. But this one gets my back up more than most – and I think it’s because I love BTTF so much – it’s one of the most truly delightful, joyous, wonderful things that modern pop culture has ever created – that it irritates me that other people don’t care enough to get it right.

I mean, look: if you like BTTF enough that you think it will be pretty cool when we finally land on the future date featured in the film (and it will), then surely you should at least know these two basic facts:

1. Every year featured in the Back to the Future trilogy ends in a 5.

2. The first Back to the Future film is about travelling BACKWARDS in time, not FORWARDS. It’s Part II that features the trip to 2015.

Beyond those two fundamentals, however, as a Public Service Announcement I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of all the dates referenced in the BTTF films – so that next time one of these spreads around, there’s a handy and quick reference by which to confirm that it’s utter bollocks. So here it is.

Back to the Future

The dates the Doc punches in when showing Marty how the controls work are:

  • July 4th 1776 (“the signing of the Declaration of Independence”)
  • December 25th 0000 (“the birth of Christ”)
  • November 5th 1955 (“a red letter day for science”)

This last date is the date that Marty gets transported back in time to, as it’s the one left on screen when the Libyans arrive. Despite what some Twitterers say, the Doc never puts in “a random date”.

The date on which lightning strikes the clock tower and Marty returns to 1985 is:

  • November 12th 1955

The date in 1985 that Marty returns to is:

  • October 26th 1985

The date the Doc travels to at the end is:

  • An unspecified day and month in 2015

Back to the Future Part II

The date the Doc brings Jennifer and Marty to (and thus, the ACTUAL “Future Day”) is:

  • October 21st 2015

The date Old Biff travels to and gives the Almanac to his past self is:

  • November 12th 1955

The date in “alternate” 1985 that Marty and the Doc return to is:

  • October 26th 1985

The date Marty and the Doc go back to retrieve the Almanac is also:

  • November 12th 1955

The date the Doc accidentally travels back to, because of the lightning strike jolting the time circuits (the ONLY time a “random” date is travelled to) is:

  • January 1st 1885

Back to the Future Part III

The date Marty leaves 1955 to go back to the Old West:

  • November 16th 1955

The date Marty arrives in the Old West:

  • September 2nd 1885

The date Marty leaves the Old West:

  • September 7th 1885

The date Marty arrives back in 1985 and the DeLorean is destroyed:

  • October 27th 1985

So there we go. Now, STOP IT.

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…

Continue reading →

It’s July 2006. And yes, those of you who are paying attention will notice this means that the first issue of Phonogram has yet to be published. But that’s the kind of story this is.

Continue reading →