46 days, or 46 shopping days, to go until Christmas and one fewer until we find out who this year's Christmas number one is. Our early warning system ready and cocked, were's William Hill's latest book:
1-3 Winner Of X Factor - Some Ballad Shit Or Other
Worked last year, of course, when the competition got ruthlessly hurried up a bit so that, unlike Steve Brookstein, everybody was actually ready to salute the winner. By our reckoning this year's final will be on the 16th and maybe this year they might pick someone with the merest scintilla of actual X factor. Funny how they can by and large manage it on music-based talent shows not called The X Factor.
8-1 Cliff Richard & Daniel O'Donnell - Yesterday Once More
Erm, that'll work. It's pretty much the only thing without sexual overtones of some stripe they could have done, to be fair. Not sure if this is up here for Cliff reasons or because they genuinely think grandparents will be getting this from nephews across the land. Curiously, this isn't on the new release schedule we're working off.
8-1 All Angels - Angels/Silent Night
That must have taken weeks of focus grouping. Angels you know, All Angels are, oh joy, a classical-pop female teenage hymnal harmony major label crossover act who look like Stepford Wives on their album cover. If any of them declares in a newspaper sub-heading "we're all devils really!!" we're getting a gun.
10-1 Take That - Patience
We're guessing Gary's been listening to a lot of James Blunt in the last year. Someone's banking on a long stay given it's out on 20th November.
16-1 El Chombo - Macarron Chacarron
Scott Mills there.
20-1 Lazytown - I Love Christmas
Have you ever seen this? It's the sort of kids show that could only have originated in mainland Europe - Iceland, in fact - where everything is dayglo bubble sized and the classic all-ages subtleties of actually great kids TV is thrown straight out of the window at the outset. The Tweenies singles were never that big and at their height they had much more crossover potential so this seems ambitious.
20-1 Girls Aloud - I Think We're Alone Now
But remember the See The Day farrago of last year. We must check if you can get a spread bet on references to this being 'a cover of Tiffany's 80s original'.
20-1 Cliff Richard - 21st Century Christmas Song/Move It (featuring Brian May)
Christ's fat cock! The latter was voted Cliff's greatest ever single a couple of years ago, to which he rather ungallantly wondered whether he hadn't been wasting his time for all the years since. God knows what May squealing all over it will be like. The prospect of the former is too horrific to contemplate.
20-1 Katherine Jenkins - The Green Green Grass Of Home
A Tom Jones cover rather than a Murry The Hump one, more fool us. Jenkins, clearly not a soft classical fusion pansy like Church, will be doing this sort of thing for ever.
25-1 Westlife - The Rose
Proving that if we all waited long enough of course Westlife would release a single comparing their imagined sweet to a rose eventually. This is out this week, so you'll get better odds on it being ITV's Record Of The Year, a competition that seems solely to exist to give Westlife something to aim for each year.
25-1 The Puppini Sisters - Jingle Bells/The Little Match Seller (Silent Night)
Are we right in thinking one of them is also a professional songwriter, making this an even more curious busman's holiday? The Andrews Sisters-aping trio whose album cover burned itself onto everyone's retinas over the summer go for route one Christmas success. Why have they got Nick Cave in their top Myspace friends? Isn't that giving the game away somewhat?
25-1 Scissor Sisters - Land Of A Thousand Words
Out December 4th. It's exactly what you imagine a Scissor Sisters power ballad would sound like.
25-1 Lily Allen - Littlest Things
Corking interview on Pitchfork this week, not least for the bit where she tears into the NME. Be interesting to see their unspoken relationship in future.
25-1 Eskimo Disco - 7-11
Eskimo Disco are an electro trio who've been around for a couple of years and were on Shifty Disco for a bit but are now on Protest Recordings, who bring out Foreign Beggars and Dr Octagon in the UK and were the similarly minded to those Akira The Don's home for a while. What's this doing up here? Ah, it's a flyer on This Year's Nizlopi, a re-release featuring a video that stars Pingu that's allegedly been the talk of YouTube. Well, we haven't heard the talk.
33-1 Paul Carrack - What A Wonderful World
Tempted notwithstanding Carrack's always felt a bit journeyman English growly soulster to really make an impact, and a Mike And The Mechanics life membership doesn't help. If you're covering this straight, as he is, good luck to you.
33-1 James Morrison - Pieces Don't Fit Anymore
33-1 David Hasselhoff - One Supported By The Post-Ironic Internet Campaign Supposedly Designed To Cheer Him Up After His Marriage Split That Carefully Neglects To Mention That His Wife Cited Domestic Violence As The Reason For The Divorce
FUCK. OFF. FUCK. OFF. Actually we don't think he's bringing anything else out soon.
33-1 Crazy Frog - TBA
Like Tupac, a very small amount of left material is being stretched a very long way.
33-1 Andy Abraham - December Brings Me Back To You
"He is the first and only X-Factor (2005) contestant to release a second album" declares his official site. Does he want a sweet? It's an "inspired and credible" - right - Motown covers album, apart from this one track, which is called Soul Man. Soul Man, that is, named after the song by Stax artists Sam & Dave. We expect the same level of care to have gone into the rest of the album.
40-1 Eminem & 50 Cent - You Don't Know
It's there on the schedule but it seems very low-key for such a duet, and indeed for being new Marshall material just after he'd announced his retirement. Did anyone in rap ever stay retired? Stupid question, even the dead ones keep churning out product.
50-1 Tony Christie - God Only Knows
It's called not knowing when the joke's finished.
50-1 Shakira - Illegal
50-1 Pink - Nobody Knows
66-1 Sandi Thom - Lonely Girl
66-1 Lemar - Someone Should Tell You
66-1 Justin Timberlake - My Love
66-1 George Michael & Mutya - This Is Not Real Love
66-1 Christina Aguilera - Hurt
All out in November. Got to fill the book somehow.
66-1 Gwen Stefani - Wind It Up
Although apparently this one's out on December 11th and on these grounds is a better bet than McFly's next single, which is also out on that date, however that line works.