Song Of The Day 12/23/2015: XTC – “Thanks for Christmas” + "Countdown to Christmas Party Time"

Christmas Week – From the Swindon men who brought you the atheist rabble-rouser "Dear God," it's a jingly duo of reverse cultural appropriation! Released on Virgin Records under the stage name The Three Wise Men (XTC loved their pseudonyms), this Noël single featured a traditional, tinsel-trimmed pop number on the A-side and a sort of remotely dialed-in Thomas Dolby send-up on the flip. The press release was very supportive:
Yes, Virgin enters into the festive spirit with this seasonal offering, ‘Thanks for Christmas’ by The Three Wise Men. The song was penned by well-known writing team Kaspar/Melchior/Balthazar, the Far East's answer to Holland/Dozier/Holland. Production was by The Three Wise Men and the Good Lord himself. Not surprisingly, the release hits the decks shrouded in mystery, intrigue and much speculation. The ‘What's On In Bethlehem’-style sleeve may well proclaim ‘The Three Wise Men’, but this non-de-plume cunningly conceals the identity of one of Virgin's top pop groups! Not that we're telling you which band. Could it be Culture Club, Human League, Heaven 17, China Crisis or even Slapp Happy? Over to you! Just good clean Virgin fun to keep you guessing right into the New Year. It's certainly countdown to Christmas party time. Cheers!
According to that wiki, XTC's Andy Partridge wanted to call the group "The Virgin Marys," but there were blasphemy issues as there commonly are around this time of year. 

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