(Music For) The Head Ballet is a podcast hosted by Paul Abbott, celebrating the novelty record in all its many and varied forms. So far the series has looked at Stan Ridgway, the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack, and Anyone Can Fall In Love by Anita Dobson, and on the latest edition you can hear me on I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek by The Go-Go’s, a 1964 single written and recorded in a rush to cash in on the wave of ‘Dalekmania’ that followed The Daleks’ first appearance in Doctor Who.
It’s a record that’s at best been treated as little more than a punchline, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a perfectly ordinary pop record for the time, and actually quite good in its own peculiar space-age way; the problem is that it’s an easy target for anyone who doesn’t know much about anything that isn’t Doctor Who, and who quite possibly haven’t even heard it in the first place. As well as the background to the single itself we also take a look at who The Go-Go’s were, what was on the conspicuously more credible b-side, what else was vying for space in the record racks in December 1964 and why the single was a little more official than many appear to think. Plus there’s also some chat about a notable Christmas-themed effort from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the small matter of Adam Faith battling the Loch Ness Monster…
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Season’s Gratings, a more detailed look at the story behind I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek, is in issue 559 of Doctor Who Magazine which you can get from all good newsagents or directly from the magazine’s website here.
You can find another appearance by me on (Music For) The Head Ballet, talking about Ringing On The Engine Bell by Bernard Cribbins, here.
Paul has appeared as a guest on Looks Unfamiliar – talking about The Compleat Beatles, Zeeb And The Martians, Crab E. Crab, Rock Lords: Narlies, the Commodore Plus/4 and The Late Night Funster Show – which you can find here. Paul also appeared on It’s Good, Except It Sucks discussing Thor: The Dark World here and Iron Fist here.
Black And White Christmas is a feature with a playlist looking at some of my favourite Christmas records from the sixties, including I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek; you can find it here.
© Tim Worthington.
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